Your Browser, and Your Voice Modem

Occasionally, we read odd queries in various forums

When I am browsing certain web sites, or running a specific program, my computer starts the modem and dials out. Does anybody know what is happening here?
And those of us who are used to this query reply simply
Go to Internet Properties - Connections tab, and make sure that "Never dial a connection" is selected.

Long ago, when the browser was the only Internet application on the computer that was used with any regularity, the Internet Protocol stack and the dialer were built in to the browser. Even after the IP stack became part of the operating system, Internet Explorer continued to provide the option to have it dial out, automatically, if it detected a lack of Internet connectivity being provided by the operating system and network stack.

Unfortunately, the mechanism for detecting lack of Internet connectivity, from time to time, seems capricious. The oddest circumstances may cause the browser to dial out, leading to some interesting phone bills for some computer owners.

If you have a computer with an internal modem, and you connect your analogue voice service (aka "telephone") to the modem, maybe as a backup to your broadband service, you may occasionally hear the computer chattering away, when you pick up an extension and prepare to dial out. Now, you know why.

You can still have dial capability, as a backup to your broadband service. Simply use the dialer in Settings - Network Connections when necessary, and make sure that the browser is set to "Never dial a connection". Or, if you're interested, you could get a router that uses dialup access as a secondary connection.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the knowledge