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What are Modem, Types, and Comparison – Beginners Guide USA 2022

Innovation continues to affect how we view the world. Sometimes the technology is widely known because of the same name.

This is the case with the term “modem”, which is used to refer to every device connected to the Internet. Although it reflects the function of the device, it is not very clear to those who are looking for a device suitable for travel and remote work.

This article will attempt to eliminate the most common misunderstandings and highlight key milestones related to Modem.

What is a Modem?

What is a Modem

Modems are network devices that use carriers’ analog signals (called sine waves) to encode and decode digital data to process. Modems perform both functions simultaneously.

This is the reason cited above, and the word modem refers to a combination that includes “modulate” in addition to “demodulate.”

The most popular use of modems is for sending and receiving digital data among personal computers. This data was transmitted via telephone lines using V.92, the most recent dial-up standard, and then to an analog modem which could convert the signal into digital format computers to read.

Today, access to the Internet is more often achieved with advanced broadband routers.

Types of Modem

There are various kinds of modems used in computer networking. They are explained below.

1. Dial-up Modems

Dial-up modes transmit an analog signal using telephone lines. The modem is typically used to connect with an ISP with analog signals. The dial-up modem comes in two variations, such as an internal or external modem.

Also, Read – 5 Best Wireless Router for Streaming Netflix In USA 2022 – Review & Buying Guide

2. Cable Modem

For the modem that is cable, you must use coaxial cables connected to the back of the modem.

3. ADSL Modem

ADSL means “Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line,” and these kinds of modems utilize the telephone line for transmitting and receiving all types of information. ASDL modems are faster when compared to standard modems and voice.

4. ASDL modem

This core router is designed to work as part of the internet backbone or the core. It is compatible with multiple communication interfaces with the fastest performance and uses within the Internet’s core.

5. Virtual Router 

Employs two kinds of data transmission techniques, namely “Synchronous as well as Asynchronous.” Synchronous transmission can be used to make it more precise for timing signals, and however, Asynchronous transmission is employed in formulas for correcting errors.

6. DSL Modem

DSL means “Digital Subscriber Line” “also called “Broadband Modem.” DSL modems offer broadband services to use different internet connections. DSL modems can be used to use for faster internet speeds.

7. External Modem

The external modem is independent since it does not integrate with any router. The modem connects to the computer via a USB stick, WIFI, and Ethernet cable. The modem has the option of connecting to an independent router. If you wish to share your network, create a connection to several routers in a smaller area.

8. Integrated Modem

This modem has been integrated into the computer in the form of a USB or PCI card. However, this kind of modem can only allow one computer system to connect to the internet.

9. Onboard Modem

Modems onboard are incorporated into the motherboard, therefore this modem is not capable of being removed, but it can be turned off using a jumper or BIOS configuration.

10. Wireless Modem

Wireless Modem is also called “Radiofrequency Modem, “These modems are designed to function with wireless technology and areas networks.

11. Fax modem

The modem for fax is sending and receiving any kind of document through the phone line. This modem functions as a fax machine.

12. ISDN Modem

ISDN is an “Integrated Services Digital Network, “It is used to create communications standards that allow for digital transfer of audio and video data over optical fiber or the wire.

What is the difference between a Modem and a Router?

Modem vs Router

It is common for people to mistake routers and modems because they are close in-home settings. Modems and routers generally include Ethernet ports, except for wireless. However, the reality is they have two distinct functions in networks.

It is utilized to interface an internal network and the Internet. The device connects the Internet to the home network or a facility’s network. Modems can also communicate with several networks. Various modems depend on the kind of Internet service or network it is connected to.

The original modems with loud noises like the ones above were made specifically to connect the telephone line. Also, there are cable modems and fiber optic modems, and many more.

However, the router is a part of the network layer and transmits data between different devices. Routers connect to the Internet brought in from the Modem and connect different devices on a specific network.

The data sent to the router is transmitted via Ethernet ports or Wi-Fi connections to devices that need data. In the present, you’ll often have routers and modems all in an identical physical unit.

What is the difference between a Modem and a Gateway?

What is the difference between a Modem and a Gateway

A modem, short for modulator-demodulator, is an equipment gadget that associates with your link or phone line and changes over or balances a simple sign from a link or phone line to advanced information that a PC can undoubtedly perceive and comprehend.

It’s a hardware component that permits any device connected to the network connection to the Internet. However, a Gateway is an instrument that blends the capabilities of an internet router and a modem within the same device. In general, a gateway is a point on the network that serves as an access point’s capacity into an additional network.

Modems are utilized to give the high-velocity broadband Internet association from your home network to your ISP by utilizing the phone line. Phone lines are utilized to send the transmission of voice information in a simple configuration.

A modem works alongside a phone line or link to change over signals into ones more viable with the telephone line’s abilities. It can transmit and receive information over a communications channel, which includes a phone linear coaxial cable and optical fiber.

The name implies that the gateway functions as an intermediary between networks linking various networks using different protocols. It allows access to IP packets that are either in or from the network.

Modem VS Switch

Modem VS Switch

Modulators and switches are the smallest common ground among the three components of networking equipment. Very rarely do they connect or even communicate directly. Most of the time, they’ll be connected via a router between them.

If the modem and router are combined in one unit, the modem can be connected directly to the modem. In any case, the traffic will pass through the router before it is sent to the modem’s internal part.

The traffic from a switch is not required to pass through the modem once it is from your network. While both switches and modems are common devices on networks, they are smaller compared to the router and modem.


  • Does modem impact internet speed?

Your modem can affect your internet connection speed; therefore, it is essential to ensure you pick the right one. Make sure that your modem works with the internet connection you’ve got.

  • What causes a modem to flap?

Modem flaps occur as an indication that the connection from your modem with the head end has been cut (gone off) and is then brought back up and running. Suppose you experience usability issues caused by flaps. In that case, the most likely cause is the modem’s fault or large volumes of traffic on the service provider’s network (upstream usage too excessive).

  • Do you require a modem for the router?

A router must be connected to your modem to transfer an internet signal to all your gadgets. That being said, there’s no need to buy an additional modem and router to set your home internet connection.

  • Do modems have firewalls?

Wi-Fi routers function as basic firewalls for hardware, and Windows and iOS devices come with firewall software that is preinstalled. However, a standard router along with your PC’s firewall software could not offer enough security on your network to shield your business from cyber-attacks.


When you are making choices regarding the hardware for your network, you should try to plan for the future when setting up your network. This means thinking not just about what you want from your modem now but also asking yourself what you could require from it soon.

For example, in the current era of wireless technology, such as Wi-Fi adapters and devices that connect to the Internet of things, and technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Nest, It’s expected that the mesh network will only continue to continue growing in popularity. Wireless 6 and MU-MIMO (Multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output) are two other emerging technologies that are beginning to expand the range and capabilities of wireless networks.

Along with the new technology, you’ll need to stay on top of the advancement of older ones. While the fiber network is being constructed around the world, we have much to do in the two technologies, DSL and cable. This is why ADSL2 and VDSL are being considered to increase DSL broadband speeds while improvements to DOCSIS protocols continue to increase cable connectivity.

Suppose you’re looking to improve speed or security, or you prefer user-friendliness. In that case, this guide will assist you in navigating the often confusing landscape of internet options so that you can make better decisions regarding your business or home.


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