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WebsiteCompass Your Guide to Understanding and Using the Internet
 


FAQ's: Internet Connections
 

       
 

Why do I keep losing my connection right after I check my email?

Why have I sometimes received a busy signal when I tried to dial my ISP?

Why does it take longer for some web pages to download than others? Also, I've noticed that sometimes a web page downloads fast and then when I go back to access it later in the week the speed of the download is much slower. Why?

I was told that I have a USB 1.1 port rather than a USB 2.0 port on my computer. Is this good or bad? What’s the difference between the two? I use Windows XP.

Why do YouTube videos keep stopping and starting while I'm watching them?


Q: I keep losing my connection right after I check my email. Can you help me?

A: Yes. The problem is most likely being caused by a simple setting found within Outlook Express. Follow the steps below to insure that your settings are not configured to automatically disconnect you each time you send or receive email messages.
. Open Outlook Express and then using your mouse cursor, click on the “Tools” heading at the top of the page. Select “Options” from the drop down window.
2. An “Options” window will now appear. From the top of the “Options” menu, click the “Connections” tab.
3. Review to make sure the option “Hangup after sending and receiving” does NOT have a check mark in its box.

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Q: Why have I sometimes received a busy signal when I tried to dial my ISP?

A: From time to time you may receive a busy signal when trying to gain Internet access through your Internet Service Provider. This occurs for the same reason you may receive a busy signal when attempting to telephone a friend... the line is occupied to its capacity. This may be especially true during peak Internet usage times of the day, (evenings). If this occurs, simply wait a few minutes and try again.

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Q: Why does it take longer for some web pages to download than others? Also, I've noticed that sometimes a web page downloads fast and then when I go back to access it later in the week the speed of the download is much slower. Why?

A: A website that has high volumes of visitors may download information to you slower because the site is attempting to handle thousands of other visitors simultaneously. The website's server (computer where this site is located) may periodically have difficulty keeping up with the demand. In other words, requests to down- load web pages for viewing outpaces the ability of the computer to send out the information. Additionally, the number of people on the World Wide Web at one time can also have an effect on the speed at which pages download. If you are surfing during peak surfing hours (in the evening from about 7pm to 11pm) the download speed of the Internet as a whole is slower than during other periods of the day. Thus, if you are attempting to view a website at 6am, chances are the download speed will be quicker than if you attempted to access the same site in the evening.

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Q: I was told that I have a USB 1.1 port rather than a USB 2.0 port on my computer. Is this good or bad? What’s the difference between the two? I use Windows XP.

A: USB’s (or Universal Serial Bus ports) are connectors located on the front, back, and/or sides of your computer. They are slots about five-eighths of an inch long which connect devices (printers, modems, mice, etc) to your computer via cables. Although USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports look identical (you can’t tell the difference by looking at them), the distinction is significant as the USB 2.0 ports are 40 times faster than USB 1.1. So, if you are downloading a big music file using a USB 1.1 port, for instance, the task would be accomplished more slowly than when utilizing a USB 2.0. Newer computers come with USB 2.0 ports. However, USB 1 devices still work with USB 2 ports without the speed boost.

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Q: Why do YouTube videos keep stopping and starting while I'm watching them?

A: What's going on is called video buffering. When you click play, the first few seconds of a video will be downloaded and stored in a temporary memory cache on your computer. Usually the word 'buffering' will appear at this point. Most download services use buffering to hold off on playback until a decent section of the video has downloaded. In theory, buffering should help reduce a jerky viewing experience. The player should be able to work out how much of a video it will need to download before playback can begin, so that when you are watching it you're not viewing the video faster than it is being transferred to your computer via your Internet connection.

However, as you've no doubt experienced, buffering doesn't always work out so well. The video player might miscalculate your Internet connection speed, so it starts playing too soon and has to keep stopping to buffer more.

In general, the best way to avoid excessive buffering is to upgrade your Internet connection. A faster download speed will mean that, in many cases, playback will begin instantly. Contact your ISP for more information

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