Improving Modem Speed For Fast Internet Access

by roshi on July 6, 2007

in Hardware

Following Internet modem tweaks may help you acquire a faster modem speed by changing a few settings. We used these tweaks with a 56k dialup modem running on Windows XP Professional with good results. However, since connection setups and ISPs vary greatly, the information provided may or may not work with your particular configuration.

ALWAYS write down your existing settings BEFORE changing anything. This way you can easily change back to your original settings if you make a mistake or the tweak does not work for your particular modem. We are NOT responsible for any problems you may encounter by using the modem tweaks below – you are tweaking at your own risk.

Modem Tweaks – A Few Basic Tweaks

Here are a few basic modem tweaks that may or may not give you a minor speed increase. For serious speed increases, we recommend professionally engineered software solutions. Remember… there are many PC system configurations, etc., so of course we can NOT guarantee the modem tweaks below will work for everyone. You will be continuing at your own risk as this information is for your consideration only and is NOT guaranteed to be accurate. Most of these tweaks require you to open the Control Panel – so open it and keep it open. If you don’t know how to open your Control Panel – please go to your Windows Help (Click Start button) or manual and learn more about your computer before continuing. Or consider using an accelerator that will safely boost your speed FAR beyond what simple modem tweaks can do.

Communications Port

In the Control Panel, click on System and select Device Manager. Open up Ports [COM & LPT] and select the port your modem is on (COM2 on our system) by highlighting it and clicking Properties near the bottom. Now click Port Settings and move on to the next paragraph. NOTE – if your modem is not listed on one of these ports, please move to step 6.

Bits Per Second Settings

We need to change these settings because your modem speed is usually optimally set up for 115000 bits per second. So if this port is set at 9600 bps (the default), you’re losing valuable Internet speed. Change the Bits per second to at least 115000 for 56k modems. You may be able to set it higher, but if you experience problems, just drop it back to 115000. If you have a 28k modem, you should set the BPS to 57600. Now keep everything open and move on to the next paragraph.

Flow Control

The flow control (near bottom) is usually set by default to Xon/Xoff which is the software control. Change this to Hardware to receive the full benefit of your modem. Now click the Advanced button and move to the next paragraph.

Receive-Transmit Buffers

The default value usually has the Receive Buffer at the 2/3 mark. Slide the Receive Buffer fully to the right (High) to match the Transmit Buffer which should already be fully to the right. This should increase performance but if you do experience problems, simply return it to the previous value. We’re done with the Communications Port, so set all the values by click OK in all the open boxes – but keep your Control Panel open.

Modem Settings

From your Control Panel window, click and open modems. Highlight your modem (already done if there’s only one to choose) and click on Properties (NOT Dialling Properties). You should be in the General tab. If you are annoyed by that annoying dialup sound, here’s your chance to silence it. Simply move the Speaker volume slider all the way to the left. If you do experience problems, simply return here and put it back up and accept my condolences. Also, some people like to hear the modem dialling in when tweaking to hear if the dialling is successful. It’s best to change this after you are comfortable that your modem is functioning properly. Now make sure the Maximum speed is set to 115000 if you have a 56k modem. If you have a 28k modem, you need to be at 57600. Now make sure the Only connect at this speed box is NOT checked. Now click on Connection tab. Data bits should be set to 8, Parity to none, and Stop bits to 1. Then click on Port Settings and move the Receive Buffer slider all the way to the right (High). Now click OK to close the Port Settings and then click Advanced and continue to the next paragraph.

Advanced Connection Settings

See if you have the optimal settings and correct as needed.

  • Use error control should be CHECKED.
  • Required to connect should be UNCHECKED.
  • Compress data should be CHECKED.
  • Use flow control should be CHECKED.
  • Hardware [RTS/CTS] should be CHECKED (actually a dot).
  • Software [XON/XOFF] is therefore blanked.
  • Modulation type should be set to Standard. (If option available)

What about the Extra settings you say? This is for an initialization string that you can add. I never experienced any performance boost with the init string. What it did do was take control of my modems sound setting so I couldn’t turn the sound off. I removed it to get relief from the annoying dialup noise. If you’re still interested, you’ll need the make and model of your modem before you run to Google to search for your init string. Don’t forget to bookmark this page. After you have completed the modem tweaks, you should reboot your machine for the changes to take effect.

For more tips, tricks and tweaks visit

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