I really never thought I’d be writing a post about dial-up access, but here I am! A nice lady called me the other day and asked me if I could take a look at her non-functioning dial-up connection. She lived in a rural area of Tennessee and had no other way to connect to the Internet. It’s only the second time that I’ve had to deal with a dial-up situation in the past three years, so I was excited about doing something different! Here’s what I found:
1) Her ISP was EarthLink and she had installed the EarthLink “dialer software” from a CD. She was paying EarthLink $9.95 a month for the access.
2) Every time that I activated the EarthLink software I noticed that her CPU would max out at 100% and the computer would of course “freeze/hang”.
3) I took a look at the EarthLink software and noticed that it had come bundled with all kinds of unnecessary “features” (a.k.a. “crap”). Stuff like EarthLink Protection Control Center, EarthLink Toolbar, EarthLink Accelerator, and maybe even a couple of other things!
4) I took a look at the old computers CPU and saw that I was dealing with a AMD Athlon working at a “whopping” 1.20 GHz!!
5) I didn’t have to look anymore. I uninstalled all of the EarthLink software and created a simple dial-up connection in Windows XP. I did this:
Create a new dial-up connection
- To start the Network Connections tool, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Network Connections, and then click Create a new connection in the left pane.
- Click Set up my connection manually, click Next, click Connect using a Dial Up modem, and then click Next.
- Type a descriptive name for the Internet service provider (ISP) that you are using in this connection, and then click Next.
- Type the phone number that was provided to you by your ISP. Note that you may need to check with your ISP about long distance or access charges. Click Next.
- Choose whether you want this connection to be shared by all users (Anyone’s use) of this computer, or only for yourself (My use only).
- In the next screen, type the logon information that was provided by your ISP to access their service.
- Click Next, and then click Finish to end the setup process.
6) Case closed! Right click the dial-up connection that now appears in the network connections area of the control panel (or better yet put a shortcut on your desktop), enter the three pieces of information that is required by your ISP (usually ISP username, ISP password, and the local ISP access number to dial). And you my friend will connect to the Internet “as smooth as silk”.
Professor Randy says: Don’t use the “dialer software” that is supplied by your Internet Service Provider! It will slow your computer down and waste precious bandwidth. Create a dial-up connection yourself by using the above method. Enjoy!