Why do I sometimes get disconnected unexpectedly?
Modem connections are more susceptible to noise than voice communication. The original telephone lines were created to carry verbal communications. Recent developments have taken digital communications to the limit of what average phone lines are capable of transmitting. When noise interferes with the signal on the phone line, your modem has trouble talking to the CompuServe modem on the other end. If your modem cannot be sure it is still connected because the noise is so bad, or your PC is too busy to control it, it can lose contact with CompuServe entirely, causing you to be disconnected.

There are many reasons that your modem could unexpectedly disconnect from the CompuServe 2000 service. The most common reasons for modem disconnects are: poor line quality, other devices on the same phone line being picked up accidentally, electromagnetic interference from other electrical devices, or outdated modem drivers or firmware.

Poor line quality is a common problem in older houses. The wiring may have been adequate for voice phone calls, but today's fax machines and modems require higher quality wiring. Often, the phone jack may be poorly connected, and simple rewiring of the phone jack can improve your connection.

In a home with multiple telephones, a person picking up another extension in the house can cause a modem to disconnect. There is usually no way for the other person to know that the phone line is being used by a modem until they pick up the receiver and listen. At this point it is often too late to avoid having the modem drop the connection. Other devices connected to your phone line can also have an adverse affect on your connection. Fax machines or other computer modems may start dialing without checking for a dial tone. Older phones can also create line noise, since they were never designed to take into consideration modem use.

Closely related to poor quality phone wiring, electromagnetic interference can be a factor in causing your modem to disconnect. All phone wiring is susceptible to such interference because of its lack of any sort of shielding. Make sure that the phone line does not run parallel to other wiring for extended distances. You should also make sure the phone line does not pass too near digital electronics such as computers and CD players; radio-frequency electronics such as TVs, radios, and microwave ovens; devices with motors such as fans and appliances; lights with dimmers or which use fluorescent bulbs; or any electrical appliance which uses a lot of power.

Modems themselves can contribute to unexpected disconnects. Often, updating the modem drivers and/or updating the modem firmware can enhance performance and increase the modem's tolerance to errors.