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When I received an e-mail from inKline Global, Inc. inviting me to review their Modem Booster software product, I thought I was reaching for a pie in the sky. The e-mail claimed that this product was a web accelerator that would speed up the online experience significantly, and it would work with AOL. Knowing that the phone lines in my area are notorious for slow connections, and the top throughput speed I have ever attained was 44 Kbps during non-peak hours and 32 Kbps during peak times, you bet I was skeptical. I have tried many MTU tweakers and web accelerators along with doing my own tweaks manually with little or no improvement. Part of the reason is that very few of these utilities are designed to work with AOL, which is my primary on-line provider.
I should also disclose my system configuration as a Winchip 200/MMX (Pentium class), 64 MB RAM, Windows 98, USR 56K External PNP Voice/Data/Fax modem.
Installing and using Modem Booster was a no-brainer. First you run the configuration wizard which tells the program who your primary Internet provider is, then you start the Auto Tune-Up. The instructions claimed it would take one to two hours to do the Tune-Up but the length of time it took for me was nearly three hours. During the Tune-Up process AOL was restarted and connected about forty times!
In order to gauge it properly, I tested
my modem speed on line before and after the Tune Up at:
http://www.computingcentral.com/topics/bandwidth/speedtest50.asp. In the early afternoon (non-peak) it rated 44Kbps, which is about as good as it ever gets. By the time I was finished installing and tuning up, the Internet was at a high peak time. The results generated by Modem Booster indicated I should have gained significant speed.
Modem Booster resides in the taskbar tray and you are supposed to use its dialer to get on line in order for it to work. I was sorely disappointed that my throughput speed had dropped to 27 Kbps after I rebooted the computer. I didn't expect much from a pie in the sky product like Modem Booster, but I didn't expect it to get worse either. I shot off an e-mail to the company hoping to get some help to undo the apparent damage from using Modem Booster.
The next day I started my system and went online through the Modem Booster dialer to see what speed I would get during non-peak hours. Low and behold, a miracle happened! I was getting an unprecedented 53Kbps! Later on that day during peak time, I was still getting over 50Kbps. I cannot explain why there was such a disparity from the day before, except that I have been told by some colleagues that Windows 98 often requires several reboots or a cold boot before changes take full effect. I also noticed the same with Windows 95 on some occasions.
Something else that I cannot explain is that as long as Modem Booster is running in the tray, it doesn't seem to matter much if I use the Modem Booster dialer or the AOL dialer, I get good results either way.
According to inKline Global, Inc., Modem Booster is a robust utility addresses the main cause of slow Internet browsing-data fragmentation during transmission. It tests modem performance and tweaks the TCP/IP settings accordingly via a systematic fine-tuning process to match with your ISP.
I cant speak for how it will work with your ISP, but it has really made a difference for me on AOL dialup. Due to the nature of the Internet and local phone lines, your mileage will vary. If you are testing your modem speed online like I did, be sure to test it several times at different hours of the day. Modem throughput can change from moment to moment, depending on Internet traffic conditions.
Modem Booster is shareware and offers a free 21-day trial, which is ample time to decide if it makes a difference to your online modem speed. Its certainly worth a try!
Application Name: Modem Booster
Application Type: Web Accelerator / Internet Connectivity Utility
Application Status: Shareware
Publisher: inKline Global, Inc., http://www.inklineglobal.net
Filesize: 1,527,077 bytes/ 1,492 KB / 1.45 MB
Download link #1 : ftp://oak.oakland.edu/pub/ad-pro/mb.zip
Download link #2 : http://oak.oakland.edu/pub/ad-pro/mb.zip
Donwload link #3 : ftp://inklineglobal.net/win32/mb20.zip
Minimum system requirements are: Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0 and above. A 386DX-25 and above, 8 MB RAM, At least 2 MB of free hard disk space. Any form of dial-up networking capability and Internet connectivity via your local Internet Service Provider.
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