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Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 19, 2000
Modems and Network cards alike can benefit from the newest firmware. Firmware is like the BIOS for a piece of hardware (like a modem) that can be flash upgraded. V.90 is one type of firmware upgrade, but not the only kind. Firmware updates can generally be found on the manufacturers website, and further information about V.90 specific firmware updates is available below.
Upgrading Your Modem to V.90
Many people bought 56K modems when they first came out as X2 or K56Flex, without considering the update to a standard that was bound to come. Luckily, most modems are flash upgradeable to the V.90 standard. It is a simple process that takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Check out the V.90 Upgrade FAQ on 56K.com here. It tells all you need to know about the procedure itself. Make sure that your ISP supports V.90 as well.
Basically all you must do is flash your modem's BIOS w/ the V.90 protocol and (for best results) update your modem's drivers. Does your modem manufacturer have the V.90 upgrade ready to download? Check out 56K.com's Modem Link Board. Download the flash update and the newest drivers and you should be well on your way.
V.90 is a great protocol as long as it is fully supported by both your ISP and your modem. However, in some circumstances people may actually want to disable V.90. Several things, including problems connecting to online games, etc, could cause this. For more information on disabling V.90, check out 56K.com's Upgrade FAQ here for K56Flex or here for X2 users.
Note - This method works on Win98 and above, but it will only work on Win95 if you download DUN 1.3.
Binding modems simply means you're running two modems in tandem to give yourself more bandwidth. They don't have to be the same brand or speed. This is sometimes also called "the poor man's ISDN", as binding 2 56k modems will give about the same bandwidth. To do this you'll need:
- Two modems
- Two phone lines
- An ISP that lets you dial in the same account twice (for modem binding purposes)
Open your Dial-Up Networking Folder, and right-click on your Dial-Up connection. Choose Properties, and then go to the Multilink tab. Select 'Use additional devices', and then add your second modem to the list. Select it, click Edit, and configure it to dial the correct numbers, etc.
Now try starting up your connection, and if it works, you should now have a much faster connection - for pretty cheap, too.