I recently had cause to take my laptop to another house and use dial-up. There are plenty of free Isps who will charge only local call rate and I used one of those.

The problem was that there is some program on my laptop that used that connection in an attempt to contact the internet. That ensured, for some reason, that connection was suspended until I canceled the dial-up dialog box; sometimes I don’t even know it was there and I’m wondering why my broadband connection is so slow and pages weren’t connecting.

I think, but can’t be certain, that the culprit is Adobe’s Flash player.

The problem was solved by un-ticking that particular dial-up connection in the Network Connections section of the control panel to ensure that it wasn’t the default connection.