If you use a dial-up service, such as, AOL or Juno to access the internet, and things are slow or not working, there are several possible explanations.
- The modem is mis-configured.
- The modem is worn out.
- The software for the dial-up service needs to be reinstalled.
- Spyware infestation.
- Virus infection.
A mis-configured modem can be identified in the device manager. It may require using add/remove hardware to tell Windows it has been removed. When the computer is re-booted, it should find the modem and offer to “re-install” it.
If a modem is worn out or failing, it may not operate at full speed. This is most noticeable if you have more than one PC with its own modem and one computer is faster online than the other.
To re-install the dial-up software, the best procedure is to uninstall it, reboot the computer and reinstall it. Make sure you have the user name and password before attempting this. The installation program will have an option to install for an existing account.
If your computer has spyware, it can be addressed with the free program Spybot Search and Destroy. If the infection is particularly bad, it may take several scans to remove all of the spyware. This software is updated every Wednesday, it is wise to keep this updated and scan your computer once a month to insure it is free of spyware.
When there is a virus infection, it can be tricky to resolve without internet access. It is often easier to download utilities to help remove a particular virus using a computer that is not infected. Virus software is only useful if it is kept up-to-date. Most anti-virus vendors have daily or weekly updates. A good free program is Grisoft Anti-Virus (AVG).
Other factors that may come into play are mis-configured firewalls, Windows has not been updated with the latest security fixes, or firmware updates have not been applied.