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Dial-In Help

Here are some basic troubleshooting guidelines if you are experiencing problems connecting to EdZone or encountering errors with the service. If you require more assistance, please contact the EdZone help desk.
Reasons For Disconnects
Speed Issues
Questions About Modems
EdZone Usage

EdZone Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
(7:30 AM - 4:30 PM)

Toll Free Telephone:
(877) 923-9638

 

Reasons For Disconnects

Connected As Guest

If you always get cut off at the 1 hour point, then you have been connected as a guest. This means that when you connected, there were no EdZone modems available, so rather than being denied access, you were granted access for 1 hour as a guest on another institutions modems.

Incorrect Protocol

Make sure that neither IPX/SPX nor NetBEUI are checked in the dialup networking "server types" property.

Flow Control

Try turning on or off (experiment) flow control. If you use Win95,

Open My Computer
Open Dial-Up Netorking folder
Select your Connections icon (don't open it, just click on it)
Choose the File menu
Choose the Properties menu option
Choose the Configure button
Choose the Connection tab
Choose the Advanced button

From that panel, you can turn "flow control" on or off and select software or hard - experiment.

Review your modem manual and experiment with the initialization strings to try to get your modem to operate without some of the advanced features. We are not fully compatible with all 56K modems.

Poor Modem Quality

Let's face it - some modems are cheap and just don't work well... others perform well in certain conditions. Just because you have a modem doesn't mean its the right modem for your situation. A $60 USR Winmodem just doesn't compare to a $120 Zoom 56Kx DUALMODE - they are built differently and act differently. If your Internet time is important to you, don't use a cheap modem - get a good modem and save yourself many headaches! Most of the possibilities mentioned below won't matter if you have a poor modem. Click here to view the recommended modems page - if you own one that is NOT recommended, think very seriously about replacing it.

Line Noise

By far the most common cause of being abruptly disconnected from the Internet is line noise or interference. Even if your phone line "sounds OK" when talking over it, your modem is many times more sensitive to line conditions & can be severely affected by poor line conditions. Following are some well known (and very common) things that may cause unwanted line noise inside your home:

Damaged or poor internal wiring / bad splices or terminations
Fax machines or other modems on the same line
Wireless transmit and receive devices
Satellite TV devices (Primestar, DirecTV)

If you think a device that is mentioned above may be causing problems, unplug it from the line (just turning it off probably won't help) and try your Internet connection again to see what affect it has. This may sound like black magic, but as an example, some wireless telephones will occasionally recharge their batteries, and when they do, they send a signal, or spike, down the phone line, which can disrupt your connection.

Factors Outside Of Your Home

Of course, there are several factors that can affect your connection outside your home as well, such as damaged lines, carrier devices, and even weather conditions. To determine if there are any outside factors at work, you will need to contact your telephone service provider.

When calling to have your line checked, be sure to make them aware that you are using the line for data communications and not just voice! Also, your phone provider may not catch the problem the first time through - don't be afraid to ask them to check it again if the problem persists... but be sure that you have explored the other reasons listed here - they can't fix it if its not broken :)

Call Waiting

Another major cause of being disconnected is forgetting to disable call waiting before you dial into the Internet. Everyone has heard the familiar "beep" when there is another call waiting - that beep is the equivalent to a heart attack for a modem - it will most likely hang up the connection if that happens. Call waiting can easily be disabled by placing a *70 (70# in some areas - consult your phone book or phone company) in front of the number to be dialed (I.E. *70, 466-5322). This can be a permanent addition to the dialing process when changed in the "Dialup Properties" section of your dialer. Note the comma between the disable number and the phone number. This forces a waiting period to allow the dial tone to return, before dialing the phone number to your connection site. You may need add another comma or two, to force a longer waiting period to take place.

Picking Up Another Extension

Be sure that the other members of your household know you're online! If someone picks up the phone to make a call, you may lose your connection.

Modem Drivers and Firmware

Having the correct and latest modem drivers and firmware is very important with the many changes that have and are taking place in the communications industry. EdZone updates the firmware that runs our communications servers frequently to keep up with new technologies and fixes - sometimes this means that your modem will "get behind" how our modems want to function, causing incompatibilities. Keep your modem drivers and firmware current (but don't use beta firmware unless you are know what you are getting into!). Click here for a list of modem manufacturer's web sites.

The above reasons are very real and not intended to be excuses on our part for your connectivity problems. If you are having problems, and cannot determine the cause of the problem on your own, please contact us immediately for assistance. We are here to help you.

Speed Issues

Why do I only connect at 21600 or 24000 when I have a 28800 or 33600 modem?

Many factors affect how "fast" your modem connects:

Your phone line conditions and distance from your phone company
Your modem make and configuration
Your personal computer's software configuration
Compatibility between your modem and ours

Your modem may connect at a variety of different speeds depending on these factors. Many of our users are located in rural areas - expect mid to lower 20s from your 28.8 or 33.6 modem - modems in these types of areas just can't connect as fast because of the miles of telephone lines that they must "talk" over.

Why don't I connect any faster than 33.6 when I have a 56K modem?

56K modem users should read our 56K Modem Information page for specific information pertaining to these types of modems, but basically you are experencing one of the following: You live too far away from your phone company's central office which leads to...

Having too much line noise or interference
Having more than one analog to digital conversion in your phone line
Do you have a V.90 or K56Flex modem? If not you will not connect above 33.6

How can I improve my connect speed?

If your connection is excessively slow or frequently dropped, you may have some line noise problems. See the section above pertaining to line noise.

You should always have the LATEST firmware for you modem - especially if you have a 56K modem. Firmware updates are done to fix common PROBLEMS with modem connections. Failing to keep your firmware current is a major cause of "it used to work and now it doesn't" problems. EdZone's modem supplier upgrades the firmware on our communications systems regularly to keep up with newer model modems - be sure your modem keeps up too. Contact your modem's manufacturer for more information, or check your modem manual.

Or... you may simply need to configure your modem differently by using a modem initialization string, which is an easy thing to try! If you don't know anything about initialization strings, we recommend that you contact your modem's manufacturer for more specific information.

Questions About Modems

Does it really matter what brand of modem that I have?

Absolutely 100% - yes it does! Certain modems simply work & perform better than others. See this document for details on different types & brands of modems that EdZone recommends as well as modems to stay away from!

I get an error message that says "The computer you're dialing in to cannot establish a Dial Up Networking connection. Check your password and then try again". I've re-typed my password and it still doesn't work - what's wrong?

First of all, check to make sure that your CAPS LOCK is not down - this will cause you to type capital letters instead of small letters, making your password incorrect. Secondly, be sure that your username is typed in correctly, for example "ejetson@edzone.net" - an incorrect user name will result in the same error message! Lastly, be sure that no spaces are in front or behind either your user name or password. If you are not sure, erase everything in each box & retype both entries. Be sure to include the @edzone.net directly after your username.

EdZone cannot guarantee compatibility with every modem make and system configuration in the world, nor can we be responsible for hardware and software that was improperly installed or configured. If within your first 30 days, you cannot connect to EdZone for reasons beyond our control, we may be willing to refund some or all of your access fees.

What is 56K modem technology?

56K modems represent the latest (and likely the last) speed advancement in analog modem technology. Basically, this new technology relies on digital connections to your phone company to "push" data back at a faster rate than previously possible. 56K technology is asymmetrical, meaning that data flows faster one way as compared to the other, and was basically designed to improve performance receiving data (like web pages, files, e-mail, and so on).

What 56K protocol does EdZone support?

EdZone currently supports K56flex & V.90 protocols - we do NOT support X2. Users owning X2 capable modems that are upgradable to V.90 should update their modems to take advantage of V.90. Click here for a list of modem vendor links for more information about upgrading your modem.

How fast can I actually expect to connect using 56K technology?

56K capable users can expect connect speeds in the range of 40 to 50kbps, with download speeds in the 4k to 5 k/second range - however, connect speed is affected by many factors (click here for more on this) & your results may vary. Our servers are capable of serving connections all the way up to 56Kbps, although in the real world, the highest speeds that we've encountered top out at about 54K.

What do I need to be able to get a 56K connection at EdZone?

The following are absolutely necessary for you to get a connection any higher than a standard 33.6:

A K56flex or V.90 compatible modem - an X2 56K modem will not connect you any faster than 33.6 because we do not support that protocol - only K56flex and V.90.
You must be located in an area in which we offer 56K access - call or e-mail our help desk for help in determing if your access points offer these types of connections.
You must have only 1 analog-to-digital conversion in your connection to EdZone for 56K technology to work. If a user's phone company introduces more than one "analog drop" into their connection, 56K will not work at all - the modem simply connects at 33.6 equivalent speeds.

I heard that not everyone can actually get 56K connections - why?

Even if you meet all of the above necessary requirements, several other factors may affect your ability to connect using the 56K protocol.

If a user normally connects below 21600, line conditions may prevent the use of 56K and users will connect no faster than 33.6.
If a user lives more that 3.5 miles away from their phone company's central office, they may not be able to connect using the 56K protocol.
Old or outdated modem firmware - if you have a 56K modem & want a good conection, BE SURE that you have the latest firmware for your modem!

Because many of our users live in rural areas, we expect that these users will not be able to take advantage of this technology. Preliminary tests have shown rural conditions in this area to be unsuitable for 56K connections.

If some users will not be able to get 56K connections, then why have it at all?

We are certain that while some users will not connect with the 56K protocol, the many users that dial into EdZone from within their city limits will have no problems achieving very high speed connections. After having this technology in place for quite some time now, we see a good number of customers connecting faster than they ever have before.

What if I'm not sure that I will be able to connect at 56K?

We recommend that if you are unsure of your chances to possibly borrow a modem from a friend or neighbor to try it first. If you do purchase a new modem, be sure that you can return it if things don't work out - ask about the store's return policy! To see if your phone line supports 56K connections, visit the 3com line test page and follow the instructions to test your line. (http://www.3com.com/56k/need456k/linetest.html)

Where can I buy a K56flex or V.90 protocol modem?

Most computer, electronics, & office supply stores should have K56flex compatible modems as well BUT be careful of what brand and model of modem you purchase!!! Click here for our recommendations - your modem makes a big difference in your Internet performance!

EdZone Usage

What is the definition of "Unlimited Access" at EdZone?

We define "Unlimited Access" as accessing our services on an "as needed" basis when the user is actively participating in the session and sitting at the computer. When a user steps away from the computer for more than a few minutes, he or she should disconnect from EdZone and reconnect later when necessary. We see it the same as making a phone call - when you are done talking to the other party, you hang up the phone and call back later when you want to talk again.

It is considered abuse of service to remain connected and inactive for extended periods of time. Unlimited means use it when you need to - if that means 5 minutes per day or 5 hours per day - but does not mean that you have a dedicated connection to the Internet to leave connected 24/7 whether you are using it or not! It is not fair to other EdZone customers that want to use the Internet as well.

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