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Being Disconnected - Don't Know Why
Find your answers here
Below are facts and definitions about establishing a "Good Connection" and
Solutions to keep from getting disconnected

ON-LINE: Your modem is connected with one of our modems and you have established a "session".  You must be "on-line" to view new (non cached) web sites or to send/receive email.

IDLE TIME-OUT: If you are "on-line" with RiverNet and you haven't either sent or received any data (web page, email, etc...) for a period of 15 minutes, our system will assume that you are not at your computer and will log you off.  This type of disconnect is necessary to keep system resources available for all customers and to prohibit customers from accruing excessive hours of usage.

SESSION LIMIT: RiverNet establishes session limits for its customers in order to keep resources available for all who want to use the system.  This allows people to connect to the internet instead of getting busy signals, caused when all of the resources are used up.  The current session limit is 4 hours for a standard customer.  For customers who purchase our services above the standard rates, session limits may be greater.  If you get disconnected after being "on-line" for 4 hours, you have probably been disconnected by your session limit.  You can logon immediately after a session limit disconnect.  This type of disconnect is necessary to keep system resources available for all customers and to prohibit customers from accruing excessive hours of usage.

PHONE LINE FACTS: RiverNet offers internet connections up to 56K speed.  However, these speeds are not attainable due to copper telephone lines.  Remember, the phone lines were only made for voice communications, so we can't expect perfection in data transmission.  The closer your house is to a telephone "switching station", the better your chances at getting a high speed connection.  My connection at "Mollusk" connects at 28.8K (not 56K), but that's as good as I can get due to my distance from Lively where the switching station is located.  Some customers attain 44K or 46K connections, and that's about as good as it gets.  Sometimes we must just be patient and wait a little for a screen to load or a download to finish.

NOISY PHONE LINE: Although the telephone line may sound perfectly clear to the human ear, it may be very "noisy" to a modem.  A "noisy" telephone line can cause many problems, ranging from not allowing you to logon (get "on-line") to very slow response times when "browsing" the internet and/or sending/receiving email.  What happens with a noisy phone line is that the data must be sent over and over again between the modems (yours and ours). You see the result as SLOW performance.  Here's an analogy: Imagine standing on one side of a busy street during "rush" hour, and your friend is on the other side.  You're trying to tell them items on a grocery list.  How many times do you think you'd have to repeat an item.  Now imagine the same thing at 3:00am when it's very quiet.  You wouldn't have to repeat yourself as much, so you could transfer the list much quicker.  If you are having problems due to a noisy phone line, the only thing to do is have the telephone company test your line.  To do this properly, they must send a technician to your house to test the quality of the signal from their connection at your house to their switching station.  There are other things that can cause these same symptom, so don't just assume that the problem is with the telephone line unless you've exhausted all other possibilities.

INTERNET CONNECTION OPTIONS: Windows allows you to set numerous options with regard to connecting to the internet.  One of the most common reasons for disconnects is that your computer is set to disconnect.  It could be set to disconnect after sending an email, or it could be set to disconnect after being idle for 5 minutes.  If your computer always disconnects after sending an email, then you have an option set to "disconnect after sending/receiving email".  If you get a window on your screen that says "you will be disconnected in ..... seconds, do you wish to stay connected", then you have the option set to disconnect after a certain number of minutes of idle time.  See the "Checking you setup" section for help with checking these options on your computer.

MODEM SETTINGS: You modem settings must be set properly to establish a good connection.  Port settings, speed settings, etc....

DIAL-UP NETWORKING SETTINGS: These settings must be set properly to establish a good connection.  Especially important is the selection of the proper protocol.



Click on the SUBJECT for Instructions
SUBJECT DESCRIPTION - Why you're getting disconnected
Auto Disconnect
(Internet Settings)
A window appears saying something like "Windows will disconnect in 29 (counting down) seconds" and you see a checkbox "Don't use auto disconnect"  and a button to "Stay Connected"  These settings may be changed.

Disconnects after Sending or Receiving Email (Outlook Express) Microsoft's "Outlook Express" has a setting which can cause your connection to be terminated after "Sending/Receiving" email.  If you get disconnected immediately after sending or receiving email, these settings may be changed.

Modem Setup If your modem settings are not correct, you may get unstable connections

.
Dial-Up Networking These settings must be correct or you may get unstable connections.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR PROPER COMPUTER SETUP
Auto Disconnect
(Internet Settings)
These instructions are for "Windows 98", but are similar for other versions of Windows (Win95, 2000, Millennium Edition)
Open Control Panel (Click Start ->Settings->Control Panel
Double Click Internet Settings (or Internet)
Click on the "Connections" tab
Highlight (click once) on your connection in the window
Click the "Settings" button
Click the "Advanced" button
Uncheck the "Disconnect if idle for 5 minutes" checkbox 
         (the actual number of minutes may vary)
Click OK to close each window
Close Control Panel
Restart your computer
NOTE: If you have a specific version of Internet Explorer 4.0 on your computer, even if you don't use Internet Explorer, these settings will revert to 5 minutes if you use Netscape.  To correct this nasty Microsoft glitch, you must download and install a newer version of Internet Explorer (5.0 or newer) to keep Microsoft from changing your settings back to 5 Minutes.  You don't have to use I.E., but you must install it.

Disconnects after Sending or Receiving Email (Outlook Express) These instructions are for "Outlook Express version 5", but other versions are very similar
Start "Outlook Express"
Click "Tools" -> "Options"
Click on the "Connection" tab
Uncheck the checkbox that says 
               "Hang up after Sending or Receiving"
Click OK
Close Outlook Express
Start Outlook Express again

Modem Setup These instructions are for "Windows 98", but are similar for other versions of Windows (Win95, 2000, Millennium Edition)

Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel

Double Click on the Modems Icon 

Highlight your modem in the Modem Properties window and then click the Properties button.

Set the maximum speed of your  28.8, 33.6, or 56K modem to 115200.  (Set the maximum speed of your 14.4 modem to 57600.)  Do NOT check the "Connect" only at this speed checkbox.

Click on the Connection Tab near the top of the window. 

Set the following: 8 Data Bits, Parity None, 1 Stop Bit. 

Enable the "Wait for Dial Tone before Dialing" option. 

Enable the "Cancel call if not withinů.." option and enter the value 90 seconds. 

Note: If these options are not available, your modem may not support them. 

Click on PORT Settings near the bottom of the window. 

Enable  the "Use FIFO Buffers" option and then click OK. 

Click on the "ADVANCED" button. 

Enable "Use Error Control" and select "Compress Data" 

Enable "Use Flow Control" and select "Hardware Flow Control" and then click OK. 

Click on the "Dialing Properties" button and verify that these settings are correctly configured for your current telephone 
service options. 

Click OK. 

Click Close. 


Dial-Up Networking Setup There's a whole page for this at http://www.rivnet.net/riv41dialup_setup.htm

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Last Updated April 9, 2003