SUMMARY: Modems and Terminal Server Reccomendation

From: Mike Jipping (
Date: Wed May 03 1995 - 05:42:38 CDT

Many thanks to all who responded. I have purchased a terminal server
and am happily serving a bank of modems.

My original query:

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The site I administer is expanding its phone connections for outside
users from only one to from 4 to 8. The old situation was handled by a
phone line into the server machine. Now, we need a terminal server and
some good modems.

I'm desparately seeking reccomendations. I think I know a good modem
when I see one (:-) but putting modems with a good, usable (reasonably
priced!) terminal server is tough. I'm floating in sales jargon and
products! For example, a Livingston PortMaster looks good, but there are
many models and options -- combinatorially complex!

We will be running PPP and "normal" login/character-based sessions over
these lines.

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There were not many modem reccommendations. US Robotics was the modem
most consistently mentioned -- mostly in the Sportster flavor.

There were three top terminal servers:

   + Xylogics Annex and micro Annex (WWW at
   + Xyplex (WWW at
   + Livingston Portmasters (WWW at
Emulex and Cisco were also mentioned once or twice.

One solution I didn't think of was a SBus terminal server card, placing
8-16 port servers on an internal SBus card. These cards support 115k
on all lines and has a 128k buffer. The difference is that these
become serial ports not on a network. The cost was around $600.
Someone mentioned they got theirs from ZYZZX.

I ended up with a Livingston Portmaster for four reasons: (1) all who
mentioned Livingston mention excellent service, along with a mailing list,
(2) remote authentication on our server, (3) fast (115K) PPP in the box comes
standard, and (4) remote configuration is a snap. My PM2, 10 port unit was

Other units had bits and pieces of these features, but not all together.

So there you have it. Many thanks to all who responded. You know who you
are! The Net pays for itself again!

      Mike Jipping |
      Hope College | (616) 395-7509
      Department of Computer Science |

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