3 Com U.S. Robotics 56k External modem
Today, with the set standards of V.90, purchasing a modem is a much less confusing task and sometimes considered easy.
Before purchasing a modem, take the below into consideration. Today, with the popularity of the Internet and multimedia over the Internet, broadband is becoming widely available. If available in your area, you may want to consider purchasing a broadband solution, such as DSL available through a phone or third-party company, Cable available through your local cable provider, Satellite available through a third-party, or through a large ISP such as MSN or AOL.
If a broadband connection is not available in your area, below are some recommendations to consider when purchasing a computer modem.
Originally, when the 56k connection was introduced, there was not a set standard between two major modem manufacturers, causing there to be two different technologies, X2 and KFlex. Each of these technologies allowed for a modem to connect at higher speeds, but only if the Internet Provider supported the technology. Because of the difficulties and issues with these two different technologies, one technology emerged out of the two, called V.90. This technology will allow users of any brand of modem to connect at higher speeds.
Today all modems (purchased new) are V.90 and this is no longer a concern. Additional information and history about each of these technologies can be found on our Modem Standard page
Interface can be an important when considering purchasing a modem. It is important that your computer has the available connections and resources when purchasing a modem.
PCI / ISA (Internal)
– PCI / ISA modems are modems that are found in most computers today. These modems are installed internally into the computer with an available connection on the back of the modem for the phone line.
When purchasing this type of modem it is important that you verify your computer has the available connection for this modem within the computer (PCI or ISA). In addition, verify that your computer has the available resources. You can sometimes have difficulties installing a modem if a serial device, such as a Serial mouse or Serial PDA, is connected to the computer.
– A serial modem connects to the serial port located on the back of the computer. These modems are generally easy to install; however, they can cost more than an internal modem as you pay additional money for the plastic cover.
When purchasing this type of modem it is important that you verify your computer has an available serial connection on the back of the computer; devices such as a serial mouse may already be utilizing your serial port. Some computers may have two serial ports; if this is the case and only one serial port is currently being utilized, verify that the second port can be enabled or is already enabled in CMOS.
PC Card (PCMCIA)
– Solution used with portable computers, PC Card modems are fairly cheap and relatively easy to install in the computer.
If a modem is already present in your portable computer but you wish to upgrade or the internal modem has gone bad, it is important that you verify the pre-existing modem can be disabled before installing the new modem.
– A new solution, USB allows a user to install up to 127 devices on the computer and is available for PC and Mac. Before purchasing this solution, verify that your computer has a USB connection. If no USB connection is available, an additional card will need to be installed in the computer.
The connection can differ depending upon the type of modem purchased with the computer.
Internal / External / USB modem
– Today, all modems have a RJ-11 connection, which is a standard phone connection, on the modem. If important to you, verify that the modem has two available RJ-11 connections. One of these connections will connect the modem to the phone and the other can be used for an office phone. This can be very useful for a home or office computer that may need a phone next to it.
PC Card modem
– When purchasing a PC Card modem, the connection can be a very important factor consideration. Below we have listed the pros and cons of each of these connection types.
– A commonly found solution for PC Card modems, but a very burdensome solution. The Dongle is an additional cord that connects from the PC Card to a small opening for a RJ-11 connection. While a good thought, we find that these connections get lost often. The pro of this solution is a very sturdy connection and a solution that will allow only a Type II slot to be used, allowing and additional slot free for another card.
– Standard connection, like a desktop modem, allows for a phone line to be connected directly to the modem. This solution allows for no additional cables. The con to this solution is that these cards will generally occupy your complete PCMCIA slot, although Xircom offers a solution that will not.
– An excellent solution for Portable computers, the Xjack by 3COM allows users a similar connection to the standard connection without the use of any additional accessories or lost space. The con to this solution is that the Xjack can be damaged very easily.
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