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A Modem enables you to connect to the Internet by connecting your computer to the telephone line, using a telephone cable. Most computers come with an internal modem installed, and this enables to use a dial-up Internet, without requiring buying an external modem. The modem also allows sending and receiving faxes using your computer. If a computer does not come with an internal modem, then it is still possible to buy an external one. The external modems could be wired or wireless ones. Wireless modem is connected via telephone cable to an existing telephone socket, then it serves as a gateway to all other computers in your home, and connects them wirelessly or using a wire to the Internet.

The speed of a modem is measured in bits per second (bps). The faster the speed of a modem the better it performs tasks. Most internal modems are of 56bps speed range, whereas broadband modems and wireless router modems, usually known by ADSL or DSL, are now capable of 54MB - 125MB speeds

Please note, despite the capability of modem speeds have increased considerably, the actual availability of broadband width or speed is not more than 8MB; in many places it is even much lower. In other words, a 54MB modem would be more than enough for broadband width that is available from your Internet service provider (ISP).

The speed by which you surf the Internet is not only decided by the speed of modem you have on your computer, but also is dependent of the overall speed of the computer, for instance Random Access Memory (RAM). If the RAM of your computer is low, the download speed of Internet, email or fax data becomes slow as well.

Updated: 10 Dec 2011

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Yohannes Berhe