• United States

Keeping the ‘Net connection on dial-up

Mar 13, 20062 mins

Is there a way you can have dial access to the ‘net yet not block your incoming phone calls? Also, without knocking yourself off the connection to the net when the phone call is over? I guess I am asking, is there a way to be on the net but not miss phone calls and not mess up the ‘Net session when you go onto the phone? If so, how do you do it? Is there some hardware or software that will accomplish this?

— Via the Internet.

The first question to ask your LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) if they offer something called Call Waiting Caller ID. It may be offered under a slightly different name but should be fairly close what I have used for the name of the service. Just because you have Caller ID doesn’t mean that the other service is available or is turned on for your particular phone line.

Then, call your ISP. You need to ask the tech support folks if they support Call Waiting Caller ID and what requirements in terms of software/hardware needs to be present on your end to allow you to temporarily suspend your internet connection while you answer the call on the other “line”. This may be an additional charge from the ISP in some cases.

Depending on how new your phones are, you may need to either purchase a newer one or get caller ID box that supports this type of caller ID service. There are several services, some of which may be free, that can help you leverage the option of temporarily putting your internet connection on hold while answering an incoming call but you still need to talk to both the phone company and ISP to make sure they support this type of “service”. Another good question to ask the ISP is how long you can have your internet connection “on hold” without loosing the connection or having other problems.

In the past, I have seen some hardware devices that would sit between your modem and the phone line to help “spoof” the modem in to thinking it was still connected while you are on the voice call. I havent seen those for a while so recent changes may have made those devices no longer needed.