Dial-Up Icon ~ Keep ALIVE! ~ Dial-Up Icon
Keeping Your ISP Connection ALIVE!

About KeepALIVE!

Many ISPs have an 'idle time-out' on their dialup connections. This means if you're online but not actually using the connection they will kick you off for being idle after a set amount of time - usually around the 10 minute mark. The idea is to keep their modems free for new dialup connections - they don't want current dialup users hogging the modems unless they are actually using them.

Sounds like a good idea.. so what's the problem? Well this can be annoying if you're reading lengthy pages on news / info sites and it kicks you off just as you're going to the next page. Maybe you're filling out details on an online shopping catalog and it kicks you off so you have to log back in to the site again losing what was in your shopping basket. Maybe you're waiting for an incoming connection for your web / FTP server, or waiting for someone to come online in a messenger chat app or IRC client.

How does KeepALIVE! help?

KeepALIVE! is a self-refreshing webpage that sends a 'page request' to your ISP every few minutes so they don't throw you off for being idle. You can tell KeepALIVE! how often you want it to do this - from 30 seconds to 8 minutes. You need to keep this time inside your ISP's dialup idle time-out, usually 2 minutes does the trick.

KeepALIVE! isn't just for keeping a dialup connection on - you can use it on any type of internet connection if you simply need something to use that connection every few minutes for whatever purpose.

How do I use KeepALIVE?

KeepALIVE! is simple to use - there's nothing to download or install as it uses your web browser to function. Before you use KeepALIVE! you must have Javascript enabled in your browser. KeepALIVE! checks this before it starts and will tell you if the Javascript function is available in your browser. All browsers these days support Javascript so this should not be a problem.

The next step is simple - you select how often you want
KeepALIVE! to refresh. I've set the options as 30 seconds, 1, 2, 4, or 8 minutes. After you select the refresh rate KeepALIVE! will switch to the pinger window and it will countdown from the time interval you selected and reload itself. During this you can Stop the countdown, manually Restart the countdown, or return to the Menu screen. Normally you'd simply minimize the pinger window during the countdown and forget about it.

I've added the
Run the KeepALIVE! pinger in a new window checkbox on the Menu page in case you want to use the Menu page window for web browsing after the Pinger has started. The option is there for convenience - you don't have to use it.

How does KeepALIVE! work?

A self-refreshing webpage isn't a new idea - I've seen a few of them around but they either reload a set pattern of pages, or keep reloading the same one. The problem with these is that your web browser has a 'cache' where it stores pages it has already been to. When these pages reload themselves your browser gets the page from the cache instead of getting it through the modem connection.

KeepALIVE! uses a different technique - it reloads the same HTML page from the server but it makes the page address look slightly different each time so your browser thinks it's a new page. Your browser's cache will have no match for this new page address so it has to grab the page off the server again. KeepALIVE! will never run out of these 'new' page addresses. It generates a string of 16 random letters for the new address, and then tags on the amount of milliseconds that have passed since 1970. If it did generate the same 16 letters again (a chance of 1 in 43608742899428874059776) the time elapsed since 1970 will never be the same on each page refresh.

There are things that
KeepALIVE! cannot do. If your ISP has a time limit on the connection ( like 2 hours ) you will still be kicked off at the end of that time limit. If your ISP drops the connection due to a bad line ( or whatever ) you have to live with that. There is good news - if you have your Dial-Up settings configured to automatically dial your ISP when a connection is needed KeepALIVE! will automatically connect you again and continue to run!

KeepALIVE! - Disclaimer and other blurb:

I originally made KeepALIVE! for my own use but decided that it may be useful to others as well. As KeepALIVE! uses your browser to function I can't imagine it disrupting your system. But just in case something does happen I cannot be held responsible - you use KeepALIVE! at your own risk. Some ISPs may frown on the use of KeepALIVE! so check with your ISP's Terms And Conditions before using it.

If you find a problem with
KeepALIVE! please contact me.

KeepALIVE! is copyright 2001 - 2017 sector101.co.uk
Please do not copy / alter / upload it to other web servers.

Page last edited on 12th April 2017