Often, one modem in a connection is capable of sending data much faster than the other can receive. Flow control allows the receiving modem to tell the other to pause while it catches up. Flow control exists as either software, or XON/XOFF, flow control, or hardware (RTS/CTS) flow control. With software flow control, when a modem needs to tell the other to pause, it sends a certain character, usually Control-S. When it is ready to resume, it sends a different character, such as Control-Q. Software flow control's only advantage is that it can use a serial cable with only three wires. Since software flow control regulates transmissions by sending certain characters, line noise could generate the character commanding a pause, thus hanging the transfer until the proper character (such as Control-Q) is sent. Also, binary files must never be sent using software flow control, as binary files can contain the control characters. Hardware, or RTS/CTS, flow control uses wires in the modem cable or, in the case of internal modems, hardware in the modem. This is faster and much more reliable than software flow control.
Articles in this section
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- How do V.92 modem speeds compare to ISDN, ADSL and Cable speeds?
- Does the Model 3090A modem have lights or a speaker ?
- Where can I learn more about modems and V.92/V.44?
- What makes a Zoom V.92 modem faster than V.90?
- Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Data Transfer
- IRQ Settings
- COM Port Settings (DOS/Windows)
- UARTs and Data Buffering
- Flow Control