Connection Speeds – Good Bad Indifferent??

  GroupFC 15:18 16 Feb 2003

I am a newcomer to this computer business, and I have recently acquired my first PC.

I have been visiting this site quite a bit, to try and learn as much as possible as quickly as possible and I apologise if the answer to my query is obvious.

I have a dial- up connection using a v92 modem and I have two ISPs (supanet and tesconet) on a “pay as you go” basis. My connection speeds vary on both from as low as 31.5Kbps up to about 48.0Kbps and average about 44.0Kbps. I have tried the various suggestions posted on this forum to tune the connection. Are these speeds good bad or indifferent?

Also I obviously need to put in some anti-virus, spyware etc. I notice that many on the forum use such as AVG, Spywareblaster and Adaware. How easy are these to use bearing in mind that I am a complete novice and does anybody have any other recommendations? Also how long do these programs take to download and would anybody suggest using a download manager?

All suggestions/comments will be gratefully received.

  **nada** 15:36 16 Feb 2003

Regarding download managers: even though I no longer use download managers because I have broadband and downloads take hardly any time so I find no use for them any more. But when I had 56k internet I used download accelerator plus (click here) and I found it very useful usually when lost connections occured - you can just resume the download when you re-connect.

  -pops- 15:46 16 Feb 2003

Download managers aren't what they're cracked up to be and personally, I wouldn't bother. If there is any real difference, it's hardly noticable.

The AVG, Spywareblaster and AdAware should download fairly quickly but I suggest that you do it early (ish) morning when the USA is going to bed and before UK has woken up.

You will also need a firewall. I use Outpost click here but there are plenty of others.

Regarding using these things, the AVG will do it itself if you set a schedule (easy to set up). Spywareblaster does it itself as do firewalls. AdAware shouldn't have any work to do at all if Spywareblaster is doing its job properly but there is an occasional leak through so run AdAware once every few days or so.

Most important is to keep everything up to date. There are regular postings of updates on here but you can check yourself say, once a week.

BTW your connection speeds seem quite reasonable for dialup.


  GroupFC 15:51 16 Feb 2003

Thanks to you both for your prompt responses. Pops what is "fairly quickly"?

  GroupFC 15:53 16 Feb 2003

Sorry another question with regards to a firewall. I have XP which has its on firewall (which I have enabled!) Is this sufficient?

  acfc 16:37 16 Feb 2003

With a 56K connection, antivirus,adaware and spywareblaster you would be pretty well protected without a different firewall.

If you were to upgrade to broadband I would recommend zonealarm which also protects against an unauthorised program on your PC sending out data. If you do want to use it click here and remember to disable the XP firewall once it is installed.

  woodchip 16:45 16 Feb 2003

If you get a 48 connection that is a fair speed for a 56k modem, things will vary from day to day, time you connect and line qality etc. hear is a good download speed test bookmark the site if IE add to Favorites
click here just click the picture

  GroupFC 17:00 16 Feb 2003

I have just thought of something I meant to ask in my original post!

If I have a long extension (10m) lead from the phone socket (which is itself an extension in another bedroom) to the pc does this affect the connection speed and if it does is there anything else I can do?

  graham 17:05 16 Feb 2003

Extension leads will not affect your speed. Small potatoes compared with your line to the exchange.

  -pops- 17:15 16 Feb 2003

I can't answer what is fairly quickly as I'm on broadband and with that everything is very quick. I don't know how big these things are but I do know that AVG is the biggest. It is also the most important to get loaded ASAP, just in case. You should be OK with XP firewall on dialup.

Sorry I can't be more definite but the download times are, shall we say, reasonable!

Something else to think about for the future is a backup to safeguard all your valuable data in your machine. If your computer is new, there won't be anything much in it yet but don't neglect getting something organised before long - there are constant tales of woe on these pages where someone has had a crash and lost absolutely everything.

Good luck and do get AVG on ASAP.


  spuds 17:31 16 Feb 2003

Reading between the lines [sorry if I am wrong]I would suspect that you are looking for a much faster speed than 56k will offer.Your 48.0Kbps is good.I only manage 45.0Kbps on the highest and 41.0Kbps on the lowest.A friend of mine can only receive 31.0Kbps.Your question regarding extention leads.It can make a difference,especially if you are increasing the cable lengths,but other factors have to be considered,like quality of cable and connection joints.If your modem was installed via the incoming service main box, then theory wise, you should have a better connection.

Reference to computer protection. I use the freebies AVG and ZoneAlarm, with vey good results. If you intend using these, then I would suggest that you check computer magazine cover disks. Using a download from a disk will be much quicker and in my oppinnion much better.Trying to download from the internet can have it's problems.
For a download manager I would suggest trying FreeDownloader click here for consideration.

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