Tuning Modem Performance in Windows 95

The modem icon in the system tray that comes with Win95 simply gives you the elapsed time of the modem session and the count of bytes sent/received during the session. Having become accustomed to the graphic display of throughput provided by Trumpet's TCPMETER, I looked for a comparable display indicator. I found two solutions.

NetMon 2.0 replaces the program in the system tray with one that does graphically display the modem throughput, as well as the elapsed time and total throughput. This program gives me the feedback I crave, and helps with modem tuning.

The Win95 "System Monitor" program can also be set up to show modem throughput. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel | System | Device Manager | Modem. Click on the entry for your modem. Select Connection | Advanced. Check the box titled "Record a log file". Save these configuration settings, and reboot the PC to get them to take effect. Use DUN to connect to the internet. Select Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Monitor. Click on the "Edit" menu item. Select Add Item. Double click on the Category that describes your modem. Click on "Bytes Sent" and/or "Bytes received", as per your preferences. The System Monitor may then be run, as desired, or added to your Startup folder.

Settings for MTU, MSS, RWIN, etc. may be adjusted, now that you have a way to gauge the results of your adjustments. Good discussions of these settings may be found in the Windows 95 FAQ, Windows 95 FAQ, and the MaxMTU Fix. These settings are stored in the Windows Registry. TweakDUN, EasyMTU, and MTUSpeed are programs that assist in choosing values for these settings, and storing them in the registry.

ModemSta is a nifty shareware program shows the speed, the modem indicator lights (which are invaluable for knowing when the phone line has been dropped) and counts bytes TD and RD, for a numeric representation of thruput, among other things. They offer a Win95 version.

Net.Medic is a powerful program that works in conjunction with your browser to identify and resolve communications bottlenecks.