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Courier Modems: Work the money?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Akito, Sep 9, 2003.

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  1. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    I've been checking out USR/3COM Courier Modems. They are pretty expensive (~ 280 bucks) but I was curious if they are worth the money. Here's what I want in a modem:

    - Fast
    - Little to no disconnects
    - As low ping time as possible
    - Good for gaming, downloading, and general internet use
    - Reliable

    I have found them on eBay for quite a bit cheaper, but wanted to make sure they were a good deal before I went and got one.
     
  2. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, Well, I have used one Courier, and it did not seem much different than any other modem....a lot depends on the lines you connect with, too.
    How about lightning protection.....the one I worked with was a replacement- first got zapped- how are you going to feel when it goes bad? Perhaps the warranty will cover it, I do see a lot of modems that carry any and all replacement guarantees these days. The only sure method of preventing modem burnout is to unplug the phone line when not in use. With an external, it is easier, so that's a plus. They are supposed to be better running than a modem that uses a lot of processor time. Sorry cant help more with the gaming questions....but, someone here probably can, so check for other replies.
     
  3. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    I like usrobotics dialup modems. It seems that they give me the fastest connect time out of the ones I've tried. But many others are good too; I am not familiar with all of them.
    I use a USR performance pro v92. It has full hardware control on the modem and costs around 50 dollars on pricewatch. It is the only modem that will give me 52K where I live. I doubt if it is even possible to get higher. Why spend the extra money?
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    I'll take a hardware modem over a software modem any day, however I would not be willing to spend ~280 dollars for one; under a $100 its worth it.
     
  5. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    You probably already know this, but not only should you beware of "soft" or "win" modems but also beware of modems that claim to have harware controllers when they only have partial hardware controller support. They are sold usually claiming they are "hardware" modems, and they have some hardware (daa and mcu) but are missing the data pump. The modem I mentioned has all three.
     
  6. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    I currently actually have a performance pro v92 - but it's internal. Also, I have horrid problems with it, while I get fair pings and download speeds, I get disconnected like mad. The best luck I ever had was with a cheap Atlus (I think) 33.3 external - it was heaven, and it only cost me 20 bucks. But then it felt the thrill of lightning :( I even have a surge protector with phone line protection, but it doesn't do squat.

    I connect with horrid lines, and my max speed is generally 28.8, however, my ISA modem that I was using (also a 33k) was hit by lightning (beginning to think it's power surges, and so I bought a different surge protector). It still connects, just at about 21k. I've been trying to get some type of broadband, but I just can't where I live.

    I didn't know there were partial hardware modems - that's a bit irritating. Ironically, I can't get the pro modem to work in linux.
     
  7. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    Yeah, a popular modem sold a lot on ebay and pricewatch for about 10 dollars is touted as a "hardware" modem with its intel chipset but has no data pump.
    I found that a common problem with modem connection can actually be the surge protectors themselves, as well as other devices plugged into phone jacks throughout the house-including some phones. Try an experiment-disconnect all phone devices from the sockets and connect online a few times. See if you don't get higher connect speeds and less disconnects. Then work via process of elimination to determine which devices are causing the most trouble. You may want to do without the surge protector and just unplug when a storm is in the area. Also, areas with slower download rates due to distance of phone lines can disconnect frequently due to static picked up over the lines. This is commonly treated with modem strings.
    If your computer still takes legacy ISA modems, consider one of those-you can pick up one dirt cheap, not worry about a big loss when the surge comes and, frankly, your not going to strain an ISA bus with any dialup modem; the analog data flow is just too slow. I have a usr legacy hardware 56k on one of my antiques-hooks at 50.6-52k every time while another has a the aforementioned intel on pci and hooks at 48. Those ISA V-anything modems can be gotten cheap on ebay too and give you potential dsl capabilities as well as good dialup. I guess I'm referring to internal modems but this can apply to external as well.
    Then there's satellite-if your willing to pay for it. It's pretty much available everywhere. I've heard that some form of internet is everywhere on earth now except the Queen Elizabeth Islands in Canada.
     
  8. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    Well, I've actually run a direct line from the telephone box to the machine, with nothing on the same circuit, and was able to get less line noise, but not by much. That's also not running through a surge protector. The USR modem just doesn't work well, I've tried every INT string I can thing of, and I'm just lost. I'm going to just buy a cheap ISA or external from ebay, that might be the best option in the end, like you said.

    Satellite is too expensive and apparenty they limit you on what you can do. Gaming is also not an option (ugg, can KINDA play on dialup).

    Wireless might be an option, but it doesn't look like it will be any time soon (ugg again).
     
  9. hammerbill

    hammerbill

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    Maby its
    a faulty modem, but if you think its not, sell it on ebay. You'll get 40 buck out of it.
     
  10. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    That might not be a bad idea. Currently I just use it as a backup modem..
     
  11. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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  12. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    Dang, I just noticed I spelled the topic title wrong. Oops. Oh well :)

    I'll take a look at that modem, thanks :)
     
  13. Spyd

    Spyd

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    If you have a good processor (1Ghz or more) go for the cheapest internal modem. It will be a soft modem, but with 1Ghz+ the perfomance that grabs it's extremely low.
    And I don't see any differences from the speed also.
    I tested US Robotics external V.92 modems, and no-brand sub $10 internal modems and they deliver almost the same dl/ul speed.
     
  14. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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    It's not so much the dl/ul speeds that are affected as the system suffers from excess resource usage. The "cheap" internal modems are "usually" soft modems and do suffer more disconnects, etc. than a higher priced hardware modem. V.92 will make NO difference if the ISP doesn't use that protocol.
     
  15. Akito

    Akito Thread Starter

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    My winmodem disconnects about every 30 minutes :) So it's in the storage room as backup :p
     
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