This article was first published in September 1997 when two different protocols for 56k throughput, X2 and K56flex, were competing. Starting in March 1998, v.90 was developed to replace these competing protocols and provide a single standard for 56k modems. v.90 was finalized in February 1999. This article was last updated at about that time, […]
Monday, July 9, 2001: I finally got DSL up and running over the weekend. It’s been a long story that started last summer when EarthLink announced DSL service for Grand Rapids (MI). I put my name on the waiting list – and waited and waited and waited.
Links originally on the No Hype 56k Modem Home Page. Links verified March 2018.
1999: Once upon a time, 1200 bps was a fast modem and 230 kbps LocalTalk was a decent network speed. That was a long time ago. Today, most modems are of the 56k variety – although the name is something of a misnomer. These 56k (a.k.a. v.90) modems can download files at up to 53 […]
1999: Analog modems have just about outlived their usefulness. They have definitely hit a speed roadblock. Their great advantage is universality – you can find a telephone jack just about anywhere.
It’s the hot new technology for 1998: modem bonding. Windows 95 supports it, many modem makers support it, and ISPs are beginning to support it.
1998: I recommend you read It’s the Latency, Stupid by Stuart Cheshire to get a good understanding of latency, then come back to this overview.
1998: According to the hype, v.90 (a.k.a. 56k) modems are the greatest thing since Zip drives. In some respects, they are. They’re ideal for surfing the World Wide Web, but perhaps less than ideal for other uses.
1998: We’ve looked at packets, compression, and latency. We’ve seen that each takes a toll on throughput. The following shows the effect of this at various modem speeds.
1998: By now, everyone should realize that the 56k modem is just a flash in the pan. So were the 33.6k modem, the 28.8k modem, and the rare 19.2k modem. And let’s not forget the 14.4k modem, the 9600 modem, the 2400 modem, the 1200 modem, the 300 modem, and the lowly 110bps modem.
1997: The bad news is that my phone line at home doesn’t support a digital connection. :-( The good news is that a 34 kbps connection is much, much faster than a 14.4 kbps one. :-)