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Call Waiting Modem

Call Waiting Modem - PCSTATS
Abstract: Hate missing phone calls while yer surfing away? Then look at this Call Waiting Modem, which tells you when there's a call and lets you talk to the caller, or go back to surfing!
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Peripherals Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Actiontec Apr 30 2000   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Peripherals > Actiontec

Installation

Installation was as easy as installing a PCI Card can be. We ripped our computer apart after unplugging it and inserted the PCI based call waiting modem into an empty slot. Then we reassembled the computer case and turned it on. For a guide to installing cards (PCI, AGP, or ISA), check out Tweak3D they have some great step by step instructions for those of you who have never installed cards before.

Lucky for us, Win98 recognized our card the first time through as a "PCI comm device". The Win98 hardware install utility prompted us for the drivers, so we put in the CD-ROM that came with the modem and selected it. "Actiontec 56K PCI Call Waiting Modem" drivers were found and installation continued. The Win98 utility then found "Wave device for Voice Modem", and installed the drivers for that from the CD-ROM as well. Same thing with "Voice Modem Serial Wave Device".

Even better, when we selected this new modem for our dial up connection, and went to connect, it actually worked! That says a lot. I've had some problems in the past getting modems to work, even after using the right drivers. So the fact that this modem worked on the first is a definite bonus for me.

Connecting for the first time

After setting up the modem I connected to my provider and checked what kind of speeds I was getting. Previously I had been using a Sportster 56K from USRobotics that had been giving me dial up connection speeds of around 33600bps. With the new modem my connection speed hovered around 42000-46000bps on average. While this isn't 56000bps, it should be noted that I've never been able to get 56000bps speeds on my phone line.

With the modem connected we tried out the call waiting feature using another phone line. Here's how it works; When you're online and there's an incoming phone call the modem will ring five times (sounds similar to a cell phone ringing). The person making the call will hear the phone ring as if you were not online.

Answering the incoming call

If you choose to pick up the phone the caller can talk with you for as long as they normally would. After about seven seconds the internet connection will be terminated - but there will be no clicking sound to interrupt the phone call. When finished talking, you will be able to reconnect typically by just clicking refresh on your browser. From there the normal dialup procedure will occur.

Answering and quickly returning to the internet

The coolest option, specific only to this modem is this: Say you are online, surfing around and in the middle of something important when a call comes in. Answer the phone, see who it is and tell them you'll call back in a little while, and hang up, then, continue surfing! So long as you're not on the phone for more then about seven seconds while you do this, the modem will allow you to resume surfing, without having to reconnect to the ISP.

Ignore the call

The last scenario is just to ignore the call. After about five rings, the modem will stop ringing, and internet service will not be interrupted. The person on the other end of the line will just continue to hear ringing.

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Contents of Article: Actiontec
 Pg 1.  Call Waiting Modem
 Pg 2.  — Installation
 Pg 3.  Real World Tests

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