What is best external fax modem you have used on SBS 2003?

I would like to hear from experts who have installed an external fax modem on SBS 2003.  What modem did you use?  What are some of the "gotchas" to watch for?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Wow, what a horrible topic :)

Selecting fax modems has been a major pain in the SBS community, namely because getting definitive answers from anyone on what works in the real world vs. "look at Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility List" was next to impossible for a while.

These days the choices are a little better with some vendors specifically marketing their product to SBS Server installations (See Eicon www.eicon.com for example).

In regards to what I use that's cheap, I found that *old* US Robotics modems were one of the few external modems that seemed to work without flaws or modifications of the AT string (Courier V.Everything modems work without fail).  Trouble is getting your hands on them.  I bought a few dozen once from someone who had them on eBay and didn't realize what little gold nuggets he had and am still using those up. *Some* external Zoom modems will work, but even ones of the same supposed model don't always behave the same so cross your fingers on that.  I have never had any consistency with the 4 external USB modems I've tried and definitely would not recommend any of them.

On the more expensive end the Brooktrout modems work great, let me say that again...they work great.  SBS comes with the drivers and they simply just work.  

For "Gotchas":  Let's see, lessons learned so far... If you want to use more than one modem be aware that SBS only supports *one* internal modem...for more you need to add external.  Then, you need to make sure that the ones that you use have different modem drivers, otherwise SBS freaks out (no seriously, it may not boot up).  If you use a multimodem card like a Brooktrout model though it's not an issue.  Next, if you're not using a 3rd party business class internal board like Brooktrout, Eicon, etc. then get an external 'business' modem.  The internal stuff is mostly junk these days, and there really is a difference in the 'business' modems.

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial

I've used the U.S. Robotics Courier 56K Business Modem, model number USR3453B, on six or seven SBS 2003 implementations, with excellent results.


It's pricey, but rock solid.

Good Luck,

Roy Greathouse
Roys Tech Works
dalvaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the detailed answer.  I picked up a V.Everything modem from ebay which should be arriving shortly.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.