[pcductape] Hardware modems?

  • From: "Bob Noble" <bnoble@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <pcductape@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 09:04:12 -0700

Here's my understanding about the subject.

All modems are hardware modems  of course.
However, US robotics came out with a modem called Winmodem, which I had.
And it worked very well, I might add, but it speed was only 33k, as 56k modems
weren't out yet.

A part of it's hardware function was replaced with action from the computers
CPU, which should be ok, since that is what a CPU does.

However, this does take some processor time and if one had a slow computer, like
less than say, 150 mhzs, things might be too slow sometimes and one might have
some problems.

The 56k modems came out and needed even more processor time, which some
computers just couldn't do.

So, along came faster computers, and this problem just isn't a problem anymore.

And to top it all off, speed is not what one wants to look at.
High speed, doesn't necessarily mean faster downloads.

It's the download speed that is important.
That's how many k are you actually downloading.
If you can get five or six k a sec. you are doing real good with a 56k modem.

If a modem tries to go too fast, packets will have to be redownloaded to get
through, and if this happens too much, things will get jammed, as all the
requests for redownloaded packets will fill the circuit and there is no time to
get new ones. So, sometimes a modem has to be slowed down to get it to actually
download faster.

Most of the time the real limiting factor is the phones lines in your house and
the ones that go to the phone company.

However, occasionally, a modem will get screwed up, and not work to it's max.

I don't believe in all the so called modem accelerators.
Sometimes these can change a setting in the modem to mess it up and if you don't
know how to reset the modem, you will end up getting a new one or just going
slower. Also, sometimes these will set the modem speed higher, but the real
download speed of data, may be a lot less.

Bob Noble

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