I just put my two year old Zoom modem in the computer, and it kicks @ss over the 3 mo old factory installed piece of junk. It's like gojng from the old 28.8 to a 56K! I am much happier now, maybe that was my problem all along.
new modems that are software controlled (winmodem, windows modem, HSP modem, cnr modem, amr modems, cheap crap @ 19.00!) blow arse! USR, ZOOM, and ahhhhh, ummmmm, well those are the best. External is the way to go, they don't give a crap what your computer is doing, the do their thing and don't require anything else (eg. faster!!).