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USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

thehatman
Grafter
Posts: 574
Registered: 01-08-2007

USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

Hi,

I'm upgrading from dialup to broadband and am thinking of buying the Speedtouch usb 330 modem. I've read a few things in the internet that suggest possible problems however.

1) Some people have mentioned that this modem takes too much power and sometimes drops the connection. How much power precisely does it take from the usb socket?

2) Also that there might be a problem with peer to peer uploading on programs like Kazaa which I do use.

My pc is a Dell Dimension 4300 running XP Home. Here are some specs for this PC if that's helpful. Please let me know if the Speedtouch 330 will be OK. I'm just using a single PC at home but I need a stable connection with no dropped outs and complete reliability. Will the Speedtouch 330 be OK with my system? Please give as full an answer as you can as I'm new to broadband. Thanks for your time.

Smiley


Motherboard

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Motherboard Properties:
Motherboard ID <DMI>
Motherboard Name Dell Computer Corporation Dimension 4300

Front Side Bus Properties:
Bus Type Intel NetBurst
Bus Width 64-bit
Real Clock 100 MHz (QDR)
Effective Clock 400 MHz
Bandwidth 3200 MB/s

Memory Bus Properties:
Bus Type SDR SDRAM
Bus Width 64-bit
Real Clock 133 MHz
Effective Clock 133 MHz
Bandwidth 1067 MB/s

Chipset Bus Properties:
Bus Type Intel Hub Interface
Bus Width 8-bit
Real Clock 67 MHz (QDR)
Effective Clock 267 MHz
Bandwidth 267 MB/s

Memory

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Physical Memory:
Total 255 MB
Used 175 MB
Free 79 MB
Utilization 69 %

Swap Space:
Total 616 MB
Used 128 MB
Free 487 MB
Utilization 21 %

Virtual Memory:
Total 2047 MB
Used 104 MB
Free 1942 MB
Utilization 5 %
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

The USB 1.1 ports can deliver a max of 500mA of power, if your modem tries to draw more than that or if the modem needs something near this limit but your mobo cannot supply it the USB ports will normally be shutdown for a short period to protect the curcuits. In doing this your modem will drop it's connection.

Also USB powered modems require additional CPU to manage the connection, using P2P/Kazza all the time could mean excessive CPU or excessive power requrements causing intermittent connections or reduced throughput.

Some mobo chipsets are known to have power issues - early VIA and SiS chipsets are known to have this problem.

The above problem only effects a small number of systems but you may be one of the unlucky ones, and you will not know until you try it.

I would recommend you forget about USB and buy a Ethernet based all in one ADSL modem/router and if necessary a network card for your PC. It will be very much more reliable and not dependant on CPU or USB power for operation.

A cheap option is the ebuyer ORIGO ASR8400 4 port ADSL modem/routrer for about £30. Or the Netgear DG834 for around £60.
thehatman
Grafter
Posts: 574
Registered: 01-08-2007

USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

Thankyou for all that information. The USB sounds much easier to set up. I don't really want to put a new card in the PC.

My Dell 4300 computer is about 3 and a half years old and a USB camera comes up as requiring 500ma (?) of power, in Device Manager, and works fine.

Doesn't the above spec tell anyone if I'm likely to be one of the few who runs into this connection problem with a USB modem?

There must be others with the same PC and a Speedtouch 330 modem? Would be good to hear their experience.

Smiley
thehatman
Grafter
Posts: 574
Registered: 01-08-2007

USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

I only have a serial port aside from the two USB's. How does the Ethernet type modem plug in?

Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

USB and dropped connections - a possibility?

PC's can vary, motherboards can vary, motherboard chipsets can vary, USB modem power requirements can vary, PC power supplies can vary.

i.e. it's impossiblle to tell until you try it if there will be a problem or not. In many cases, USB modems work without problems, in a few they don't like your situation.

Have your tried without the camera plugged in? It may be having both using USB ports that causes the power issue.

If it is a USB issue then your only real option is to go the Ethernet router/NIC card route.