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SRG Sites > NewTechReview > Reviews > MultiTech MultiMobileUSB Phone Modem

MultiTech MultiMobileUSB Phone Modem

Manufacturer: MultiTech Systems
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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The MultiMobileUSB from MultiTech Systems lets you add data and fax capabilities to your Windows-based computer system. It's a hardware/software package that provides an external modem unit, which connects to your computer via USB, and a software bundle including Trio's DataFax/Voice 5.3, Quarterdeck's Procomm RapidRemote, Acrobat Reader 3.01, TuneUp.com's TuneUp, Microsoft Dial-Up Networking 1.2, Internet Explorer 4.01 and 3.02, NetRocker modem-doubling software discount, SyGate modem-sharing software discount, PointCast Software, Net2Phone, TeamWARE Embla 2.0 E-mail, Calypso E-Mail, Microsoft NetMeeting 2.1, Pronto E-Mail, Prodigy Internet service and McAfee VirusScan.

Thanks to USB technology, installing the MultiMobileUSB is very easy. It's as simple as plugging the modem's USB connection into your computer, and loading the device driver floppy disk when Windows asks for it. As a matter of fact, because the modem uses USB, you don't even have to reboot your computer, and you don't have to worry about available IRQs. MultiMobileUSB will work with any version of Windows that supports USB. Windows 98 users are easily covered. If you're still running Windows 95 though, you have to be sure it has USB support. I tested the product under Windows 98, and I didn't have any trouble at all getting everything set up.

The MultiMobileUSB provides integrated data and fax features. Up to 56K data speeds are supported and the product is compatible with the following data modem standards: V.90 56K bps ITU, V.90/K56flex dual mode, V.34 33.6K bps ITU, V.80 (video conferencing), V.42 error correction, and V.42bis MNP 5 data compression. Class 1 and Class 2 Group III fax commands are supported along with fax speeds up to 14000 bps for both send and receive.

You can upgrade the MultiMobileUSB by simply downloading a new software update over the Internet. So, when new data or fax standards become available, you won't have to shell out more money for a hardware upgrade. Another nice convenience is the fact that you don't need to power down your computer if you need to unplug the modem for some reason. And if you use the modem with your laptop, it won't occupy your PC Card slot space. The only thing missing is an extra phone cord connection to attach your telephone handset. But since the MultiMobileUSB is designed to be used "on the road", I guess this isn't really essential. Plus it keeps the modem's size extremely small.

A nice selection of software is provided with the MultiMobileUSB, although Microsoft Internet Explorer is already available as a free download over the Internet. Actually, all of the included Microsoft software is available for free download. Another slight disappointment is that the TeamWARE Embla 2.0 E-mail is unregistered, and the McAfee VirusScan is only good for 90 days. It would be nicer if the full versions were included. Quarterdeck's Procomm RapidRemote and Net2Phone are nice additions though. The best part of the software bundle is Trio's DataFax/Voice 5.3. It's full-featured data/fax software that lets you easily send, receive, and monitor your communications.

During my tests I found that the MultiMobileUSB performed quite well. It maintained an average connection speed of about 44Kbps. This is very good for a 56K modem product. Even though the software bundle could be improved a bit, the MultiMobileUSB is a wonderful product. With the added convenience of a USB connection, it's very easy to install. The modem is small enough to fit in your pocket, and it doesn't require an external power supply. The MultiMobileUSB is compact, convenient, and provides all the features you might need for communicating with your computer away from home.
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