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From the Actrix Online Informer June 2009

by Rob Zorn

Readers' Forum June 2009

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

Many forum emails this month were about spam and dodgy emails. See June 09 Actrix Online Informer articles.

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Wendy writes: We are still on dial-up as are a number of our friends as our usage is less than 15 hours a month. We would all like to know why, with so many people switching to broadband, is dial-up getting slower. It should be faster with not so many using the service.

Hi Wendy, While I can’t fault your logic, the picture is a little more complicated. One cause of dialup slowness could be that there are too many users connected, but that is not a problem at Actrix. There are two other and likely cause of dialup slowness. The first is your local conditions, and the state of your phone line, or conditions between your house and the exchange. Things like faxes and nearby can also play havoc with dialup speed.

The second likely cause of dialup slowness is spyware. Most computers have some form or other of spyware on them. These programs are always trying to contact ‘home’ so they tend to use a lot of your bandwidth and this is especially noticeable on dialup.

One other consideration may or may not be relevant in this case. Internet experience these days can appear to be slower because web developers are now creating much larger sites that are designed for broadband users and often little consideration is given to those still on dial-up. For example, five years ago the standard most developers worked to was no more than 75Kb per page. These days the front page of a lot of websites can be 400Kb or more and, as a result, browsing these sites takes a lot longer on a dial-up connection.

In the end, it might be a good idea to give our help desk a call on 0800 228749. They may be able to help you track down the cause of the slowness and suggest ways of overcoming it.

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Ron writes: Could you please tell me what requirements/features my computer must have to log on to live sport. E.g. do I need broadband?

Hi Ron, I'm not 100% sure whether by "live sport", you're referring to a specific service, but if you mean do you need broadband to watch live sport streamed over the Internet, then the answer is yes and no, and mostly yes. Dialup just doesn't have the speed to accommodate most live streaming which means your video stream will stop all the time while your computer downloads more video. You can deal with this to some extent by clicking pause and waiting for the whole stream to download before starting again, but that's going to become frustrating very quickly. If you're interested in pursuing broadband check out a recent article we ran about getting connected to broadband – in questions and answers.

 

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