Q. I use a modem for Internet access, and while it works fine, the loud hissing sound it makes irritates everyone in the office. They react as if I was scratching a blackboard. Is there a way to get rid of that din?
A. That sound is called a “handshake.” It’s the audio signal that your modem sends to your Internet service provider (ISP) asking for entry; once your ISP recognizes the coded signal (that’s where the handshake comes in) you’re connected to the Internet. So you see, you can’t very well eliminate the handshake without eliminating the connection as well. However, you can make it quieter so you and your office colleagues are not irritated.
To do that, go to Start and then click on Control Panel and the modem icon.
Now click on the Properties button and the Modem tab, which evokes the screen at right.
To lower the modem speaker’s volume, just slide the Off-On button to the left. Although you can turn off the sound entirely, I’d suggest you leave it just so it’s audible; that way you’ll know the modem is working.