Checking Your Internet Connection Settings in Windows XP

If you use a dial-up connection to connect to the Internet and access your Blackboard account it is very important that you check your Internet connection settings. 

The default (standard) Internet connection is automatically set to disconnect after 20 minutes of idle time.  In most cases this is a good thing.  If you walk away from the computer and forget to go back, the computer will disconnect the connection and you do not need to worry about it.

When you are in Blackboard and you are taking an exam or working on an assessment you typically spend your time in the same window.  Your are not moving back and forth between sites and clicking on links.  You computer will consider this to be "idle time" as if you had walked away and forgotted to disconnect from the internet.  If you stay on the same page - even if you are typing in answers to essay questions - the computer thinks you are "idle".  If your internet connection is set to disconnect after 20 minutes you could lose all of your work.

Step 1:    Do not connect to the Internet before changing settings.

Click "Start, Programs, Connect To", and then "Show all connections".  The Network Connections window will open.

If you do not have "Connect To" on your menu you can locate "Network Connections" by clicking "Control Panel" on the Start Menu.

 Internet Connection Settings Start Menu

Step 2:  The Network Connections window displays the information about your dial-up accounts and any network connections your computer might be able to make.

In this window under "Dial-up" you will see your Internet connection.  It will be labeled with the name it was given when it was created.  It will probably not be labeled "Internet Connection".

Internet Connection Settings Network Connections

Step 3:  Right-click on the Internet Connection icon.  In the drop-down menu left-click on "Properties".  The "Internet Connection Properties" window will open.

Internet Connection Settings Dropdown

Step 4:  Click on the "Options" tab.  Check the "Idle time before hanging up" drop-down menu.  If anything other than "never" is in this box, select "never" from the menu.  Click "OK" to close this window.

Internet Connection Settings Options Tab 

Your Internet Connection properties have been changed and saved.  You can now connect to the Internet and not worry about disconnections due to "idle" time.

IMPORTANT:  America Online automatically disconnects after 46 minutes of idle time.  This setting is part of the America Online system and you cannot change it.

Content on this page is provided by Online Learning Support.

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