A PCI data fax soft modem is also known a a software based modem, soft modem, software modem or winmodem. Winmodem was a brand name of modem sold by U.S. Robotics.
Winmodems are so named because they only function on computers running the windows operating system. “Soft” modems are so named because they are “software” driven. Winmodems are software driven as well.
Unlike controller based modems, software modems rely almost completely on the host computer to handle all telephone signal processing. I’ve heard them described as just a pci card to provide a port of the telephone to
When they were initially introduced software modems, (especially winmodems), had a reputation for being unreliable and buggy and rightfully so. Even today the Internet has a wealth of information to support this. I would agree software modems were very problematic, 10 years ago! In my opinion much information about soft modems is out of date. I have had great successwith them. I currently use one now.
Soft modems are internal and are installed in any available pci expansion slot on your computers motherboard. Some basic knowledge of computer architecture is needed to complete the installation yourself, but its one of the easier computer upgrade tasks to perform.
So what make these types of dial up modem so popular? They’re cheap! The average Internet price of a PCI data fax soft modem is between $5 and $10. They normally include voice and fax capabilities. Todays new powerful computers can easily handle telephone signal processing without significantly taxing the CPU and ram.