Mountain Area Information Network

Why Winmodems contribute to connection and stability problems for dial up users.

Your modem is the most important part of your Internet connection. Dial up modems can be classified into two types.

The first type is the hardware modem, which has components built into the modem that help with the functions necessary in establishing and maintaining a connection.
The second type is referred to as a winmodem (also known as a softmodem), which is at least partially a software based system that relies on your computerís resources to operate. Winmodems and softmodems are what many brand name computer manufactures put in their computers to cut costs.

Winmodems work best in places with very little or no noise on the phone lines and also in newer computer systems with a great deal of excess CPU resources. These optimal phone line conditions usually exist only in or around cities. Many of the phone lines in rural areas are far from optimal. They can cause a great deal of problems for winmodems. These include slow connection speeds, dropped connections, and not connecting at all. Winmodems consistently fail to perform sufficiently in less than optimal line conditions.

If you have a winmodem in your computer and are having connection difficulties, your modem is most likely the problem and should be the first thing to look at. Software modems are cheap and that is probably why the computer manufacturer put it in there in the first place - to save a buck. If your the company that built your computer cannot provide you with a hardware based modem, consider contacting a computer shop to see about having the modem replaced.

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