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Sad to say, the days of the hardware ISA modem is gone. It is true, I would take my 33.6 ISA modem configured for COM2 any day over a 56k PCI modem, but I don't have an ISA slot in my machine (as is the case with most new PC's). The dirty truth is that all PCI modems are clock-cycle robbing winmodems and never as stable as an ISA modem. Part of the reason for poor performance in winmodems is the IRQ that they take. Most winmodems, and this one is no different, take a non-standard COM port such as 5 and an IRQ of 9 or 10. All Hardware ISA modems can be configured for COM2 IRQ 3. I am sure that we are all aware that the device with the lowest IRQ always gets it's request handled first, so it is easy to see why the ISA modem will perform better than any winmodem. Back on track now.....If I had a choice of an ISA over a PCI, I would take the ISA any day. But I would rather have a USR PCI winmodem than any other PCI winmodem
The modem is quite simply too expensive for what you're getting. It's a winmodem. Honestly, how good could it possibly be? The answer to the question is not very. I know you're going to say that's it's just a modem and that it's USR/3COM but that doesn't change the fact that you're payng for name and NOT a good quality modem. When my system was being thrashed the modem suffered. Example, try running the modem on boot-up while everything else is staryting and you'll get a performance hit. (I'm running an Athlon 600 with 256MB RAM). The quality also doesn't maintain well over, say, a 3 hour connection to any standard ISP. Bottom line is that this modem should be retailing for about £30 and not a penny more.
I couldn't disagree more with the above review. I have used US Robotiics / 3 com modems for 5 years without a single problem. My current modem is a 56K Flex model. I installed the card myself on a P II 233. It was easy and the instructions were clear and simple to follow. The process itself was faultless. The installation software was excellent and everything worked first time, just as it should. The technial documentation with the modem is OK, nothing more, but they have a very good web site and you can download updates. I regularly get the latest drivers and again have had no problems at all. The product itself has been faultless in operation. On my line it can only achieve 44K but thats BT not 3 Coms fault. All in all...modem heaven...i'd buy another one tomorrow.
I bought one of these modems as a replacement for an old 33.6 external that had died. I fancied an internal as my computer tends to get moved around a bit, and thought that having less kit to drag around and one less thing to plug in was be handy. However, the modem cuased nothing but trouble. On installing it, I found it would freeze the computer completely every time I tried to dial. I thought I may have an IRQ conflict, but spending hours booting in and out of safe mode, and trying everything I could did nothing. Thinking it must be faulty, I took it back for a replacement. The next one though gave me a completely different set of faults. Although it installed fine, I coudn't get it to dial, or even recognise the dialtone. Once, by some fluke it did dial out, but only managed to maintain the connection for about two seconds. This one went back too, this time for a refund. The experience put me off internal modems, but soon after I was offered a second hand internal 33.6 modem (US Robotics again) which installed perfectly straight away, and has worked fine ever since. I can only assume that the 56k product has some very bad design flaws, or that I was very unlucky indeed. Either way, I doubt I will be buying from US Robitics again.
This is the modem I got with my PC and it is crap. I brought it before v90 was out, and 3com have yet to make new drivers for my one yet. The speed of this modem is very slow when compared to other modems. The voice funtions are limited. All you can do is a basic phone call. Quailty of sound depends on the microphone you use. With modem prices comming down heavily. I suggest you spend a little more money on a top quality modem. you WILL notice the difference.
Software modems are those that use software (not surprisingly) in Windows 95/98 to sort out the binary data that travels into your modem from the outside world... The 3Com USR Winmodem is a bad choice for gamers. I can say that from the start. It is a very cheap and basic modem, that is hyped to be very good. This is due to the fact that it utilises the computer processor rather than chips on the modem board itself. This is all very well for web browsing and downloading, with quite good performance. However this is not the same in games... During online games, a huge amount of data is sent and received by your modem. If the modem is a software modem, it needs to use your CPU to descramble the data coming in and scramble the data going out. But, the problem is, games require high performance processors, and the loads becomes enourmous. What is the result? Lag is the result. I ping very badly on this modem. So, if you want a cheap modem for downloading, this could be the one for you, but for gaming...I would choose the Diamond SupraExpress 56e or 56i, which use hardware to control data flow.