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V.92 Facts & Hype (Updated 15-Nov-03)
V.92 Features: Fact or Hype: Modem-on-Hold - call-waiting solution Fact: This works! Desirable for those who use modem and have call-waiting. See below. V.92 PCM Upstream - provides increased upstream rates of up to 48kbps. Hype: This just isn't happening. Don't count on any improved upstream performance right now. Maybe sometime. Maybe not. Quick Connect - may reduce the time-to-connect by up to 50%. Hype: This isn't happening quite as advertised. Conexant's V.92 information says, "...typically, the modem handshake takes from 25 to 27 seconds. Quick connect will cut the modem handshake time in half for most calls..." When everything works, the handshake may be shortened by about 10 seconds. Technically, Quick connect involves a number of time-saving techniques invoked at various points in the modem handshake. All aspects of quick connect must be used to cut the time in half. As interoperability improves (latest modem drivers), this feature cuts down time to connect. V.44 - a separate standard generally included with only V.92 modems provides improved compression. 4-to-1 maximum versus a 2-to-1 maximum of V.42 might be suggested. (These oft-cited 'maximums' aren't true maximums at all: Neither V.42 nor V.44 impose a maximum compression ratio.) Fact & Hype: When you encounter highly compressible data, V.44 can give you a significant boost in throughput. However, not all types of data can be compressed - the results you get will vary. For example, downloading newsgroup headers (text) may get a boost, but downloading pictures and binaries won't. You'll need a controllerless (Winmodem) or softmodem to achieve best results. See V.44 vs V.42.
Bottom line: If you have call-waiting service on the line you use for Internet access, V.92 is desirable. Even if your ISP doesn't yet support V.92, you'll at least be able to decide whether you want to disconnect or ignore call-waiting while you're online. (And, if you have call-waiting/caller-id, you'll be able to see who's calling to help you decide what action to take.) If you have a V.92 ISP, you'll also be able to place your Internet connection on hold, take the call, and then resume your online session without redialing.
If you have a V.90 modem that works well, and don't have call-waiting on your line, V.92 won't turn your service into "Broadband lite" - any significant difference in performance that is achieved will be more a function of how good the modem's driver (firmware) is able to deal with your phone line conditions and interoperability with your ISP's modem compared to your present modem.