newbie problems with dialup modem

I have a dual boot box w/ openSUSE11 and WinXP. The modem is an USB/serial Actiontec EX560LKU.

WinXP download rates are usually 3-5 Kbps w/ a max. of 7 Kbps. This has been standard in my rural area since 56 Kbps modems came out.

openSUSE11 download rates are usually 1.4-1.5 Kbps w/ a max. of 2 Kbps. There is also, usually, a pause of a second between downloading packets.

The ISP suggested there might be a difference between MTUs and looking at FIFO. The man page for FIFO was not very helpful at my level.

Any suggestions to fix this?

TIA,
Mark Z.

Are you using Firefox? If so, type about:config in the address bar and search for ipv6 and disable it.

Also, try playing around with the baud rate in YAST / network devices / modems. IIRC. the 115200 rate would slow me down and I got better speeds with 57000 or 48000. I’m racking my brain trying to remember the exact setting, but it’s been awhile.

Will post again if I remember more details.

Yes, I’m using Firefox. IPv6 was disabled during installation IIRC. IPv6 is not listed in about:config (at least “find” didn’t locate it).

Using YaST, I have set the baud rate at 57600 several times. Each time I return to confirm the configuration of the modem, the baud rate has changed to 4000000 (the max. allowable).

Under modems, an “AC '97 modem controller” is listed as not configured. IIRC, this is a winmodem. When I first installed openSUSE11, there was an internal Agere winmodem in one of the PCI slots, which I didn’t try to configure since the Actiontec modem was my primary. The Agere board has been pulled out of the PCI slot since then. I’ve tried deleting this modem from the listing in YaST to no avail.

Also, here’s some specific information from McAfee Internet Connection Speedometer:

WinXP RESULTS (Connected @ 50.6 Kbps):
File Size: 150.005 Kb
Time Elapsed: 25.172 Seconds
McAfee Reports Approximately 40 Kbps

openSUSE11 RESULTS (Connected @ 52.0 Kbps):
File Size: 150.005 Kb
Time Elapsed: 170.927 Seconds
McAfee Reports Under 20 Kbps

File Size/Time Elapsed
WinXP = 5.96 Kbps
openSUSE11 = 0.88 Kbps

Questions:
1.) How can I double check that IPv6 is disabled?
2.) Each time I return to the modems in YaST to check that the baud rate has been reset to 57600, I find it is set at the max. of 4000000. Is this a default? Is there a way to keep it at 57600?
3.) Could the fact that I haven’t been able to delete the winmodem (AC '97 modem controller) from the listing of modems be a possible source of my problem?

With my Firefox, it says “Filter” after I type about:config. If I type ipv6 in the “Filter” box it comes right up.

If you want to try out some different settings, you can type su in the terminal, log in as root and then type “kate”. Once Kate opens, navigate to /etc/ppp/options and add this line right at the top of the page with no # mark in front of it:

nodeflate

This will disable compression on your connection.

See if that helps. I had the same problem you are having but with a wireless broadband modem. I use Kinternet to connect to the internet. I could connect, as you can, but my download speeds were really crippled, and this option fixed it.

Since you are connecting at 52 k, I think your modem signal negotiation with your ISP is fine.

If it does not help please change the file back to the way it was, but I think it might be worth a try.

Also, if you go to the terminal and type

man pppd

This will bring up the manual for configuring pppd connections and you may find something useful there.

You should be getting slightly better connection speeds than with Windows, so something is definitely wrong. Good luck!

Edit: To answer your question #1, you could connect with wvdial, if you edit the file, with root privileges. Add you phone number and other options directly to the file, and then save it. This will set the options permanently until they are changed again.

To connect, type su in the terminal, log with root password, then type in the terminal “wvdial” and the wvdial script will be executed and should connect you if all the info is correct. This method allows you to change options and fine tune your settings, then try them out.

Once you’re connected just open Firefox and try downloading something.

I think this answers question #2 as well. As for question #3 I don’t think this is causing your problem, since you connection speed is fine (52kbs) you just can’t load web pages properly.

NOTE: Website would not let me finish editing my post >:(

Please disregard post above.

Here is the edited version of my post:

With my Firefox, it says “Filter” after I type about:config. If I type ipv6 in the “Filter” box it comes right up.

If you want to try out some different settings, you can type su in the terminal, log in as root and then type “kate”. Once Kate opens, navigate to /etc/ppp/options and add this line right at the top of the page with no # mark in front of it:

nodeflate

This will disable compression on your connection.

See if that helps. I had the same problem you are having but with a wireless broadband modem. I use Kinternet to connect to the internet. I could connect, as you can, but my download speeds were really crippled, and this option fixed it.

Since you are connecting at 52 k, I think your modem signal negotiation with your ISP is fine.

If it does not help please change the file back to the way it was, but I think it might be worth a try.

Also, if you go to the terminal and type

man pppd

This will bring up the manual for configuring pppd connections and you may find something useful there.

You should be getting slightly better connection speeds than with Windows, so something is definitely wrong. Good luck!

Edit: To answer your question #1, you could connect with wvdial, if you edit the file, with root privileges. Add your phone number and other options directly to the file, and then save it. This will set the options permanently until they are changed again.

To connect, type su in the terminal, log with root password, then type in the terminal “wvdial” and the wvdial script will be executed and should connect you if all the info is correct. This method allows you to change options and fine tune your settings, then try them out and see if the changes help or not.

It’s actually kind of fun because you get instant feedback in the terminal as to what’s happening as you connect.

Once you’re connected just open Firefox and try downloading something and see if the problem is still there.

I think this answers question #2 as well. As for question #3 I don’t think this is causing your problem, since your connection speed is fine (52kbs) you just can’t load web pages properly.

I verified IPv6 was disabled in Firefox and tried “nodeflate” in /etc/ppp/options with no effect. There are still some things to try with wvdial and ipconfig and will report back.

Here is a post I saw here a while back, that might be helpful for fixing your problem. The person was having the same problem as you, though with a network connection rather than dial up.

I have tried this, and it SEEMED to help speed up my connection a bit, though how much I’m not sure. I have a really flaky wireless broadband connection that drops in and out a lot, so I need all the help I can get.

So here it is, FWIW, and good luck!

Just an information if anybody else has this problem:

After installing openSuSE 11.0 I noticed that my internet speed is somewhere near 1kB/s, connected to a 2Mbit DSL router. After searching a bit regarding my network card (Realtek RTL-8139), I noticed that I have to set a system control parameter to get full speed back. The setting I had to apply was:

net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling -> set to 0

After setting this speed was back at 200kB/s

Checking your current setting can be done as root using this command:

cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_window_scaling

Setting it temporarily for testing by using this command:

echo “0” >/proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_window_scaling

and setting it forever can be done by adding the following line to /etc/sysctl.conf

net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling = 0

and running “sysctl -p” once.

I hope this helps other having similar problems.

Rainer

Success at last. With the suggestions here, some additional digging in the logs and man pages, and a little experimentation, I figured out I was modifying the wrong file. I had been working on wvdial.conf, but I should have been modifying smpppd-ifcfg.

Once that nut was cracked, everything else was a piece of cake. First change was the connection speed from 4000000 Kbps to 115600 Kbps. Then compared speed results of the default openSUSE init string against the default from DUN in WinXP. Turns out using the WinXP string in SUSE is much faster, just about the same as using it in WinXP. Both now download the 150 Kb test file in about 25 secs.

I don’t know why YaST doesn’t write the changes even though the rigmarole at “Finish” says it’s making the mods. At this point, though, it doesn’t matter.

Thanks for all the help.

Congrats!

pours self large stein of good German beer

You’re correct that modifying wvdial.conf only affects the settings that are used when wvdial is used. And wvdial can only be launched while in super-user mode from the command line. However, wvdial is a good program for diagnosing your connection and trying out new settings since you get instant feedback from the terminal.

YAST / Modems is kind of annoying the way it often won’t accept changes, and even changes things back without telling you. I suppose that’s why many people don’t trust GUI-type programs, is because of things like this.

I was going to suggest trying some different init strings, but I figured that since you were connecting OK, that init strings would have been out of the equation since their job was done at that point.

Those man pages are quite difficult reading, but there is some extremely helpful info in there if you take the effort to dig it out.

Again, congrats!

PS: Where is this file located?

“. . . but I should have been modifying smpppd-ifcfg.”

The file is located here:
/etc/sysconfig/network/smpppd-ifcfg

Thanks, again, for the help. Now, I’m feeling a bit thirsty and will take your advice. ;0)

I was having the same problem of where I initially used Yast2 to set up my MultiTech USB modem, and set the baud rate to 115200, and lately I wanted to try changing it to 56700. Like you, using Yast2, under Set Modem Parameters, I tried changing the Baud Rate under the drop down menu “Details”, but as soon as I hit Ok Ok Ok and restarted computer, Kinternet Internet Tool>Settings>View Configuration still showed 115200 speed. I finally had to do:
kdesu kwrite /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-modem0 and change the speed there, save, and only then would Kinternet show the new setting.
Another fiddly-diddly fixed. :wink: