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 The Linux Gazette FAQ

Updated 30-Jan-2002

So I'm having trouble with this internal modem...

It's probably a winmodem. Winmodems suck for multiple reasons:

  1. Most of them lack drivers for Linux. Notice the term "most" and not "all" -- see for more about those few that do, and some general knowledge on the subject. Last time we looked (Issue 63, "State of the Art in Softmodems") only four models had any support, and only two had vendor help.
  2. Since they aren't a complete modem without software, even if they were to work under Linux, they'd eat extra CPU that could be better spent on other things. So they'll never seem quite as fast as their speed rating would imply.
  3. Internal modems (even those which bear complete chipsets) have their own problems; they overheat more easily, and have a greater danger of harming other parts in your system when they fail, merely because they're attached directly to the bus. The tiny portion of speed increase that might lend is not really worthwhile compared to the risk of losing other parts in the system.

So, yeah, there can be good internal modems, but it's more worthwhile to get an external one. It will often contain phone line surge suppression and that may lead to more stable connections as well.

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