Desert Fox Clan
Desert Fox Clan

Modemers - How to reduce your Ping


by DF-Gaz - Last Update: Jan 4th 1999

The information below is aimed at Windows 95 / OSR2.x users who want to utilise the latest Microsoft drivers to get the best BarrysWorld gaming connection. In no way can I guarantee any increase in performance but having the latest drivers and a decent config can't harm your PC... Can it? This information can also be useful for non BarrysWorld connections however, the TCP/IP and MTU/RWIN/TTL settings may be different. Consult your ISP for the correct values.

Follow this information at your own risk!

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Step 1 - Sorting the BT line:

Before we start let's get the phone line in the best possible shape. Call BT on 151 and have them increase the gain on your line to 3. The default setting is 0 and the maximum is 5. Go through the automated service and treat the problem as a fault. If/When you get to talk to an engineer (surprisingly they are quite good!) tell him you are suffering from packet loss and disconnection's. Feel free to ask for a higher setting. I have never tried this as I have heard that voice calls can sound "android" like!

Step 2 - Modem Config:

Make sure your modem is set up correctly and has the latest driver from your manufacturer. Also make sure you have the latest version of firmware. BarrysWorld presently support V.34, Kflex and V.90. V.90 seems to be the choice at the moment.

1) Open control panel and double click on the modems icon.
2) Select the modem that you use for gaming and click on properties.
3) Set the maximum speed to 115200.
4) Now click on connection and set the preferences to 8,None,1.
5) On the port settings make sure both sliders are to the right (high).
6) On the advanced tab make sure that error control is selected with compress data.
7) Also enable flow control with hardware RTS/CTS.

If your modem doesn't allow error control to be selected (you are either using the wrong modem driver or it's a poor modem ;)

Step 3 - Installing Winsock 2:

Download Winsock 2 and install it by double clicking on the file name in windows explorer.

Step 4 - Installing the Winsock 2 Update:

Download the Winsock 2 update and install this in the same way. Now shutdown and reboot

Step 5 - Installing DUN 1.3:

Dial Up Networking 1.3 includes a new dialup adapter. However since you will already have a dialup adapter, the new adapter isn't installed as standard. To get round this problem after installing DUN1.3 we will remove all existing dialup adapters and start again!

1) Download the DUN 1.3 upgrade and execute the program through windows explorer. Windows will restart a couple of times and possibly ask you for the windows CD. If any files say that they are newer than ones being copied, which is very possible, keep the newer (already installed) versions.
Don't be alarmed if your background wallpaper disappears, this happens when dun1.3 is installed. Why you ask.... I have no idea ;-)
2) From control panel Double click on the network icon and remove all dialup adapters. Including any VPN adapters (Virtual private networking). There will probably be 3 to remove.

Now that DUN 1.3 is installed we are ready to add a new dialup adapter.

1) From control panel double click on the network icon and select ADD.
2) Select Adapter and click Add.
3) Select Microsoft from the manufacturers column and Dial-UP adapter from the Adapters column
4) Click OK
5) Now click OK to close the panel. Once again if newer files are already installed remember to keep these files.
6) Close the network panel. We will return later to set up network protocols.

Step 6 - Installing the IP update:

1) Download the IP update file and execute it to install the new IP Drivers.

Step 7 - Installing the TCP update:

1) Download the TCP update file and execute it to install the new TCP drivers.
* Important.. All the above driver updates are designed to work with each other. If you Winsock 2 and DUN1.3 you must install the new TCP and IP drivers. If you don't do this quake will fail to load, even in off-line / single player mode!

Step 8 - Setting up network protocols:

I assume here that you only have a dialup adapter and only want to play on-line games / surf the web. If you have a network card remember to keep specific bindings for this card and file and print sharing if required. Simply put we want to have as few network protocols and bindings as possible. Remember that to access www resources including online gaming we only need 1 dialup adapter with TCP/IP.

1) From control panel double click on the network icon.
2) Remove any unwanted protocols/bindings and adapters i.e. IPX, NetBEUI. etc...
3) Double click on the dialup adapter that we have just installed.
4) Click bindings
5) Under Bindings only tick the box TCP/IP (This is all you will see if this is the only protocol installed).
6) Now click advanced. The new DUN1.3 dialup adapter now has more options.
7) Make sure use IPX header compression is N0
8) Ignore the Packet size option as we will tweak this manually later (step 9).
9) Leave Point to Point IP as Yes (Default)
10) Click OK and exit the network setup. (Will need a reboot)

Step 9 - Using correct network parameters:

Using the best parameters for your BarrysWorld connection can seriously improve your connection. On the other hand if you use a normal ISP for mail / news etc. you may experience problems. My setting is optimised for BarrysWorld with Good Pipex performance. You might want to experiment with these values to get the best all round performance.

MTU, (Maximum Transmission Unit). By default windows uses a MTU of 1500. This is aimed at LAN connections. Since BarrysWorld uses a lower setting we shall modify this.

RWIN, (Receive Window Size) Please read the PPP Boost readme.txt file for more information. Basically RWIN is the overall speed of data transfer. This is the reason why it should be a multiple of the packet size (MTU) minus the header information.

TTL, (Time To Live), is the number of routers that a packet of data will pass before giving it up as a bad job! Since we are connecting directly into BarrysWorld servers, there is no need for a high value here. Again other ISP's may benefit from a higher value.

1) Download and install the PPP-Boost Software.
2) Click on MTU and set this to 576 (BarrysWorld's value)
3) Click on RWIN and set this to a multiple of 536 (40 bytes are used as a header from the MTU setting) (I use 7*536 which is 3752) read the text file supplied with PPP-Boost for more info. With a 56K (40000 or above) try setting RWIN higher. Remember to keep it as a multiple of your MTU (-40).
4) Set the TTL to 32.
5) Save these settings and close PPP Boost. (Remember you will need a reboot for these setting to be available).

These are (in my opinion) excellent settings for direct BarrysWorld dialup connections. Other ISP's will probably use different settings. Consult your ISP for the correct settings.

Step 10 - BarrysWorld DUN settings:

Now that we have our hardware configured correctly, we are ready to create a DUN account for BarrysWorld. Most people reading this will already have this setup however, if you have not got a BarrysWorld account do the following.

1) Double click on the My Computer Icon.
2) Double click on the Dial Up Networking Icon
3) Double click on the Make New Connection Icon
4) Name the connection "BarrysWorld" and Select your modem in from the list, { click next.
5) Leave the area code blank and enter the number as 08450820000. Click next
6) Right click on the new icon just created and click properties.
7) Uncheck the Use area code box.
8) Under the server tab only click TCP/IP (*Disable software compression)
9) Under Server / TCP/IP the defaults should be ok (Server assigned IP and DNS with IP header compression and Default gateway enabled)
10) Ignore scripting and the Multilink tabs. Click OK.
11) You are now ready to start. Double click the icon and enter your account and password. (Good Fragging!)
12) If you do not already have an account try the test account by using name=BarrysWorld and password=BarrysWorld. Very Original.... hehe ;)

* Software compression is disabled at BarrysWorld's end. This will have no effect on BW connections.

Step 11 - Misc. Tips:

NETWORK
As stated before have as few network protocols as possible. I have only got IPX bound to my Ethernet card and TCP/IP bound to my dialup adapter. If you don't have an Ethernet card you only need a dialup adapter + TCP/IP.

MODEM
A good tip for 56Kflex users is to stop re-trains on your modem. To do this use the AT+MS= command in your modem init. string. AT+MS limits the "Maximum Speed" at which your modem will try to connect / re-train. If you get connections between 42000-46000 try using
AT+MS=56,1,40000,40000.
This will limit your initial connection to 40K and stop the modem trying to re-negotiate higher. The AT+MS command is a standard Hayes AT command and will not harm your modem. Enter this setting in the Modem / Properties / Connection / Advanced / Extra settings field.

The Pace internal voice modem which I use, when flashed to V90, uses a different parameter for this. Although the Pace manual doesn't mention this, the correct string is AT+MS=12,1,40000,40000 where 12 is the code for a V90 connect. Another option for this modem is to stop the line monitor / re-train monitor to do this simply put %E0 on the end of your init string. This can reduce U_Removes quite significantly!
My current init string is...
AT+MS=12,1,38000,38000 %E0

RATE SETTING
The RATE command is the number of bytes per sec that the server will attempt to send to a client. The current maximum for BarrysWorld servers is 8000. Depending on the speed of your connection to the server you can experiment with different rate settings. As a general rule use 2500 for a 28.8k connection and 5000 for an ISDN connection (64k). Strangely enoughfor a 56k modem, if you can sustain a connection of 38k or above you can get a better ping by increasing your rate to 3000 instead of the default (2500). It's simple to try this, just type RATE 3000 from the console. Keep an eye on packet loss though as setting your rate too high can increase this.

Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Please feel free to use this information for your own setup, at your own risk. We make no guarantees that this information will help you reduce your own ping.

©1998 DF_Gaz (icq 12396700)