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Modem answers call waiting problem

October 04, 1999|By Gareth Branwyn

If you have call waiting and a single phone line, you know what a hassle it is to disable call waiting each time you use your modem. Actiontec's 56K External Call Waiting Modem ($124.99) can make things a little easier.

The Actiontec modem allows you to use a phone line that has call waiting without disabling it before logging on.

When a call comes through while you're online, the modem rings, letting you know you have an incoming call. If you answer the phone, you have up to seven seconds to either take the call (and the modem will disconnect) or to tell the person on the line to call back.

The amount of time you have to decide depends on the type of modems your ISP uses. For some, it can be as little as four seconds. This is an unfortunately short period of time, but at least calls will ring through while you're online (so you won't miss that important call), and after a while, the people who call you often will understand when you frantically blurt out: "Call me back, I'm online! (click)."

The Call Waiting Modem can be configured in three ways. It can ring to alert you to a call, it can automatically hang up your modem connection whenever a call comes through, or it can automatically dial *70 each time you make a connection (to disable the call waiting feature).

The Actiontec 56K External Call Waiting Modem works under Windows 95, 98, NT and Linux.

A USB version is available ($134.95) that also works on the Mac OS.

Information: 800-797-7001 or www.actiontec.com.

For more reviews and tech news, visit www.streettech.com.

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