USB Modem

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What is the difference between a 57k & a USB modem? What is the maximum baud rate that a USB modem can operate at?

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If I remember correctly the FCC has set the max rate @ 51K for the U.S.

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  • Dwiebesick
    USB refers to the interface that the mode would use. Other examples would be PIC, ISA, and RS232 (serial). 57k is really meaningless. You really need to refer to the V. (V dot) standard for example V.90 or V.92 which refers to the capabilities that the modem contains. Speed of the modem can reference line speed (inferred by your 57k, more likely 56K) or the speed Windows connects to the port (e.g. 115000k). Actually usable speed that you connect to the `internet? depends greatly on line quality (e.g. static or noise on the line), reverse line polarity, other equipment sharing physical phone line (e.g. phone extensions in other rooms).regards, dmw
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  • Finkelsj
    Let me add to what has been previously noted. The correct term is 56K modem. This term refers only to the maximum line speed capability of any dial-up device. As noted, there are two proticols used V.90 and V.92, and virtually all modern modems are 56K, V.90 and V.92 compatible. But this refers only to the uplink and downlink capabilities. As also noted the FCC has limited the bandwidth of such modems and about 52K Baud is now the practicle upper limit of any dial up modem. These modems can connect to a computer either by a serial port, which was the only interface in the past, or via your USB (universal serial bus) port which is the newer interface. This interface does not affect the modem line speed at all. Hope this helps.
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  • Fushigi
    Further expanding the replies so far. An internal PCI-connected modem runs over the PC's system bus which is thousands of times faster than the max speed of the modem. A serial port-based modem is still fine as serial ports still talk faster than what a 56K modem can do. USB ports are hundreds (USB 1.x) or thousands (USB 2.0) of times faster than a 56K modem's max speed. So in the end you can use an internal PCI modem, external serial modem, or external USB modem. For all three options the speed limiter is the modem/phone line and not the PC. My personal suggestion would be to use a USB modem as it provides the most flexibility. Serial ports are rapidly disappearing from new PCs and internal modems aren't easily moved from PC to PC (and can't be used with laptops). Also, a decent USB modem will be powered by the USB port and won't require another power plug.
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  • Paul144hart
    Regarding FCC restriction - the limit is the bandwidth. Its 64KB per channel. You can have modem make multiple connections to get high bandwidth (search Cisco modular router options)
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