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Monday, April 14, 2014

In Search of a Good USB External Modem

In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, dial up Internet is slowly becoming a thing of the past. This means that your new PC may not have an internal modem. For most people this may not be a problem. However, you might still have a dial up connection or wish to use dial up for emergency online access. I recently purchased the TRENDnet 56K USB 2.0 Phone, Internet and Fax Modem, TFM-561U. Here is more info about it and all about my personal experience.

I had to say goodbye to my trusty old Dell desktop after 10 years, because of the XP situation. As a result, I have a new Dell with Windows 8.1. Naturally, there was no internal modem so I needed one for my phone tray software to filter out annoying calls. You can use your computer as a caller ID unit and it will announce the calls and also show them on the screen. In addition, you can "zap" certain numbers with a variety of wave files like "out of order".

When I checked at the Phone Tray website, I discovered that the TRENDnet was one of their compatible modems. I decided to order it from Amazon, at the same time I ordered the computer. Although some reviewers at Amazon claimed they had problems with Windows 8, I did not.

At first, I thought there was going to be trouble. I tried to use the installation CD and could not get the thing to work. Then I decided to let the computer take care of the matter. I made sure that I uninstalled the modem driver and then rebooted, making sure the modem was still connected.
Once the computer rebooted, it recognized the modem and proceeded to install it. After that, it has worked flawlessly. So if you have Windows 8, I recommend letting your PC try the install first, before you try the installing from the disk.

I only use the modem for the phone software program, and have not tried it out for faxing or dial up Internet. In fact, I have not been able to get my Lexmark 1270 All-in-One to work with Windows 8. I had to place it on my laptop with Windows 7.

Also, I needed to install a splitter at the modular input of the modem. This let me keep my desk phone hooked up without any unnecessary wires in the room.

All in all, this USB modem has worked well and I recommend it to my readers. If you are changing over to Windows 8 and want to keep your phone software, this product is an affordable option.

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