Ever since my old provider (OrbitWorld, Internet Communications, Master Data Systems, etc.) changed to Trip.Net my service has been terrible - why?
The Situation: You were previously a member of one of the ISP's who recently joined forces to form Trip.Net (Qaccess, Master Data Systems, Internet Communications, Orbit World, etc.), and ever since the official changeover your service has not been as good as before.
The Explanation: The other ISP's used a network based on modems that use the K56flex modem protocol. Trip.Net's network is based around modems using the newer and more accepted V.90 modem protocol. More information is below:
I have a 56K modem, what protocol does it use? - Any modem which implements any one of the 56K protocols (V.90, X2 or K56Flex) can be referred to as a "56K" modem. You will need to consult the documentation that came with the modem to determine which of these protocols it supports, and how to assign it to use each one.
What exactly is V.90? - V.90 is the modem protocol standard, established by the International Telecommunications Union (the ITU), for 56K modem communications. The V.90 standard was developed to ensure the best manner by which modems can communicate between one another at the fastest possible rate over plain old telephone service (POTS) equipment.
What about X2 and K56flex? - Both X2 and K56Flex are proprietary 56K protocols. X2 was developed by 3Com/U.S. Robotics and K56Flex by a group of modem manufacturers who use the Rockwell/Conexant and Lucent chipsets. V.90 has overtaken them both as the official 56K standard. If your modem runs X2 or K56Flex only, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade it. Although some older X2 and K56Flex modems can not be upgraded, many newer modems can be upgraded by installing new software for the modem. This software is usually provided by the PC or modem manufacturer and made available on their web sites.
Why does my 56K modem connect at rates lower than 56K? - The name '56K' for the modems is very misleading, as no 56K modem can connect at a rate any higher than 53K without using software compression schemes. The FCC has specifically limited data rates over phone lines to 53K to prevent problems with 'crosstalk' at the local offices of telephone companies. More information
How can I upgrade my K56flex modem? - This site has some useful information on upgrading your modem. Your PC and modem manufacturer should also have relevant information on their websites. Usually, upgrading your modem requires downloading some files, installing them, and restarting your computer. Other upgrades may be a bit more complicated. If you find the instructions difficult, try consulting someone who is more familiar with computers to help you with the upgrade.