The importance of modems in Windows NT systems has suddenly increased with the introduction of the modem pooling service and the built-in fax server in SBS. As a result of these two new features, you might have inbound fax calls, outbound fax calls, inbound RAS calls, Proxy Server demand-dial based calls, and dial-up modem pool calls all happening on the same server with the same modem.

With so much communications activity going on, you must choose the right modem and plan your anticipated usage. Microsoft's NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) can provide a good start when you're selecting a modem. My testing of SBS worked fine with a Logicode Quicktel 28.8 external fax/modem. However, because you can have overlapping areas of functionality, Microsoft recommends purchasing a modem that can support a feature called Adaptive Answer, which lets the modem distinguish between incoming fax and data calls. With Adaptive Answer, you can use one modem for many different services.

During the preview release of SBS, Microsoft found that the following modems distinguished between incoming fax and data calls:

  • Diamond SupraSonic 336V+
  • Diamond SupraFAX Modem 28.8 External
  • Hayes Accura External 28.8 V.FC+FAX (Model 5205AM)
  • Hayes Optima External 28.8 V.34/V.FC+FAX+Voice
  • U.S. Robotics Courier V.Everything External
  • U.S. Robotics Courier V.Everything Internal
  • U.S. Robotics Sportster 33.6 External
  • U.S. Robotics Sportster 33.6 Internal

To get the up-to-date HCL for SBS, check Microsoft's SBS Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/backofficesmallbiz/showcase/hcl.asp?A=3&B=3.