View Full Version : Modems - Hard/Soft?

Andrew B
12-07-2002, 02:46 PM
Can someone please explain the difference between hard and soft modems? Which sort is a winmodem? Which is best in country areas with noisy lines and associated connection problems? And is there much difference in price? Thanks.

12-07-2002, 02:55 PM
Hard modems are "Hardware Modems", usually external but not USB connected (USB are usually soft modems) Most ISA slot internal modems are also hardware modems.

A Hardware modem is a real modem, it has all the functions and processor power on board.

A soft modem is a collection of components that are told what to do by the processor in the computer, and are referred to as PCI, soft, winmodems, HAM modems, and a variation of similar names.

Soft modems are cheap. (and often too operating system dependent to be reliable)

External modems are dearer but much more reliable and less operating system dependent.

USB external modems are often soft modems I believe as well. Some may be hard modems but unsure if this is the case.

I abandoned soft modems a couple of years ago, for good old serial RS232 port external ones and never had any more trouble.

12-07-2002, 02:57 PM
Re country areas, derfinately hard modem, and seriously consider the dynalink rural external modem. It is apparently much more reliable when electric fence "ticks" can be heard on the line. They often cause disconnection on winmodems

12-07-2002, 03:51 PM
also to confuse things there are semi soft modems (sounds like butter)

these have a hardware part as well as a software componant. there are better than a winmodem (which is total software) but still not as good as a hardware. one catch is people label semisoft modems as hardware modems.

does anyone know of a PCI hardware modem in NZ? the last time i looked the only true hardware pci modems advailable where not made for NZ :(

Andrew B
12-07-2002, 04:17 PM
Is the Dynalink Rural Modem a hard modem? And does it do any better than others in rural areas? And is it still available? Thanks for the replies so far.

12-07-2002, 04:30 PM
Dynalink rural modem is a hardware modem, optimised in design for noisy lines. Looks like it may be hard to get, nobody seems to have it in a quick look around.

I understand they work quite well. If you can still find one that is...

Susan B
12-07-2002, 06:29 PM
The ChCH Harvey Norman store had a wee stack of Dynalink rural modems last week.

But I see you are in Tauranga. :-(

I'm pretty certain I saw them on some online stores last week too, so check Pricespy for some links first.

13-07-2002, 09:45 AM
> Is the Dynalink Rural Modem a hard modem? And does it
> do any better than others in rural areas? And is it
> still available? Thanks for the replies so far.


despite my recent posts about the slack (that's a nice understatement) service of Tauranga Computers, a quick look at their website shows that they sell the Dynalink External Rural modem for $197inc GST.

Go here for their site's modem page. The modem we're looking at is about 3/4 down the page.