Help: Tip on Buying External modem
Barbish3 at adelphia.net
Mon May 10 06:07:40 PDT 2004
Modems, what an confusing subject when it comes to all the types
available for purchase.
First is the question between internal and external.
Internal means they are expansion cards which you plug into your
There are two types, ISA and PCI. ISA cards are legacy cards
designed for the older motherboard bus speeds and modem dial out max
connection speeds of 33.6bps. Generally the ISA internal modem cards
are obsolete and have been replaced by the PCI internal modem cards
which use the faster motherboard bus speeds for better performance
at 56K dial out connection speeds. When ISA & PCI internal modems
were first manufactured they contained controller/DSP chips on the
circuit boards and was one of the major components that made the
modem costly. Microsoft wanted their customers to use internet
modems, so to lower the selling price, Microsoft changed it's
windows system so the controller/DSP chips could be removed from the
modem making it cheaper to buy and replaced it by an software driver
which the user had to install on their windows system. Search the
internet on 'winmodem' and you will see that using an winmodem
software driver causes an performance drop.
On the external modem world, serial modems are the original modem
type available since before the public internet as most people know
it. External serial modems have the controller/DSP chips on their
circuit boards. External serial modems plug into your PC com ports.
Then around windows/95 time the USB protocol was introduced. All the
original USB external modems had the controller/DSP chips, but in an
effort to tap into the cheap windows modem market the USB modem
manufactures started to make some without the controller/DSP chips.
For you to have an voice phone modem which can be used by both
ms/windows and FreeBSD/unix like systems and get the best
performance, and have the least problems configurating for FreeBSD,
you should get an external serial modem. I have used the Zoom V.92
external modem Model #3049L. Second choose is an Internal PCI with
onboard controller/DSP chips. You have to read the labels on the box
the modem is sold in to identify it's not an winmodem. You can also
usually tell by it's cost as it costs more that an winmodem. I use
the Zoom internal PCI modem model #2920, it cost $98.00.
Now to cover all bases. Many of the ISA and PCI internal winmodems
are manufactured using Lucent chips and the specifications for the
controller and DSP where made available to the public 2 years ago by
Rockwell who owns the Lucent chip design. An Linux software driver
for winmodems (ltmdm) that used the Lucent chips was built and then
ported to FreeBSD. This ported driver had no documentation on how to
use or configure it and does not work on all lucent chip winmodems.
It may have been documented since I last looked at it, but from the
posts on this list about people having problems getting it to work,
I don't think so.
For an trouble free modem install and usage in both FreeBSD and
ms/windows get your self an external serial modem.
From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of Mark Jayson
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 12:32 AM
To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
Subject: Help: Tip on Buying External modem
I've post something about my internal modem and
unfortunately you've replied that there could be no
possible solution in using a winmodem except if you
are expert in either linux or freebsd.
My question is, if ever I will buy an external
modem and to be sure that I will not waste my money
for the second time(buying a winmodem), wich of the
two should I pick, the USB one, or the one that is
connected to serial port(com port)?
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