We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Wi-Fi and Networking Reviews
15,522 Reviews

USRobotics 56K USB Modem review

£39 inc VAT

Manufacturer: US Robotics

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Designed for portability, the USRobotics 56K USB Modem is small enough to slip into a pocket, case or backpack when you're travelling, and draws its power from a USB port on a PC or Mac.

Designed for portability, the USRobotics 56K USB Modem is small enough to slip into a pocket, case or backpack when you're travelling, and draws its power from a USB port on a PC or Mac.

Quite a few people were surprised when Apple revealed that the new MacBook Air had built-in wireless networking but no ethernet connector. After all, a wireless-only laptop is fine if you can afford to sit in airport lounges or posh hotels with the latest technology at your beck and call. But for the rest of us, there are plenty of occasions when we find ourselves in places that don't have wireless networks.

In fact, there are times when even ethernet and broadband internet access can be hard to find. There are, for instance, many hotels in the UK and dotted around Europe that don't have internet access at all – unless, that is, you resort to that relic of 20th century technology, the dialup modem.

For those of you that don't remember them, dialup modems allow you to connect to the internet using a conventional phone line (rather than a phone line that has been upgraded to use the ADSL broadband technology). Admittedly, dialup connections aren't very fast – the USRobotics 56K USB Modem provides a top speed of 56Kbps, compared to the 2Mbps that is now the common minimum for broadband internet services.

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest news and reviews about the internet and internet tools, and to use PC Advisor's independent broadband speed checker

That sort of speed means you won't be doing too much web browsing, or downloading music or video files. However, it will at least allow you to log on and check your emails when you need to.

That's where the USRobotics 56K USB Modem comes in. Designed for portability, the USRobotics 56K USB Modem is small enough to slip into a pocket, case or backpack when you're travelling, and draws its power from a USB port on a PC or Mac.

Installation is very straightforward, as you just load the modem script driver from the CD and then enter the details of your dialup account into the PC – in Vista, for example, use Phone and Modem Options from control Panels, and follow the wizard.

Visit Business Advisor for the latest business IT news, reviews, tips and tricks - plus sign up for our unique and FREE business IT newsletter

USRobotics 56K USB Modem Expert Verdict »
Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later, Linux kernel 2.4.20 or higher
V.92 analogue modem with V.PCM Upstream technology
99x36x25mm
51g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Jokes about Antiques Roadshow aside, the USRobotics 56K USB Modem could turn out to be very useful for business users or other people that spend time checking into more remote hotels. It could even turn out to be a lifesaver if you need to check your email and find yourself holed up somewhere that doesn't have broadband internet access.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • DrayTek Vigor 2820Vn review

    DrayTek Vigor 2820Vn

    The DrayTek Vigor 2820Vn is a fully featured ADSL2+ modem and wireless router for advanced installations.

  • Vodafone USB Modem Stick review

    Vodafone USB Modem Stick

    Vodafone's USB Modem Stick is a mobile internet adaptor, and its support for HSDPA gives it the edge over previous 3G adaptors, with a claimed top download speed of 7.2Mbps.

  • Rasputin review

    Rasputin

    Rasputin is a nice piece of software in search of a problem: it sends data at regular intervals to your ISP so that your ISP doesn't disconnect you after you've been inactive for a certain amount of time.

  • US Robotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464

    US Robotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464

    The USUSRobotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464 is the latest draft-n wireless router to emerge from USRobotics. This particular range is ‘draft 1.0-compliant’ but with draft 2.0 up for approval right now and final ratification due no earlier than September 2008, the value of this badge is moot.

  • Virgin Mobile Broadband 7.2Mb USB modem review

    Virgin Mobile Broadband 7.2Mb USB modem

    With the Virgin Mobile Broadband 7.2Mb USB modem, Virgin Media promises super-fast 3G mobile connectivity, from £10 per month. But can it deliver?


IDG UK Sites

3 of the best portable chargers: a solar power charger, a hand-cranked charger, and how to charge...

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Thinking robots: The philosophy of artificial intelligence and evolving technology

IDG UK Sites

Sharknado 2 VFX: how The Asylum created CG flying man-eating sharks