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The new 56 Kbps V.92 modems have recently been released on the market. This new modem standard brings basically three new features comparing to the traditional 56 Kbps modems, that use the V.90 standard.

The first news is a higher upload speed. In the 56 Kbps V.90 modems, the maximum download rate (transference in the sense of server/user) is of 56 Kbps, but the maximum upload speed (transference in the sense of user/server) is of 33.600 bps. In the V.92 modems, the maximum upload rate has been increased to 48.000 bps, making the file upload, videoconference and the sending of e-mails faster. The download rate continues the same (56 Kbps). For you to take more advantage of this speed, your access server must have V.92 modems, otherwise the maximum upload rate will continue at 33.600 bps.

The second news is the system called MOH, Modem On Hold. Through this system, the computer tells you when someone is trying to call you while you are connected to the Internet, allowing you to answer the call. The connection with your access server continues active, but in pause. As soon as you end your telephone conversation, you will be able to keep on surfing normally. For this service to work, you will need to enable a service called call hold at the telephone company.

In many places you will see written that this technology allows you to surf on the Internet and talk on the phone at the same time. This is not true. When you answer a telephone call, your Internet connection is paused. You will only be able to surf again when you finish the telephone conversation. Only telephone lines such as ISDN and ADSL allow you to talk and surf at the same time, for having more than one communication channel. The conventional telephone line has only one communication channel, making it impossible to surf and talk at the same time.

At first you can also use the modem Caller ID service to see, on the computer screen, the number of the person who is calling you. Then you can decide if you will answer the call or continue surfing on the Internet. But this system does not work in all telephone lines. What happens is that the modem uses the North American Caller ID system standard and some countries have their own systems, that are not compatible with the North American one. Some telephone central stations can work with the North American standard, but not all of them. So, to know if your telephone line accepts to be programmed to use the North American Caller ID system, you should contact your telephone company.

The third feature available in V.92 modems is called quick connect. The V.90 modem hand-shaking process – that noise we hear every time we connect our computers to the Internet – takes about 20 seconds. In V.92 modems, it “learns” the conditions of the telephone line where it is installed at the first time you connect to the server. From the 2nd time on, it will not execute its line verification routines anymore, because it already “knows” it. So, the hand-shaking time is lowered to half, taking only about 10 seconds to connect. Notice that if you change the line of the modem, the first hand-shaking will take 20 seconds again, because it will have to learn about the conditions of this new line.

Some V.90 modems can be updated to V.92 through software. You should always check out your modem’s manufacturer site on the Internet to know if it allows this upgrade.