Here are some frequently asked questions about...
the "Dial Automatically" feature in Internet dial-up programs.
Different dialer programs refer to this feature by other phrases such as:
  • Connect automatically when starting TCP/IP applications (Mac Remote Access or PPP)
  • Allow applications to open connection (Mac FreePPP)
  • Enable "Dial on Demand" (Windows 3.x dialer)
  • Dial Automatically (Windows 95/98 dialer)
For the sake of clarity, we will refer to this feature throughout this FAQ as the "Dial Automatically" feature.

    Many customers have reported that their computer dialed up to the Internet by itself. Since customers are billed for the length of time they are connected to modems here at Glinx, determining why this happens is important to all customers.

What is the "Dial Automatically" feature?

    "Dial Automatically" is an option in the various dial-up progams that automatically begins connecting to the Internet as soon as the dialer icon is opened, or when another program requires an Internet connection and launches the dialer program.

    Basically, this setting begins to establish an Internet connection as soon as the dialer icon is opened. Normally, the program requires that the user command the program to establish an Internet connection by clicking on the "Connect" button, or something similar, in order to begin establishing an Internet connection.

What are the benefits of using this feature?
    Because you do not need to command the program to establish a connection, a small step is skipped and your connection will be established a few seconds quicker.

Are there any problems with this feature?
    By checking the "Dial Automatically" feature, your computer can dial up and connect to the Internet by itself. Some programs that have automatic processes or scheduled updates, can launch your dialer program and connect you to the Internet.

    If the "Dial Automatically" feature is not checked, and these programs try to perform an automatic process or scheduled update, the dialer program pops up on your screen and waits for you to command it to establish a connection. If the "Dial Automatically" feature is checked, you lose the last safeguard.

What are automatic processes?
    Automatic processes are tasks that are perfomed automatically by the computer, without the user commanding the computer to do that task each time. An example of an automatic process is checking for new e-mail. Most e-mail programs have a setting that tells the e-mail program to check for e-mail automatically. This usually happens as soon as you open the e-mail program, and then every 5 minutes after that (or whatever number of minutes it is set for). Another example is ICQ. You can enable a setting in ICQ which also checks your e-mail for you as soon as the program opens.

What are scheduled updates?
    Some programs perform scheduled updates. Anti-virus programs must be updated frequently, in order to keep their virus/innoculation information up to date as new viruses are discovered.

    If your computer is turned on while you are not in front of it, these types of programs may dial for you. They will download the information they are looking for, but they will not disconnect your computer from the Internet once they have finished their task. (Computers aren't always as smart as you think they are!)

How can I tell if I have automatic processes or scheduled updates on my computer?
    Learn about your programs. Read the Help files, FAQs and visit the program's web site to know more about features such as these. Call our Technical Support department for help in checking Internet program settings.

How can I prevent scheduled updates or automatic processes from establishing an Internet connection when I am not around?
    Here are several options. You can use any of them, alone or in combination. Each will effectively prevent this from happening.

    1. Turn off the computer when you are finished working.
    2. Unplug the phone line. This keeps the convenience of using this feature, but adds a physical safeguard.
    3. Uncheck the "Dial Automatically option". This adds an electronic safeguard.

I like using the "Dial Automatically" feature. Do I have to stop using it?
    No, the decision is yours. However, you should be aware of the problems it may cause. And remember that if your computer dials up automatically, you are financially responsible for the time on-line.

I have more questions. Who do I call?

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