Summer 2002 Informer Articles
When Lightning Strikes: Protecting your modem from disaster
Spring and summer storms can be potentially damaging to your modem. Lightning often times hits power supplies, sending voltage through power lines to your house, causing the power to go out. Phone lines are also susceptible to damaging surges due to lightning, and these surges often travel through your phone line and damage the modem. Once lightning has damaged a modem, it cannot be repaired.
The only way to protect your modem from damage is to unplug the modem line from the wall. You should also unplug your entire computer at the first sign of a storm. Don't use your computer during a severe storm because it increases your risk of damages due to lightning. Even though you may have your computer hooked up to a surge protector, the surge protector cannot completely protect the computer from electrical surges. Computers are expensive; don't risk ruining yours during a storm.
If your modem is not responding or you are getting repeated "no dial tone" errors, check first to make sure that everything is hooked up correctly. If your modem still doesn't respond, it could indicate damage from an electrical storm. If you suspect modem damage, call Info Link at 1-888-242-8616. Info Link can help you make sure that the modem is indeed damaged before you replace it.
Info Link and Vexira Anti-virus
Have you ever noticed an email sent from email@example.com with the subject line: RAV AntiVirus scan results? These messages are actually coming from Info Link; they are informing you that you either sent or received an email message infected with a virus, and that the virus has been deleted.
Info Link has implemented a virus-scanning program into their e-mail system called RAV AntiVirus. This means that every message that is sent to an Info Link address or sent from an Info Link address goes through a virus scanner, and infected files are cleaned out. The email is delivered as normal, however the virus is deleted from the attachment. The RAV Anti Virus program sends a follow-up email to both the sender of the infected message and the receiver of the infected message, letting each party know that one of their computers is infected with a virus.
Following is what the RAV AntiVirus scan results email looks like:
RAV AntiVirus for Linux i686 (snapshot-20010726)
Things to look for in the email:
The second paragraph tells you a lot and is the most important part of this message. The file name in parentheses is the name of an attachment. It was attached to the message with the subject that follows. You can look in your inbox and find the message with that subject name.
You should also take note of the two email addresses. The first e-mail address is who the infected e-mail was sent by. The person who sent the infected e-mail has a virus on their computer, and should run a virus-scanning program to clean the virus. If you know this person (or someone with an address very close to that one) please contact them so they can remove the virus.
The second e-mail address is the e-mail address that the infected message was sent to.
You should also pay attention the type of virus, which follows after the e-mail addresses. RAV AntiVirus lets you know which virus was sent with the e-mail program. Often times, there are cleaners for individual viruses but the best way to make sure viruses are out of your computer is to run a full Virus Scanning program.
While Info Link's Anti-Virus program scans emails, it does not completely protect you from getting a virus. Users of the Internet are still susceptible to viruses transmitted through downloads and other Internet applications such as chat rooms and Instant Messaging. It is always a good idea to have an updated copy of an Anti-Virus program on your computer.
For more information on recent viruses, visit http://securityresponse.symantec.com or http://www.mcafee.com/anti-virus. Both sites have information about viruses and have virus-cleaning software available for download and purchase. You can also visit http://www.antivirus.com/free_tools for a free virus scan if you think your computer might be infected.
V.92 Modems: What are they and how are they different?
As we move faster and faster into the 21st Century, new technology is upon us. New modems are on the rise. You may have heard of the new V.92 modems out on the market and you may have some questions about them. What makes them different from V.90 modems? Will they work with my computer? Can I use these new modems to connect to Info Link?
V.92 modems are designed to support a few new features that V.90 modems lack. The new modems can allow increased upstream rates, up to 48k, which means that you can upload files from your computer faster. V.92 modems can also support quick connect: the time it takes for the computer to dial and connect to the Internet may be reduced. These modems do this by storing information from previous connections and use this information along with the quality of the phone lines to negotiate a connection quicker. The V.92 modem can also support a modem on hold feature, which allows the modem to stay connected ("on hold") while you take an incoming call or make a phone call. This feature only works if you have call waiting. Once you are done with your call, simply return to the computer and reactivate the connection (this uses the quick connect feature as well).
The disadvantage to V.92 modems is that in order for all of the new features to work, your ISP must also support V.92. Currently, Info Link does not support V.92 modems on their lines. If you have a V.92 modem and are connecting to the Internet through Info Link, you may notice that it takes a bit longer to get connected, or that you get disconnected frequently, or that you are not even able to connect at all. However, even though the Info Link lines do not support V.92 modems, most V.92 modems will connect at V.90 speeds and work just like V.90 modems.
Many new computers (usually Gateway and Dell with Windows XP) come with V.92 modems installed. If you're wondering if your modem is V.92, you can click "Properties" on your "Connect to Info Link" Box. At the top of the "Properties" box, you will see the modem that your computer is using to connect to the Internet. If you are having trouble with your V.92 modem, please contact Info Link at 1-888-242-8616.
Informer articles submitted by Jessi Gurr