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Sundry modem speed tweaks to help some users

UnimodemV PC requirements

Browser cache IE4 bug

TSRs Modem selection

Multiple downloads Init strings

Scripts INF files DNS

Phone provider Speed dialing


95 & 95A   The updated UnimodemV is an improvement

Another speed tweak that some people find worthwhile is the universal UnimodemV update which has some updated dll's.

Download the file to an temporary folder, and
right-click the unimodv.inf and
select Install

The new files Umdm16.dll, Umdm32.dll, Unimdm.tsp, Unimodem.vxd will be copied into :\Windows\System where they will overwrite the older versions).

Caution: Backup the original files first - just in case!

98+ Win98, and Win95 OSR2, users already have an updated Unimodem.

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The web site address you request (type in your browser and hit Enter) is not the real address of your target. Your original request is to a DNS (Domain Name Server) who looks up the IP address (like and sends it back to your computer which then resends your request using this information.

You can eliminate the need for all this by using FastNet99. This free utility creates a host file containing your favourite web sites and their corresponding IP numbers - eliminates the need for a time-consuming DNS lookup.

To enter your current favourite Web sites just point FastNet99 to your favourites folder and they will be entered for you!

You can expect a moderate speed gain in accessing any site in your Favourites. FastNet99 obviously uses some main memory so do not use it if you have a definite memory shortage.

FastNet99 at Softonic

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The computer requirements will obviously depend on the type of modem and the Internet software you wish to use.

In general terms it is accepted that for a 33.6 modem using a 3.x browser any Pentium level PC with 8MB RAM is sufficient.

Add Windows 95/98 and 16MB could well be the minimum.

If using the newer 4.x browsers, 16KB is the absolute minimum for tolerable response.

32MB will make a noticeable improvement, especially with the newer browsers.

Irrespective of hardware or software, care should be taken to ensure usable memory is maximized to facilitate your modem's smooth function.

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Your Web browser's cache stores on your hard disk (and in memory) all the pages, graphics, sounds, and URLs of online places you visit . On the next visit you do not have to download (slow) all these files again. The cached files are used (faster). (You can use Windows Explorer to view all the files currently stored in your cache folder by looking in your browser folder

Optimising Hard Disk Cache
You have to make a judgement as to how best to manage your own Browser cache.
• If you constantly re-visit sites, then the cache is used regularly, and you should not empty it, except occasionally. Also increase your cache to around 10MB (if you have sufficient HD space).
• If you constantly visit new sites, then you should empty it regularly. If you use a small cache, you will have to empty it regularly.
• You should empty the cache prior to large or multiple downloads.
• IE4.x sets the size as a percentage of hard drive's total size. You need to substantially reduce it. 10% of 1.6GB is a massive 160MB!
• If you wish to use Windows Explorer to empty the Temporary Internet Files directory (and its subdirectories), then you SHOULD FIRST use the delete options available via IE • View • Internet Options ... • General tab in order to remove all traces.
• Defragmenting the HD will improve the speed of the cache. It is a good idea to have your cache(s) in a small hard disk partition for easy upkeep (defragmentation).

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Bug in Internet Explorer Cache

There is a bug in the IE cache manager (all versions, including IE5 and Windows 98)

1. When the cache fills up, older files should be removed first. IE deletes these files randomly, including recent ones! This causes a performance degradation when browsing, and also affects your off-line browsing (sometimes recent files are simply not there)

2. If you interrupt the transfer of a web page by clicking on another link, many incomplete files become "stray files" in the cache. Clearing the cache does not remove them!

The free utility CacheSentry fixes both of these problems

Cache Sentry    (freeware, 93KB, Zip file, version 1.4)

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Do you need TSRs ?

These are Terminate and Stay Resident programs that may effect your browsing. You may have some of these in Config.sys or Autoexec.bat for running older DOS games or software. TSRs may keep the CPU busy with resultant Overruns, and slowing of a download.

If you have a FIFO buffer, it is unlikely TSRs will cause a problem. However if you are getting Overruns (and lowering the COM Port speed has not rectified this) then check your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat, and remove any TSRs you find there.

It is unlikely this is a problem with newer computer systems.

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Maximize all your resources

If you happen to be short on memory or other resources:

Clear your RAM by rebooting prior to browsing or downloading - holding down the Control key (Ctrl) when Windows 95/98 (re-)starts to load will prevent programs in the Startup folder from running.

Run only your browser, and server connection - give your entire system a good clean start.

This is necessary only if you are low on memory - and Windows 95/98 is not releasing it for other uses (likely).

Also clear out the Cache, and perhaps the History folder - but not if you constantly revisit the same sites.

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Use the correct Modem & Driver
If Windows 95/98 does not recognise your modem, do not select " Standard 14400 bps modem " or " Standard 28800 bps modem " . Neither enables hardware data compression nor error correction, which means your modem will not perform at its optimum. You should select a modem that is compatible with your own, or select a Hayes modem with similar specifications (check in your modem manual).

Best of all, visit Microsoft's Library or your manufacturer's Web site, and find and install the specific drivers for your modem.

When you have the correct drivers for your modem then either:
1. for Plug-and-Play modems, first use Add/Remove Hardware to uninstall it fully, and then reboot. It should re-install. If there are any problems, then repeat this, but now use the Have Driver option and point to the location of your driver
2. for other modems, then use the Remove button in the Control Panel • Modems; then click on Add Remove Hardware and follow the wizard to install the correct one.

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You can continue to navigate around the Web while a file downloads. You can also download more than one file at a time.

The download(s) will slow somewhat because of bandwidth sharing, but the trade-off is usually worthwhile. All you have to do is choose another Site and continue to browse.

The degree of download slowing should depend on the intensity of your browsing, or on the second download. Sometimes two concurrent downloads will be faster than two consecutive downloads! - depending on Web and phone line conditions at that time and only if already downloading from a slow Site or via a slow ruote.

Should you happen to have fast downloading on a single file then downloading a second concurrently will not benefit you as the bandwidth is already full.

If an incompleted download-rate does not improve on completion of the first download, then you need to look at your modem initialization settings (see your manual).

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Entering a modem register command

• Select Control Panel • Modems • Properties • Connection • Advanced
• In the Extra settings dialogue box, enter the command/string e.g. ATS10=50
• Click on the OKs and Close until out of Modems
This sample forces the modem to stay connected without a signal for up to 5 secs

V90 and x2

Most users report improved performance after they upgraded their x2 modems to the new V.90 standard. Some lost between 2Kbps and 4Kbps.

If the V.90 upgrade works more slowly for you, then you can default to x2 by adding
S32=66 to the command string for Sportster modems or
S58=32 for Courier modems (read your manual)
My Computer (right-click) | Dial-Up Networking | your connection (right-click | Properties | Configure | Connection | Advanced | and enter the proper string into the Extra Settings box, and click OK.

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Scripting can be used to make an association with a dial-up networking session. If you have a regular PPP connection, most ISP's do not require manual log so you should not need to know about Scripting.

However if your Internet Service Provider makes you type in your username and password every time you log in, you may want to consider using a Dial-up Script to make your life easier.

There are actually two versions of the scripting tool available. The basic scripting tool (which ships on the Windows 95 CD-ROM) supports simple scripts only, and should be sufficient for the majority of script users.

Using the more advanced scripting commands requires the scripting tool available in Microsoft PLUS! Any script that uses the integer command requires the Microsoft PLUS! version of the scripting tool.

This topic is beyond the scope of this Site. Visit

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Always ensure you use the correct setup .inf for your modem. If you fail to do so, or they are not installed correctly, then Windows 95/98 will use its modem.inf driver which is not specific to your modem - it may send incorrect initialization strings to your ISP.

You should also have the most current .inf files for your modem. They will be an improvement over the earlier versions. These are available from your modem's manufacturer's web site at no cost.

If, for instance, you are having problems with a V.90 then you should check for an update for your modem. Some of the initial K56flex/V.90 ROMs for modems are incompatible with the final standard.

These INF files are not drivers - they are Setup Information files, but are sometimes referred to as 'drivers'.


The 'Gain': Ask your phone provider to turn up the Gain and turn down the Gain Control or Echo on your telephone line. The terminology will vary in different areas of the world. Explain that you are talking about the ratio between the signal and the background noise on the phone line.

Caution is advised here. A very small adjustment can improve the signal without a proportional increase in noise. A larger adjustment would increase noise above an acceptable level and you would have to get it reduced immediately.

Should you already have some symptoms of line noise, then you should ask the Provider to concentrate on this rather than directly on the Gain.

While talking to him you might also ask about split lines, dry junctions, and so forth, as he may be able to help with your local connection. He is not responsible for a modem-quality connection but may have the onus for Fax quality which is similar. So use your brains! Also remember that call waiting is likely to interfere with your connection and is best switched Off

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You can reduce the time it takes your modem to dial. This is controlled by the S11= setting which has a default of 95, representing 95 milliseconds for the time for each tone (assuming your modem uses the standard Hayes commands).

Lowering S11 results in faster dialling. Some users will not be able to reduce it below 50, and it may not work in some countries. A failed test is easily remedied.

If your having problems connecting try increasing S11 until it works.

Go to Control Panel • Modems
Select your modem and click on Properties
Select the Connection tab, and click on Advanced
In Extra Settings add or type in :
(setting the tone dialling time to 40 milliseconds in this example)

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015