MultiPort/LT Guide

Networked Modem

Complementing MultiPort/LT’s dial-in services, the one to four modems or ISDN System Adapters connected to the serial ports are equally accessible for dial-out purposes from locally networked Macintosh clients. The MultiPort/LT acts as a network modem server, in conjunction with special modem-redirection client software in each Macintosh. The modems are automatically shared on a demand basis between the dial-in and dial-out users.


Dial-out clients may use any software or application which either supports Communication ToolBox (CTB) devices, or expects to see a directly connected modem and telephone line. This includes terminal emulators, fax-modem applications, ARA, PPP or SLIP clients, etc. Port redirection client software, available from Webster, captures the modem traffic and redirects it over the LocalTalk or Ethernet network to a cooperating server component in the MultiPort/LT. This in turn assigns an idle modem to the task and completes the connection.

You no longer have to provide a separate modem and telephone line to each desktop requiring dial-out services. You make a smaller investment in shared hardware on an as-needed basis. In addition, the password protection and access filtering security features of the MultiPort/LT provide an access "firewall" against sneak paths in and out of the corporate network. All dial-out attempts and events are logged for access by the system administrator.

When several modems are connected to one or more MultiPort/LT, they may all be shared as a single group for dial-out purposes. It is not necessary for the user to "search" for an idle modem: the MultiPort/LT server makes the assignment and connection automatically and transparently. When all modems are busy, the user can elect to be notified as soon as a modem becomes available.

Suggested applications include desktop fax services, bulletin board services, PPP Internet connections, CompuServe, America Online, and ARA dial-out to branch offices.

Use of the dial-out function is not just limited to modems. Any serial device which would normally be connected directly to a Macintosh is similarly accommodated, such as serial printers or plotters. Even the console ports of minicomputers, network hubs or other components may now be shared over the network, using terminal emulation software such as ZTerm.

The MultiPort/LT dial-out function is a special implementation of Stalker Software Inc’s PortShare Pro protocol. The PortShare Pro server function is fully implemented within the MultiPort/LT as standard. PortShare Pro client software is separately available from Webster Computer Corporation in inexpensive 10-user or site license packs.

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Last updated March 21, 2005
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