Call Waiting Modem
in a great while we get a product to test here at Hot Hardware that
has us all asking " why hasn't somebody thought of this
before". Call Waiting is a feature that has long been available
for the telephone user. Why not have the ability in a modem too?
Notify the user that the modem has received a "Call
Waiting" request and send an audible signal to the user much
like during a phone conversation.
it to the people at Lucent (formerly AT&T) to come up with this
technology. Lucent is the manufacturer of the chipset used on
ActionTec's Call Waiting Modem. ActionTec has a product now, as a
result, that really differentiates them in this VERY crowded market.
its "punch list" of features...
Internal PCI Call Waiting Modem - KFlex & V.90 Compatible
Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 or above,
OS/2, or Linux
time to speak on phone before disconnected from internet varies,
approximately 7 seconds
Speed & Modes:
14400; 12000; 9600; 7200; 4800; 2400; 1200; and 300 bps.
ITU-T; V.17, V.29, V.27ter, and V.21ch2 Group 3 fax machines
Transmission Speeds & Standards:
technologySpeeds: 56000** (download only); 33600; 31200;
28800; 26400; 21600; 19200; 16800; 14400; 12000; 9600; 7200;
4800; 2400; 1200; and 300 bps.
ITU-T; V.90, V.34+, V.34, V.32bis, V.32, V.23, V.22bis, and
V.21; Bell 212A and 103
Correction & Data Compression
2-4, V.42, LAPM, MNP 5, V.42bis
Speeds: 115,200 bps
Modes: Auto dial/answer; auto feature negotiation, Full-Duplex
Type: Tone and Pulse
Set: Industry Standard AT Command Set, Extended AT Commands, EIA
Class 1 (EIA 578)
Control : XON/XOFF; CTS/RTS
Modes: Analog Loop, Digital Loop, Remote Digital Loop and
Warranty: 5 Years
56K Internal PCI Call Waiting Modem
Data Communication Software
Start & Installation Manual
Six-foot Modular Telephone Cable
above is fairly standard list of specs for today's mainstream V.90
56K Modem. However, you'll note that you can actually pick up the
phone and talk to a caller that might be waiting to talk to you. You
get 7 seconds, which is not a lot of time but enough to say
"I'll call you back" or "leave me alone you miserable
telemarketing puke"! :-) I hate the latter of the two
Performance and Ease of Use
attribute of this internal modem card is the fact that it is a PCI
version. It seems we are to the point now that we can almost get rid
of all those old ISA slots on today's motherboards. The card
installed in minutes and the drivers were all that were needed for
full functionality of the "Call Waiting" feature.
We used the
modem in our test machine over a period of about a month and never
once missed a call. Any time some one tried to call in, the modem
made an audible "ringing" sound much like the sound of the
ringer on your phone. This sound was loud enough to alert us that
there was another call coming in. It would ring as long as the
caller on the other end let it ring. We could pick up the phone and
acutally speak with the called for that short 7 seconds before the
modem would drop the connection to the net. It was as if the modem
was put in "suspend mode" for that time. If we hung up
within the 7 seconds, we could then initiate a browser command or
retrieve an email and the modem would wake up and begin
communicating again with the host. The good news is that this
technology is compatible with other modems at the host end which
don't have this capability. We never once lost a connection to the
host if we were quick enough to hang up the phone. What woudl be
nice is a "Call Waiting" feature with "Caller
ID" ... That will be coming in the not so distant future, I am
sure but we are just speculating, at this point in time.
must say that the performance of this modem was surprising.
Sometimes with all the bells and whistle you get with multi-featured
modems, you get so-so performance. This was NOT the case with the
ActionTec Calling Waiting Modem. The Lucent chipset on this modem is
a solid performer. We regularly got connect rates at 50,666 bps and
when we didn't, the modem connected at 49,333. We got the full 50K
connection about 80% of the time. Typically we have come acustomed
to a max of 48K connect rates when using our reference system's
modem, a Motorola 56K Modem Surfer which is also a KFlex56 V.90
compatible version but uses a Rockwell chipset.
experienced download speeds on fast ftp sites of approximately 4 -
5.4K on average. Once again we were very pleased with the speed of
the unit and feel it is easily in the top 5% of its class.
great combination for the "connected family"
Action Tec ActionLink Home Networking Kit and Call Waiting Modem are
great tools for the peaceful co-existence of multiple Computer and
Internet Users in a household or small office, over a single phone
line. Both of these products delivered exactly what they claimed.
The performance levels for both the Home Networking Kit and Modem
were top notch. We would have liked a little longer talk time on the
Call Waiting feature with the addition of Caller ID but regardless,
these two great new products from ActionTec really shine.
We give the
ActionTec - ActionLink Home Networking a Hot Hardware Temp-O-Meter
ActionTec Call Waiting Modem scored a Hot Hardware Temp-O-Meter