Cheap Class1 Modems
If you're looking for a cheap external serial class1 modem (~ $40/50) which is reliable for faxing, try one with the conexant (aka rockwell) chipset; we've been using these modems for a long time succesfully. When the modem we used went out of production I specifically researched for other conexant modems, ie:
- creative modem blaster (www.modemblaster.com)
- hamlet HV92KX (www.hamletcom.com)
- actiontec 56k
More known is the brand the higher is the cost.
The Conexant HSF and HCF modems are WinModems?, and as such need a special driver to work under Linux. Until recently a free (as in beer) driver was available for Conexant modems under Linux, but this has now been withdrawn. Having bought your Conexant modem you have to pay an extra $14.95 for a closed source driver. The build system worked OK for me (but the install script did not work on my Debian Sarge system, but the .debs did ) I felt this was a little bit unfortunate to have to pay more money, but the build was simple and it seems to work, so maybe $5 on ebay for the modem and $14.95 for the driver wasn;t such a bad deal after all :) The drivers are on www.linuxant.com If you are happy with a closed-source driver, that where to go.
Since our distributor had hamlet and it was one of the cheapest (being a less known brand) we went for them. However all of them should be equal as far as faxing is concerned since chipset is the same.
Specifically ask for chipset type, and pay attention to model names, often they have slightly different models which look similar but have completely different chipsets inside; they also change chipset without changing model name.
Latest conexant also do class2 faxing, but class1 + HylaFAX >= 4.2beta give you more features (ECM, 2D-MMR, etc.)