HELP: My internet connect disconnects w/o warning.

I checked in the computer help thread and didn’t see this addressed.

My internet connection has taken to disconnecting without notice or permission from me. I’m running IE, but it does the same thing with an alternate browser. I’m running Win98 with a dialup ISP. The dialup ISP says the problem is at my end, and I believe them. I’m guessing that a setting somewhere has been changed, but I don’t know what to do. I do have internet access from another computer, which I’m using now, but I’d like to go back to using my own. Any advice you smart, computer savvy Dopers could give me would be greatly appreciated.

This happens to me as well. I’ve noticed that it happens after i’ve been logged on for a long time - I thought it was the ISP’s way of discouraging people from staying logged in for extended periods (even though I have DSL).

It’s very strange - mine seems to be based on perceived activity on my end. For example, if I’m chatting on instant messenger but there’s a pause in the conversation (and therefore the sending/recieving of messages), it’ll immediately disconnect. Ditto for reading webapges. While I’m searching/posting it’s fine, but the second I pause to read, blip - it disconnects.

There’s another possibility: You may have a dialer installed, and not know it. It’s evilware that sneaks onto your computer (a la spyware) and runs in the background. Periodically, it hangs up your modem and then immediately tries to dial and connect to some other number. As I understand it, most frequently this is some foreign line on which you’ll be charged exorbitant long-distance fees. I seem to have this problem now; my dialup connection will close, and when I open the modem again I hear the ringing of another line. I’ve repeatedly run all my spyware tools, though, and have found nothing. Grrr…

Anyway, see the sticky thread at the top of the forum about computer problems for a list of anti-spyware utilities.

It’s also possible that some other internet program you are running in the background (a download helper, or file sharing product or some such) has its setting for “disconnect when download complete” activated.

I don’t know what programs you may or may not be running, and I would check the aforementioned dialer possibility first. But this is another option.

As a slight hijack, I’ve often wondered why my CD burning software has an option for turning off the PC when it’s completed. I gather it’s a throwback to when single speed burning was the norm, but at 52x, who can’t wait 3 freakin minutes for a disc to burn?

Do you have your system set up to automatically disable call-waiting when you’re online? (Do you have call-waiting?)

I have DSL and it does this to me sometimes. It usually happens whenever I’m on AIM and just sent a message (more often than not in a chatroom).

Is it possible that AIM is doing this? I’ve heard it happening to several other people as well.

– Imran

Interesting; I’m on DSL and I only noitce this while using AIM.

Finally, a solution has been found.

After a month of using my pc as a stand alone with no internet connection, someone suggested that the problem might be with Zone-Alarm, which I had installed quite some time ago and which had given me no problems that I was aware of. I uninstalled Zone-Alarm and now my internet connection stays connected. Of course, now I’ve got to figure out what to replace Zone-Alarm with but at least my pc’s internet connection is working again.