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Dialup modem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by raybro, Jul 29, 2006.

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  1. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    For you dial-up people out there, I thought I'd pass along this bit of information. I just purchased a new modem that I'm really impressed with in comparison with my old modem. Came across it quite by accident while helping a friend with his computer problems and liked it so much I bought one myself. The icing on the cake is it only cost $8.99 + S&H (total about $14).

    I've been using a U.S. Robotics V92 modem (don't remember, or care, what model) for a couple of years now, for which I paid around $40, and was getting real tired of staring at the screen waiting for the modem to make up it's mind to retrieve the page I wanted. That's the real difference in performance. Download speed of a file is slightly better, but not significant, while browsing is markedly improved. It even has the V92 technology if you want to use it. I can finally see value of the accelarator service I have with my ISP.

    If anyone is interested you can check it out at newegg here. It's the Encore ENF656-EHW-INPR.

    Raybro
     
  2. Tumbleweed36

    Tumbleweed36

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    Hi,

    I have not tried this unit, but something you said hit home. I have been using the Zoom modems for quite a while now and they are great. My point in writing was to support your statements about thel USRobotics modems. I have had several in my shop and they do hang a lot just like you said even if you have the latest drivers.
    They will work fine for a bit, then just sit there. This unit you mentioned might be worth a try at that price. I won't buy USRobotics at any price.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Many USR modems are winmodems which use cpu power whereas what you bought is a hardware modem that does not use cpu power. Better yet with an external modem with no real software and using com1 or Com2 ports, No conflicts so much better considteant connections.
     
  4. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    Actually, that is the reason I bought the USR modem in the first place. It IS a hardware modem. I replaced a Winmodem with the understanding a hardware modem would work better than a Winmodem because the on-board processor eliminated the time it took to use the CPU to process the recieved Analog signal and convert it to Digital. That made sense to me, so I took the plunge. In my case (with the USR unit) NOT SO!!!

    As you know, if you looked at the newegg link, the Encore modem is also a hardware modem with it's own on-board processor. It just works better than the USR unit.

    You say an external modem is better and more consistant. I haven't tried that. What is the hookup. USB? If so, I only have USB v1.0 (old system). Your thoughts?

    As you are probably aware, being on dial-up is a total pain when downloading a file, so I'm motivated to do whatever I can to improve it. If going to an external modem can give be a bit more bandwidth, please provide some details.

    My current download rate with the Encore modem averages around 3.4 KBytes/s (28.0 kbits/s) as measured with my NetPerSec utility. Bare in mind, I live in a remote location with OLD, OLD, OLD copper telephone lines and an ancient switching system. They probably still use stepper switches, :eek: :D so getting the rates I do is probably nothing short of a miracle in itself. :rolleyes:

    Raybro
     
  5. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Not so, this is actually a software based modem. It has on board hardware DSP, but the controller elies on the main CPU like all other Winmodems.

    To my knowledge nobody apperas to sell a real, fully hardware, internal PCI slot modem.
    Even USB ones are Winmodems in drag.

    With any Winmodem, they rely on "playing nicely" with every other installed hardware item and every other driver. When all the planets align, they work fine. When they don't, the modems make a satisfying "clunk" when you toss them in the bin.

    Serial RS232 modems are real "hardware modems" and for me have always provided solid reliable performance. For some off reason laptop modems seem to be the next best in terms of reliability, probably because they are custom designed to work with the hardware which does not get things unknown added to it.
     
  6. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Yeah kiwiguy is right here, it is a question of degree.
    Raybro, there are serial port external modems. Usr has a series of them and Diamond I know used to have a Supra Express version that was serial port as well.
    I lived as you did for years with a "one horse cable co" that had 1 way lines and no possibility of broadband until very recently and then the phone lines finally advanced to where we can get Dsl, but I used satellite for almost 2 years and while it isn't as fast, it sure made a big difference. There are more satellite companies to day with better deals as I paid a fortune for equipment that had no value after wards and I had to pay to have hauled away, but today it is less expensive and some of the monthly's are only a few $ more than cable.I paid $600 for equipment and then $60 a month with Hughes Net (then Direcway) but if you have Wild Blue, then go for $299 and $49.95 a month and believe me it's worth it. Do a Google for satellite internet, Wild Blue and I put in your zip code and it is available in your area.
     
  7. raybro

    raybro Thread Starter

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    Seems we have a similar history in this regard. I, too, purchased the Direcway equipment and paid $60/mo for a number of years. I finally decide the service just wasn't worth what it cost. The only real advantage was in large downloads.

    I don't think I'm ready to try another satellite system. I got really tired of the rain cloud interference and I live in a canyon with lots of Oak trees around the house, so I don't get a really strong signal under the best of circumstances. I do not see cable or DSL ever becoming available at my location. It's a dead end canyon with sparse population. Very small customer base. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

    So, as you can see, I want to get as good a dial-up connection as I can. Would you or anyone else care to make a stab at what level of improvement I might realistically expect with a serial port modem over what I have now? (see my previous post)

    Raybro
     
  8. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Impossible to tell, as the problems could be the bandwith or contention ratio within the ISP as much as the modem you use.

    My experience with serial RS232 modems are that they are both reliable and consistent, however if the problem lies beyond the modem interface to the world nothing in the way of your modem will help.

    I used to by Dynalink and D-Link serial RS232 modems by the box of 100, they were very good as well.

    The problem I used to see was that with an internal PCI Winmodem, activity would just cease, no data would flow even though the connection was still made. Like it was being ignored by the PC. The serial RS232 models never exhibited this trait.

    In terms of speed, the seial RS232 modem is no faster than the PCI modem, when the PCI modem is working correctly.

    A few other things arose under XP however, in that if the RS232 modem was not powered up when the PC was booted up, the serial port was disabled. That was a "feature" of XP....
     
  9. chernobyl

    chernobyl

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    I have a USR external hardware modem and I just thought I would say I am very happy wiht it. Consistintly get around 5kb/sec on downloads which is much better than soem of the winmodems ive had in the past such as bestdata. I do wish I knew what the litle swtiches on the back of my modem do :D
     
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