I've had the USR5637 USB modem that Mintopia just posted about for almost
a full year now. I paid $44.99 for it at
] (currently$42.99), where you can see many positive reviews for using this
modem with Linux. (Just type "Linux" into the search filter that appears just
above the reviews)
Using this modem, I have consistently established and maintained solid dial-up
connections at speeds between just over 49 kbps to just over 53 kbs in several
For some reason, the "detect" function in GPPP (perhaps KPPP as well) does not always pick-up the modem but all I have had to do when that happens is manually enter or select /dev/ttyACM0 (that's a zero) in Gnome PPP or KPPP and the modem has been recognized and able to dial-out.
( Faxing has been another story, however. I did not have success
when trying to fax with this modem but I don't know that the problem was
with the modem itself. )
I also don't know about the modem on hold feature, as I have not had
success with TuxCall, the only Linux alternative I have found to the
Windows programs that allow you to see the I.D. of any incoming calls while you
are online and decide whether to take them or not.)
As I have learned from experience, however, having your modem detected is only
the first step; you then need the right software to establish and
maintain a solid dial-up connection. Then, for it to be recognized and function
properly, you must have the right system configuration. And for a Linux
distro to come "dial-up ready" "out-of-the-box" seems to be more the
exception than the rule.
It was pointed-out in a
start=0]thread[/url] at the forums for the Gnome edition of PcLinuxOS that many,
if not most, devs today simply do not have access to the equipment (POTS modem)
and/or resources (land line, ISP) that are necessary in order test dial-up
Addendum: Some Other Possible Hardware-Based Modem Options
Another possible option for a USB modem that is less than half the
price of the USR5637 is the
RNX-56USB[/url]. It uses a Conexant chipset and also has a number of positive
reviews for Linux use. (Though be sure to see the recent review claiming this
modem is not up to handling poor-quality phone lines in a rural area as well as
the many reviews regarding caller I.D., if either are an issue for you)
The occupation of a USB port is an obvious down side to a USB modem, especially
for laptop users, for whom an even greater nuisance can be having to deal with
an extra object that hangs-out from the laptop. Unless properly supported by
something, this puts obvious stress on the modem's cord and moving around at all
can easily cause it to become disconnected.
Still, for most people, myself included, all of this beats the wild goose chase
like experience that trying to get an internal modem-- almost always a
software-based Winmodem-- to work with Linux can be.
PCMCIA ("PC-card") modems may be an option for those who still have the
slot for them but they seem to be becoming obsolete.
My 11-year-old Dell Latitude C600 has two PCMCIA slots. I have used a 3Com
3cxm556 PCMCIA fax/modem that's at least as old the computer in antiX 8.2
and 8.5. This modem also worked with Puppy 4.3.1 but is not detected by
Wary Puppy 5.1.1.
My newer Dell Inspiron b120 does not have any PCMCIA slots.
"The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards - and even then I have my doubts." ~ Gene Spafford