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Installing and Configuring a Modem : Modifying the Modem’s General Properties

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Your modem has all kinds of properties you can play with to alter how the device works and to troubleshoot problematic connections. To see these properties, select the modem in the Modems tab and then click the Properties button. In the property sheet that appears, display the Modem tab, shown in Figure 1, which offers the following controls:
Speaker VolumeThis slider determines how loud your modem sounds (although not all modems support this feature). Because modems can make quite a racket, you might consider setting the volume low or even off while using it in public or in a quiet office.The Advanced tab has an Extra Settings text box in which you can enter the ATM0 command, which mutes the modem.
Maximum SpeedThis setting determines the maximum throughput (in bps) that the modem can handle. This speed depends on the modulation protocol, data compression used, and a few other factors. Later, I’ll show you a test you can run to determine the maximum speed for your modem . Your modem won’t necessarily use this speed. Instead, it will determine the optimum speed based on the remote system and the line conditions.

Figure 1. Use the Modem tab to control the modem’s port, speaker volume, and maximum speed.


Note

If you’re having trouble connecting and the serial port doesn’t use a 16550 UART, be sure to set the Maximum Speed value to no more than 9600.


Wait for Dial Tone Before DialingWhen this check box is activated, the modem won’t dial unless it can detect a dial tone, which is usually what you want. However, there are three circumstances in which you might want to deactivate this option:
  • Your phone system gives you an immediate dial tone. In this case, deactivating this check box might slightly decrease the connection time because the modem no longer waits for the dial tone.

  • The modem can’t recognize the dial tone (this often happens in foreign countries).

  • You have to dial manually or with the assistance of an operator.

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