Written by Clive Swanepoel
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The V.59 diagnostic tool, recommended by the International Telecommunications Union, enables users to obtain modem performance information, which can be used for troubleshooting and diagnostic purposes. It is a useful, but not altogether unique protocol. Similar diagnostic tools have been incorporated into modems by manufacturers for a number of years.

The tool works by capturing previous call information in a buffer located on the modem so that software on a client such as a PC can access it later for analysis. The diagnostics can determine data compression, line noise and record the number of data packets being dropped. This feature is useful for remote users working from home or any other place that has a working telephone connection.

Incorporated into most V.92 modems are a number features designed to make the use of dial-up for network access easier and more reliable. These include the Modem-on-Hold protocol that eliminates dropped connections due to call-waiting signals, Quick Connect that reduces connection times, and the V.59 diagnostic tool. The V.92 protocol is also supported by the remote access servers on the network side that serve to authenticate the remote connections before permitting user access to the network.

Dial-up Still Needed

While the introduction of broadband gains momentum, there remain many locations where the only feasible means of accessing a network is by using a dial-up modem. For those situations, the improvements in performance enabled by the V.92, V.59 and V.44 protocols provides secure and reliable connections. Now ISPs are able to use the V.59 diagnostic tool to assist remote clients with troubleshooting their modems.

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