The Actiontec Datalink 56K V.90 modem is still a viable option where wireless or other access simply is not available.
A few years ago my old laptop died. I didn’t have enough money to replace it with a good one, but I HAD to have portable word processing capability, and internet access in locations where dial-up was going to be the only option. The laptop I got was, well, functional.. Let’s leave it at that. But I paid very little for it, so that was fine. However, it did not have a working modem.
I was able to get this modem on a swap deal with my local computer service shop. I had some spare parts they were willing to trade for this modem. I see that you can now buy these modems on line for under $20.
I don’t know too much about the details of this. It is a PCMCIA Fax/Modem card. It slides easily in the slot and stays put. I’ve never had any trouble with the modem itself. Any problems that I’ve had connecting to the internet have been with the availability of service, not with the modem.
I rated it 5 for speed based on its capability, obviously not compared with other connection options of the modern world!