Phone Line Noise (Internet)
While technology is changing rapidly, most phone lines that we use in our homes and businesses were originally designed to carry voice signals exclusively. Today, we are often attempting to squeeze every bit of data possible through our old phone lines in order to get on the Internet.
Inevitably, this produces problems. Remember the last time you tried to talk to Aunt Gertrude and the phone was crackling so badly you could hardly hear her? Modems are much more sensitive to phone noise than your ear and at high speed connections, modems are particularly susceptible to phone line noise. In fact, the higher the speed, the more susceptible they become.
Phone noise can bog down your connection, making it seem painfully slow, or even disconnect you from the Internet completely! To make matters worse, not that we want to be the bearer of bad news, modems vary widely in quality (i.e. some modems handle phone noise better than others).
You wouldn't expect a Yugo to handle a rough road like a Lexus or Mercedes, and you shouldn't expect a low quality modem to handle phone noise the same as a high quality one.
Unfortunately, some of the large computer manufacturers are pumping out computers with the cheapest, junkiest modems they can get their hands on, just to bring down the price. They must figure the public is too naive to know the difference!
Phone line noise is caused by a multitude of factors. Every phone call is routed through a menagerie of phone company equipment to get it to it's destination. Virtually any point on the path could be causing interference or noise. That is why it is so difficult to solve the problem and why each phone call varies in its level of phone noise.
If you are having frequent disconnects or find your Internet connection bogging down on occasion, it is possible to force your modem to communicate at a slower speed. The slower the connection, the greater the ability your modem will have to cut through the phone noise.
Your modem manufacturer or your Internet Service Provider can help you slow down your modem speed or offer helpful suggestions. And for everything you ever wanted to know about modems visit Curt's High Speed Modem Page.