Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Modem Features and Types

Modem Feature


Who Should Buy


MNP10EC support

Improves performance on poor-quality phone lines by quickly adjusting line speed up and down with changing conditions.

Anyone with poor-quality lines, especially if modem at other end also has MNP10EC support; users who want to use modem with cellular phones.

Don't buy MNP10 support by mistake; MNP10EC is much better and includes MNP10. Check with ISP to see whether cellular connections are supported; speed of such connections can be 14.4Kbps or slower.

PCI bus

Works in PCI slots that dominate current systems and have replaced ISA slots. PCI modems can share IRQs with other devices and be redirected to open IRQs.

Anyone without ISA slots or who is planning to move the modem to another computer in the future and prefers internal modems.

Verify one or more PCI slots are available; look for other features listed here to make change as useful as possible.

USB connection

Works with USB connectors on most current and all future computers; high-speed connection and capability to connect many devices via a hub.

Anyone who wants portability and has USB connectors along with Windows 98 or above.

Although Windows 95 OSR 2.5 (Win95"C") has USB support, many devices require Win98 or better; make sure USB ports have been activated in BIOS.

Gaming-optimized modem

Faster PING and response for gaming, which is more important than data throughput.

Anyone who plays a lot of online games or wants to get started.

Game optimizations are not useful for ordinary Web surfing. These modems are more expensive than others.

Call-waiting support

Allows you to answer the phone and not lose modem connection, instead of disabling call waiting, which most modems require.

Anyone who uses call waiting and doesn't like voice callers to get busy signals; check with manufacturer to see whether your existing modem can be upgraded with a driver.

Maximum talk time might be only a few seconds; make sure you have the phone near the computer for fast "hello, I'll call you later" answers to avoid exceeding time limit.

V.92/V.44 support

Faster uploads, faster connection negotiation, Modem-on-hold, better throughput on downloads.

Anyone whose ISP supports all V.92/V.44 features.

Check with your ISP to see when V.92/V.44 support will be introduced and to see whether all features will be supported.

Voice support

Allows digitizing of received calls; computerized answering machine and faxback; inbound and outbound phone calls via computer.

Anyone who wants to use PC as a telecommunications center.

Check quality of voice recording; can use up a lot of disk space.

Adapted from 12th edition of Que, Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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