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Connect Windows 95/98/Me to the Internet with dial-up and Raspberry Pi
This guide describes how to get a Windows 95/98/Me computer connected on the network using only the serial port of the computer and a Virtual Modem PPP interface software running on the network host machine, such as a Raspberry Pi. If you have not already, please follow the instructions how to set up Virtual Modem as it is a prerequisite for this tutorial. Make sure the serial cable is connected between the Raspberry Pi and the Windows computer, and that the vmodem.sh script is running on it before attempting this part of the guide.
You can connect to the Internet with the built-in Dial-up Networking (“DUN” for short) of Windows 95/98/Me, no network card needed. We will go through the steps how to set up a modem and then a dial-up connection on your Windows 95 (or later) computer. For the sake of completeness, we will then test the connection using Netscape Communicator 4.0, but you're free to use any web browser.
Once again, please make sure you have VModem set up and running and a serial cable is connected between the Raspberry Pi and your Windows 9x computer before attempting the following steps.
Dial-up Networking has been tested working with a clean install of Windows 95 OSR2 rev C, and a clean Windows 95 computer with the DUN 1.4 update, and a clean install of Windows 98 Second Edition.
For you to connect to VModem running on your Raspberry Pi, you must first tell Windows 95 that you have a modem that you can use, and it is connected to your serial port on your computer and it is a Standard Modem. Once you've set up the modem, you can set up the dial-up connection.
Some computers have several serial ports, usually labeled COM1 and COM2 in Windows. We will be using the first serial port COM1. If you have the Raspberry connected on any other port, make adjustments as necessary.
Select the Serial COM port the Raspberry is connected to. If you've connected your Raspberry Pi via Serial cable to Serial Port 1 (COM1), select Communications Port (COM1), then click Next:
We will now tell Windows that the Raspeberry Virtual Modem is communicating at 57600 bps. This is the default speed of the vmodem script. If you have modified the script, make adjustments as needed. Under Maximum speed, select 57600 and then click OK:
Almost there! What we need to do next is tell Windows that there is a phone number you want to dial, and the modem you want to use is Raspberry Pi Virtual Modem. Go ahead and open up Dial-Up Networking from the Start menu.
If your computer is a clean Windows 95 install, Go to Start –> Programs –> Accessories –> Dial-Up Networking
If your computer has the Dial-Up Networking (DUN) 1.4 update, go to Start –> Programs –> Accessories –> Communications –> Dial-Up Networking
If everything goes well, after a while you will see the Connection Established window. Congratulations!
Windows 9x now genuinely thinks that you have connected to your Internet Service Provider. You can close the window.
You should now be able to access the Internet. However, many modern websites will require modern security and will refuse to communicate with older web browsers.
Unable to connect on dial-up
Make sure vmodem script is running on Raspberry Pi
Some computers are not capable of operating at fast serial speeds. If you're unable to connect at 57600 or faster, try slower speeds, such as 9600 baud at first. Adjust both the vmodem.sh script and the computer to connect at only 9600 baud. If that works, work your way up to see where the limit for your specific computer is.
Dial-up connects, but no websites open
Most current websites do not support unencrypted HTTP connections. As far as I understand, old operating systems do no longer have valid certificates, and this prevents connections to most websites. You can still explore archived websites using a Wayback Proxy server. See the section Internet Access
for more information.
If your dial-up connection works, but you're absolutely not able to open any website, even after setting up the proxy server, try checking your IP configuration. In Windows 95, 98 and Me you can view your settings by running WINIPCFG from the Run dialog box.
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