56k Modems
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Thread: 56k Modems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    240

    56k Modems

    Hi,

    In this day and age of broadband, I don't really hear much about what dial-up (56k - V.92 or whatever ) people buy.

    I have a MultiTech 56k (V.90) that I have had for about five years or more.
    It still works, but I was wondering if things have improved with modem's since I got mine.

    So, question is - if you were to buy a new modem, what would you recommend?

    Cheers

    Karl
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Staten Is.,NY
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    12,153
    I wouldn't bother til yours broke then go for v92, a little bit better, either way I wouldn't spend alot of money on a 56k. The technology is proven so a cheaper one should work just as well as an expensive one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Raymond, WA
    Posts
    1,081
    I've noticed that my daughters laptop gets a 38.4 connection speed with the v92 modem it has. My v90 only connects at 26.4.

    The difference reults in a 2kb/sec download speed increase. Since I normally download at 2.1 or 2.2, it doubles the download speed.

    Once I get my video card upgrade straightened out, I intend to upgrad to a v92.

    My guess is that they are able to filter out the line noise a little better than the v90.

    But, if you already connect at something over 40, I wouldn't bother. You probably won't see much difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    2,331
    The difference between expensive and cheap is how much CPU they use to do the Demodulation and Modulating (hence MODEM). Softmodem - practically all 56k crap out there - are not true MODEMs because they only have the DTMF (ring tone) part in hardware to interface with the phone line, and the rest is all CPU. Then comes HCF HSF and a whole lot of other titles. This refers to how much hardware is on the actually card.

    Expensive modems are external and are MODEMs not a cheap alternative which wastes CPU power.

    As for protocols V90 is it. V92 is just a minor extension for handling call-waiting. You will not achieve any speed increase for a new modem.

    Good modems (external, US Robotics) can retrain connection speeds up and down. Soft modems usually only go down - hence a spiral of death on a bad phoneline. So if you have a good modem and connect at 33.6kB on a 56k modem then you may not be limited by the initial handshaking and get better than 3K speeds.


    So V92 is pointless and you will find that most modems can be firmware upgraded to the v92 standard because it is not hardware related.

    There are just way to many 56k modems out there. Its a nightmare to get a decent one (maybe ACF2 chipset)
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Independence, MO
    Posts
    8,071
    My experience has been that softmodems are typically good enough for typical browsing. About the best you can hope for is about 6.5kb/s with software compression enabled. Even USB modems can put up a false impression that they are zippy.

    The first place you see a huge difference in modems is when you game. For example, in Quake2, a softmodem averages about 245 ping, a USB modem maybe 300 ping, and a controller-based (aka hardware modem) will actually be around 175 ping. As a comparison, a good DSL or cable connection pings 50-100, and on a local network, you get about 10. Needless to say, I use a controller modem. Anything less results in poor performance.

    I guess to answer your question, No, things haven't changed much. Since phone lines limit the connection speed, things can't get any better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    Posts
    1,238
    I've been using a USR External for years. It's a serial modem and is excellent. Recently, I have been trying an internal modem that is software based just to have less cables around the computer, but it isn't as good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    2010 Vancouver
    Posts
    780
    Originally posted by edhe62
    I've noticed that my daughters laptop gets a 38.4 connection speed with the v92 modem it has. My v90 only connects at 26.4.

    The difference reults in a 2kb/sec download speed increase. Since I normally download at 2.1 or 2.2, it doubles the download speed.

    Once I get my video card upgrade straightened out, I intend to upgrad to a v92.

    My guess is that they are able to filter out the line noise a little better than the v90.

    But, if you already connect at something over 40, I wouldn't bother. You probably won't see much difference.
    I always connect around 45 with my v.90 modem. I think it all depends on the ISP.

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