USB Modem That Works With Lion!

USB modem that works with OSX Lion

USB Modem that works with OSX Lion. A link to buy it is at the end of the article, just scroll on down.

My new USB modem that I ordered a few days from eBay arrived, and I can confirm that it does indeed work under Lion! Ah, victory is sweet!

It came with one of those small CDs, which I popped into my computer, and I quickly discovered that no modem drivers were included for OSX. So I went Googling for an OSX modem driver for it, but without any luck. I didn't spend a lot of time looking, because I decided to give it a try without installing any special driver. That kind of cavalier approach often works on Macs. I rarely have to install drivers for anything.

Since you can't use a single modem on a single phone line to send a fax to yourself, you either need a cooperative person in another location with a fax machine to keep sending you test faxes, or just use an online faxing service. For this kind of testing, I use faxZero to send a test fax to myself. faxZero lets you send 2 free faxes per day; it's apparently tied to a cookie that's set in your browser, so if you need to send more than 2 in a day you can get around the limit by using a different browser. (Sorry, faxZero, but I'm not going to sign up for a paid account just to send 3 test faxes to myself. I did give you a free link, though, and I appreciate your free service.)

First test: Failed. I have my phone line on a splitter, one end to my Brother All-in-One printer/fax/copier, and one end to the modem plugged into my Mac. I prefer to receive faxes on the computer, not the printer, so I have my fax-receiving preferences on the computer set to pick up after 1 ring, and the printer set to pick up after 4 rings. Well, the modem never picked up, so after 4 rings the printer did, and my test fax printed out on the printer.

Second test: Failed. One of the primary steps in troubleshooting is to remove any extraneous factors that might be interfering. So I removed the splitter and plugged the phone line directly into the modem. That way, there's no possibility that the splitter or the fax machine could be causing a problem. I sent another test fax, but nothing ever happened, and faxZero told me that my fax failed due to a problem with the receiver's phone line.

I didn't panic yet, because I had another trick up my sleeve.

Third test: Success! I went into System Preferences -> Print & Scan, and deleted the entry for the Apple modem. Then I clicked the little + sign, chose "Fax," and the new USB modem was helpfully added automatically, without me having to select a modem or do anything beyond clicking the + sign. It created a "USB Modem" entry in my Printer & Fax list. I sent another test fax. (This was my third test, so this was where I had to go to a different browser, since I had already used both of faxZero's 2 free faxes.)

Lo and behold, both test fax #2 and test fax #3 came right in. Happy happy joy joy!

Here's a link to the USB Modem that works on Lion. I ordered it on the 23rd, and it arrived yesterday. My Mac's System Report tells me it's a Conexant Systems Inc. modem. There are probably other USB modems that will work with Lion โ€” probably most of them will โ€” but I know for sure this one does. This modem was only $11, free shipping, and arrived 3 days after I ordered it (with a weekend in between). You can't beat the price, the cost, or the shipping speed!

Don't forget, after you plug in the modem, you need to go into System Preferences -> Print & Scan and click the plus sign + to add the modem. It won't work until you do that.

Get it on eBay:

By the way, is anyone in the market for an Apple USB modem? I happen to have a couple of them lying around.

There's a good chance that any USB modem, and particularly any Conexant USB modem, will work under Lion just fine, as long as it has 64-bit driver software. If you have success with some other model or brand of modem, let us know.

There's a selection of several inexpensive Conexant modems available on eBay right now:


Conexant USB Modems For Sale At E-bay Now

1 itemsPrice or
Current Bid
2 Ports USB External Dial up Voice Fax Data Modem 56k Conexant Chip Win7 8 Linux

New 2 Ports USB External Dial up Voice Fax Data Modem 56k Conexant Chip Win7 8 Linux for sale2 Ports USB External Dial up Voice Fax Data Modem 56k Conexant Chip Win7 8 Linux

Buy: $30.35 Shipping:
2 days
11 hrs
16 mins 16 secs


  1. Thanks for the tip, but exactly which of the 6 or 7 possibly different modems being offered on eBay did you actually buy and test? The picture you show doesn’t match any of the pictures for modems currently available on eBay. It’s possible that they all have the same chipset so they all work, but I want to make sure that the one that I get is the same as the one that you tested. Thanks!

    • I bought the one that I linked to in the grey box above — In the box where it says “Get it on eBay:” and then there’s a link. The seller was newlauch. That link will take you directly to the specific modem that I bought.

  2. Hello,

    I have Lion now, and this week purchased the US Robotics modem, which works like a charm, I might add. Only problem, and this is where I need help… After setting up as mentioned, when going to the fax page where one sets up preferences (number of rings, etc…) I tried to set it to pick up after 5 rings, but no matter what I do, it always picks up after 2 rings (that was the way I had it set up before!)

    Can anyone tell me, with their experience, how they have managed to set the modem to pick up on more than 2 rings. This is annoying, because we usually can’t pick up the phone on the first two rings in my house!


    • I have no idea why it’s not complying with your setting. If you set it to 5 rings, close out System Preferences, then re-open System Preferences, is it still set to 5 rings? In other words, is it losing your setting, or is it keeping the setting but ignoring it?

      I’ve never had mine be a problem picking up too early, because I always want mine to pick up after 1 ring, so that it beats my Brother all-in-one printer/copier/fax to the punch. I only want the actual fax machine to pick up if the modem fails, so it’s set to pick up after 4 rings, and my modem is set to pick up after 1.

      Also, did you remove your previous modem from the “Faxes” list? If that’s still there, it might be interfering somehow. Maybe.

  3. Thank you Don’t Panic! Yes, It is a brand new Mac, so no fax modem was listed. I have tried deleting it, and then re-doing it. I even tried to go to the US Robotics site for more info. I also installed a sort of driver for it that I got off their site, but can’t find it in my computer (list of drivers) when I try to reinstall the modem and one can choose a driver.. so I just keep it on Faxprint, or whatever.

    Yes, I have even tried re-booting, etc. I have tried everything I can think of!

    When i go back in the prefs, it still says 5 rings, and then I even tried changing it to 7 rings, just to see if it needed more. It ALWAYS picks up after two rings. So it is not respecting the settings! Weird. I have been in every panel I can, but can’t fix anything! It does send the fax to my desktop, as I asked, though! So that’s good. I can send & receive, only it’s a hassle because now I can’t leave the modem plugged in all the time.

    I will try to contact US Robotics perhaps, here in France where I live. Unless you have found something else. I suppose that I should be happy because I can fax again, like I did before, it’s just frustrating that it doesn’t work 100% !! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your help, and thanks for anyone else’s help?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hmmm, I don’t know what FaxPrint is. Is that a generic modem driver? Some sort of faxing software application? Does FaxPrint have any configurable settings that could be overriding your system settings?

      Is it possible that you set the 5 rings in FaxPrint’s settings, and you also need to set it in your System Preference settings? (System Preferences -> Print & Scan, select your modem, click the “Receive Options….” button.) If that’s what you’ve already done, sorry, I don’t mean to be insulting, but I’m not sure where FaxPrint fits into the picture. I didn’t have to choose a driver for my modem; I just clicked the “plus” sign and there it was.

      If anyone else has any insight that might help, please feel free to chime in!

  4. @ Don’t Panic:

    “Fax Printer” is the driver that Lion uses to run the modem. I had tried installing the specific modem for the US Robotics modem off their website, but in the pull-down list of modems to use (in the USB modem Fax Setup tab) it doesn’t show up. So it’s not an app and it doesn’t have its own settings. I did what you did to install it! I plugged it in, clicked on the “+” to add the modem, selected it and I was in business! When I opened the “Receive Options” pane, I set it to 5 rings. It always worked before, when I had Snow Leopard. I wonder if it’s a corrupted or old plist type of thing from Snow Leopard that hung over, (because I migrated my former computer to this new one…) or something like that.

    Thanks for your help… I wonder if anyone else is having this problem. Or maybe you could try yourself, just for a bit, to set yours to 5 rings and see what happens… If you unhook the Brother…? Oh well! I guess I’ll live with it, but it means I have to unplug the phone line when I’m not expecting a fax, and it means also that if someone wants to fax me, I’ll have to be home to plug the modem into the computer!! Argh! Better than no faxing at all though…


    • I just set my modem to answer after 5 rings and sent a test fax to myself using FaxZero. It worked as designed…. My Brother picked up after 4 rings, as per its settings, and so the modem did not pick up.

      I had to go looking for a drop-down list of modems to use to use in the Fax Setup tab, because I didn’t remember seeing any such thing. I found one by clicking “Open Fax Queue….” in System Preferences, then Fax Setup, then the Driver tab. Mine is set to use “Fax Printer,” same as yours, so that’s not it.

      The combination of new computer, new operating system, migration from Snow Leopard, and new modem makes it hard to pinpoint what’s causing the problem. There’s no fax-specific plist in my user Library directory, but there’s one in the root /Library/Preferences directory, called It contains the number of rings setting. You might try deleting that, then set your fax preferences again and see if it works.

      You might also try creating a new user on your machine, for testing purposes. Log in as that user, set your ring settings there, and see if that works. If it does, there’s something specific in your user directory causing the problem. If that doesn’t work either, then it’s something at the system level.

  5. Thank you. I have tried to get into my directory, I have tried to become a root user, I have found PrintingPrefs.plist, but nothing about FaxPrefs! Gulp, I can’t get to it. I went to the Apple Support website to learn how to become a root user, but it doesn’t work/not clear. I have tried: “Go to Folder” and then typing in ~/Library/ and that gets me my old Preferences folder, but there’s nothing about FaxPrefs in there! Argh. I need someone to walk me through this over the phone… I’m a bit discouraged now, and have been spending too long here now.

    Thanks so much for all your effort… ๐Ÿ™ gulp, guess I’m too blonde to be able to do it!


  6. PS I also tried making a new, temporary “user account,” but still the same problem. NOW, (thanks to Lion.. grrrrr..) I can’t even delete that user account! Argh…. things are getting more dismal by the minute. So many changes in Lion, and things are locked up tighter ‘n a drum! ๐Ÿ™

  7. EUREKA!!!! I have finally solved the problem, and it’s very interesting how I did it! (With a lot of help!)

    You see, I went into the root system Preferences folder (sorry, I had been making it much more difficult than it really was for some reason as per my last post), and deleted the “fax print” pref page, but that still didn’t help! Sooooo, I thought, “I better call US Robotics and ask them.

    After 5 or 6 emails and phone calls, we have finally solved the problem, using an application called Zterm and going into the terminal!

    In Zterm, one is able to control the modem, and put it either on settings for Europe (where I live), for Britain or for USA/Canada. In Europe and in Britain, the modem is set up to answer after up to four rings only!! By going into the terminal and forcing the modem to be in the USA mode, where one can set ANY number of rings, I set my Mac Receive Options page to 8 rings, and it works like a charm! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, the problem had to do with the fact that I was using the modem sold over here, and not the modem sold in the States! They are configured differently in the software!

    Crazy, huh?? I’m just glad it works now! It certainly wasn’t for the faint of heart, trying to solve the problem!! LOL

    Just thought I would let you know. And BTW, the modem works great!!

  8. I purchased the modem form the link above and when I go into the System Preferences/Print & Scan/Fax no modem appears, an thoughts?

  9. I tried it on several machines and it worked on none of them. I gave up and bought the US Robotics modem and it worked perfectly.

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