See also: Communication | Hardware

Acronym: Modulator/Demodulator

An electronic converter device for your computer to allow digital connection to the Internet with an analogue system – your telephone line. Modems allow for a range of bandwidth capacities. Modems first become widespread in the early 1980s to connnect to a BBS.

Download and upload rates can vary considerably depending on the type of modem. Narrowband has lower capacity than broadband. A modem’s performance can be degraded by noise.

Cable modems can be analogue as well although many are making the transition to all-digital networks. DSL lines are all-digital but use ordinary phone lines unlike coax of cable lines.

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