disconnecting and reconnecting from ISP

Every now and then after using the internet for a while via dialup, I will find that the connection is somewhat sluggish. Almost instinctively, I will disconnect and reconnect to the ISP. But based on my (limited) knowledge of computer networking, I’m not sure why that would actually help. Once you’re connected, you’re connected, no? And if the connection is bad, you’re likely to get a bad connection when you reconnect, no?

Or are my instincts right?

I have experenced this to back in the dark ages of dialup service. My wag is that your modem upon encountering errors will reconnect at a lower speed. So if you are on for some time the occational error will pop up and the modem will step down. They another error maybe 5 minutes later - another stepdown. Eventually you are way down in speed. Your isp might be responsible for making no atempt to step back up - this way they free up bandwidth.

No I wouldn’t say this. Sometimes you just get a bad line from the phone co. If yoru service line is bad they you will get a bad connection a lot. But if your service line is good but the telco just routes your call onto a bad line - redialing should clear that up.