Iridium Setup Instructions for PC

WARNING: On 31st May 2006, Iridium will cease and discontinue their old Internet dialup service referred to as "Apollo Direct Internet" However, there is a new service and dialup number referred to as "Iridium Direct Internet 2.0", BUT you need to make specific changes to your configuration to take make use of this!

To manually setup internet access via Iridium using the Windows dialer

Note: For a much easier way to get connected please consider using our automatic setup application which will automatically make all the changes described below to your computer. This automatic setup software is built into our teleport-it Mail Compression software

Note: The following instructions are deliberately brief. If you want/need more a detailed explanation on configuring everything then we have more advanced docs available (with "pictures") from here: Iridium Setup & Installation Book
OR we can offer a professional installation service and offer training on how of to operate everything for best performance. For more information please contact:

The Apollo software dialup service has now been discontinued and so all customers should now use the normal windows dialup process to connect to the internet via the special tel number provided by Iridium. These instructions are as if you are installing on Windows, but they could easily be used on a Mac, Linux, Palmpilot, etc. Note: it doesn't require any software to be installed from the Iridium CD.

Although it looks a little complicated, please just follow through the directions in front of the computer and you should actually find it quite straightforward. Because this just sets up an additional way to dial the internet there is little chance of it wrecking your existing setup, so as long as you don't change any of your existing dialup stuff it should be quite safe to experiment with this method.

1. Add a new modem to your system

  • Click:
    (Win 98/ME/2K) Start Menu | Settings | Control Panel | Modems | Add Modem
    (Win XP) Start Menu | Settings | Control Panel | Phone and Modems | Modem | Add Modem
  • Click the option to choose the modem yourself (ie "Don't detect my modem; I will choose it from a list")
    Then choose:
    • Standard 19200 bps modem
  • Now click "Next" (or Done)

On some versions of Windows it will now ask you questions about Data Format, and COM port (see below). On others you need to click the new modem once it is installed and edit the Properties. In either case, edit the settings as follows:

COM Port: This means "which serial port is it installed on"? Typically this is COM1, especially if you have a serial port built into the computer. If you use use a USB or PCMCIA adaptor card then it might be COM 2,3, or 4. However, most versions of Windows list the available options (see below for how to determine the COM port when using a Serial to USB adaptor)

Data format is 8,1,N with Hardware flow control (This should be the default, ie no need to change anything)

(THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!) After the Modem is added to your list of modem, then go to the advanced setting and add this initialization string

  • at+cbst=71,0,1

Determining the COM Port

Serial ports under windows are labelled by a number and referred to using that number, eg COM1 or COM15. If you have a desktop PC or one of the rare laptops with a built-in serial port then it will always be known to Windows as COM1. However, if you have a USB convertor then it will be some "random" other number. It will also likely change it's number depending on which USB slot you plug the adaptor into!

Unfortunately the computer won't automatically connect the Iridium software with the correct COM port so you need to understand how to check manually which COM port the USB adaptor is masquerading as and then configure the software to make use of that COM port.

So to find which COM port the USB adaptor is emulating simply click: Control Panel | System, then click on the "Hardware" tab and then the "Device Manager" button. Scroll down to the "Ports" section and there you should see your adaptor listed with it's COM port number next to it.

Copy down this COM port number and enter it into your software

2. Add Dialup Network Connection

Right, you have now installed your modem and added the special initialisation string to make it work with the Iridium system. Next up is to tell Windows how to dial the internet on this modem.

  • Click:
    (Win 98/ME) Start Menu | Settings | Network | Make new Connection
    (Win XP) Start Menu | Settings | Control Panel | Network Connections | Create a new Connection (look on the left of the screen if you can't see this!)

Using the setup Wizard


  • "Connect to the Internet", then
  • "Set up Connection Manually", then
  • "Connect using Modem"
  • Select the Standard Modem (the modem you just added)
  • Enter the number to the Iridium ISP as the telephone number: 008816000025
  • Unclick "use area code"

Now: Enter the login information as;

username = directinternet
password = directinternet

The Iridium ISP does dynamic IP assignment so no other Internet settings are necessary.

3. Dialling the Internet

The Iridium phone now behaves like a normal windows dialup connection. So just dial the internet as you would normally, but choose the Iridium connection when you are presented with the usual list of connections by windows.