Windows 95/98

Windows Support Menu


Windows 9X Networking


Multilink Overview

Windows 98 dial-up networking now supports RFC 1717: The PPP Multilink Protocol (MP). Multilink combines multiple physical links into a logical bundle to increase bandwidth. For example, machines with two modems can combine them when dialing into a suitable server, thus doubling the data bandwidth.

Windows 98 dial-up networking uses Multilink over ISDN or analog modems. Because Multilink combines multiple physical links, it is available only on computers that have multiple modems, ISDN cards. In addition, both the dial-up client and dial-up server must have Multilink enabled for Multilink to be used.

Multilink with modems require that both modem are connected to separate telephone line. Communication will be at the highest common connect speed. That is to say if a customer has a 14.4 and a 28.8, the highest speed they can use with Multilink is 14.4

Configuring Dial-Up Networking to use Multilink

Configuring Dial-Up Networking to use Multilink requires the user to select the second device from the Multilink tab of a dial-up network connection

To configure Multilink

  1. Double-click My Computer.
  2. Double-click Dial-Up Networking.
    • Double-click Make New Connection if this is a first-time connection. Define the connection to the dial-up service you want to use. Double-click the icon that represents your new connection in the Dial-up Networking folder. For more information about creating a new Dial-up Connection, see Chapter 19, “Remote Networking and Mobile Computing.”
    • – Or –
    • Right-click the existing connection that you want to configure for Multilink.
  3. Click Properties, and then click the Multilink tab.
  4. Click Use Additional Devices.
  5. Click Add, and then specify the devices to bundle to form the multilink connection.

    Use the Add, Remove, and Edit buttons to change the list of additional devices. You can enter a different telephone number for each device, and both numbers will be stored. If you subsequently change the telephone number for the connection icon, the numbers associated with additional devices on this page will not change.

Using Multilink

After configuring your additional devices, you are ready to dial your Multilink connection. When you dial the connection, Dial-Up Networking dials the primary number of the primary device specified for the connection. Once the first connection has been established, Dial-Up Networking dials the other devices specified in the Additional Devices list.

Once the connections are established, you can view status information about the link by double-clicking the communicating computers icon displayed in the taskbar, or you can disconnect.

Note: Using Multilink with two modems requires that both modems be connected to separate telephone lines. Communication will be at the highest common connect speed. For example, if you have modems with baud rates of 14.4 and 28.8, the highest speed you can use is 14.4.

The status information includes the number of bytes sent and received, the network protocols negotiated for use on the connection, and additional devices. When you select an additional device, a Suspend or Resume button is displayed. If a Suspend button is displayed, the device is in use and bundled into the multilink connection. Clicking Suspend disconnects that line and removes it from the bundled connections.

If the Resume button is displayed, click it to dial that connection and add that line to the bundle. You can suspend and resume individual links without dropping the connection.

To use Multilink

  • After you have configured Multilink, click the connection icon and click Connect. Dial-Up Networking will connect using the primary device and then the secondary device.

To view information about your link

  1. Click the Dial-Up Networking icon displayed on the taskbar.
  2. In the dialog box, click Details.

Note: Currently, the Windows 98 Dial-up Server does not support Multilink. Users who want Multilink capabilities for their dial-up servers need to use Windows NT 4.0.

Multilink Support Issues

Multilink and Callback

If a client has a Multilink-enabled dial-up connection that they use to connect to a callback enabled RAS server, the callback can be made to only one of the Multilink devices. This is a result of the NT 4.0 RAS Admin utility allowing the administrator to store only one number for callback purposes, per user account. Therefore, the RAS Server calls only one of the devices and Multilink functionality is lost.

If the link between the client and RAS server is using ISDN with two channels that have the same phone number, then Multilink will work with callback.