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

Posted on 2006-04-11
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
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?
Question by:dalva
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    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 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
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment


    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
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the detailed answer.  I picked up a V.Everything modem from ebay which should be arriving shortly.

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Join & Write a Comment

    The problem of the system drive in SBS 2003 getting full continues to be an issue, even though SBS 2008 and SBS 2011 are both in the market place.  There are several solutions to this, including adding additional drive space or using third party uti…
    If you are a user of the discontinued Microsoft Office Accounting 2008 (MSOA) and have to move to a new computer running Windows 8, you will be unhappy to discover that it won't install.  In particular, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SSE…
    Internet Business Fax to Email Made Easy - With eFax Corporate (, you'll receive a dedicated online fax number, which is used the same way as a typical analog fax number. You'll receive secure faxes in your email, fr…
    This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

    732 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    22 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now