The Newest Modem Protocols, by William David Ewing

v.92 and v.44

(They might save you some money)

Technology has really improved communication over our phone lines by computer modems.

By use of Cable and DSL Internet connections, our communication has really speeded up, but what about those of us who travel with a laptop or prefer "Dial up" service?

Back in the "olden days" of modem usage, our connect speed was at 300 baud or more accurately, 300 bits per second or bps. This was the normal dial up speed in the 1980's. Then technology burst forth with 1200 bps, 14,000 bps, and 28,000 bps, 33,600 bps and now the standard is 56,000 bps. Other than the debate between "flex" or "x2" and standardization of connection, not much has really changed other than connect speed.

Today that is almost at the maximum for telephone lines - 64,000 bps.

For those of us using dial up services, we have had to add a second phone line or bear the brunt of our friends complaining, "You must have been on the computer, as the line has been busy all day!"

Technology has come to the rescue with this newest of modem improvements.

The v.92 and the v.44 protocols make a speedier and faster connection. They also allow the user to maintain an Internet connection yet be able to have some use of the telephone on the same telephone line at the same time, provided the user has subscribed to telephone "Call waiting" and "Caller ID"!

What do these protocols offer? A prerequisite is that the modems on both ends of the connection MUST have the v.92 and v.44 capability. Given that, here are the improvements.

First of all, the connection or "handshake" sequence time has been reduced by up to 40%. This occurs when the first connection is made between the two modems. They "train" each other to recognize themselves on subsequent connections. "Analog characteristics and digital impairment information are captured in a profile stored on the local disk drive or, for external modems, in RAM." On subsequent connections, the local computer looks for this stored information and then makes the handshake for the quick connection.

Once online, the v.44 protocol assists with uploading and downloading, and decreases the time for these processes up to 120%. From the v.92 web information page, "Popular sites such as and eBay use highly compressible HTML files, so online shopping is faster than ever. V.44 also increases data throughput for email (by 27 percent), Word documents (by 21 percent), Power Point files (by 10 percent), and C source files (by 45 percent)."

A third feature of this technology is the "Modem on Hold" feature. With the software provided by your modem manufacturer, the user is able to maintain a connection with the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and use telephone company services such as Caller ID and Call Waiting at the same time. The ISP determines the time a user can be on "Modem on Hold." The user may also make outgoing calls.

Some modem manufacturers offer downloadable software updates to their v.90 56K modems. Most new modems sold today have these new protocols.

In summary, The ISP must provide a v.92 connection. With that connection, the newest modem protocols enable a user to get quicker connections and download and upload data at a much-increased rate of speed. With local telephone company services of Call Waiting and Caller ID, the user can make or take calls while maintaining an Internet connection.


Dave Ewing is a 20-year PC user, retired Delta Air Lines Captain, and avid computer hobbyist. Members of HAL-PC "in absentia," he and his wife Kay live in McKinney and occasionally visit their favorite Special Interest Group, Build or Buy. In fact, the entire family built their computers with help from the Build or Buy SIG.