Home Technology What is a Modem and Why Do You Need One to Get Internet?

What is a Modem and Why Do You Need One to Get Internet?

5 min read

A modem is a crucial piece of network gear that enables a computer to transmit and receive data across a cable or phone connection. It is, in a nutshell, the hardware that links a computer to the Internet.

The words modulator and demodulator were combined to create the word modem, according to Answers.com. This implies that a modem is a device that modulates signals that encode information and demodulates signals that retrieve it. 

To begin with, modulation is the process of meaningfully adding information to a carrier wave in order to enable long-distance transmission. In simple words, modulation is the process of “mounting” the original signal on a carrier wave.

Is it better to buy or rent a modem?

To put it simply, if you want free upgrades and technical assistance, rent a modem from reputable internet service providers like Grande. Like all internet service providers, Grande communications lets you rent internet equipment, and obviously, you have to pay a specific rental fee for it. 

If you are planning on renting equipment, then you should keep this provider in mind. For more information, click on this link. On the other hand, if you want complete control over your home network, access to services that your provider’s modem does not give, or long-term cost savings, get a modem. The monthly rental price for a modem or gateway rented from your internet provider is added to your bill.

Significance of a modem

Modems were quite useful in the past for connecting to the Internet over telephone lines when landline phones were the main method of long-distance communication. In actuality, most users would not have been able to access the Internet without modems.

Even today, telephone technology is partially analog, meaning that it uses continuously changing electrical impulses to communicate information, in contrast to computer technology, which is entirely digital and depends on numbers to transmit and receive information.

Today, computer technology is digital, but telephone lines still use some analog technology. How do you get them to communicate and share information? Simple! Start using a modem.

Do I need a router if I have a modem?

A router is not necessary for a modem. Technically, all it requires is an internet connection and an Ethernet connection to a computer or other Ethernet-capable device. On the other hand, a router cannot communicate with the internet without a modem, this one is a necessity. 

Why is a modem necessary?

Both the connection to your home network and the connection to your internet service provider require the use of a modem to send and receive data.

There are no Ethernet wires connecting you to your internet provider, even though internet traffic is already prepared for usage on a home network on your ISP’s end. To send data instead, providers employ several non-Ethernet-compatible techniques. Fiber is also Ethernet-ready, but since it employs glass fibers rather than copper wires for its connections, an ONT is necessary.

If you think about it, everything is just one giant networking mess. The whole backbone of the internet is made of fiber, and your internet provider’s core network likely contains fiber as well. The final mile connection to your home usually accounts for the variances.

Whatever the case, translation is necessary to transfer Ethernet-ready data over these three various road types. RF carrier waves are used in cable and DSL internet to transmit and receive data across copper cables. 

In both situations, service providers add a digital wave of data on top of these carrier waves to allow it to flow across its network like a data raft down an electrical river. To convey the passenger ones and zeroes on a subway train to your router, the modem must pull the digital raft out of the electrical seas.

Carrier waves are not at all used in fiber internet. It substitutes laser or LED pulses instead. For instance, the two fundamental units of data, a single pulse, and no pulse are equivalent to “one” and “zero,” respectively. These light pulses can also travel 60 miles before they start to lose their effectiveness.

Ethernet uses similar pulse techniques, although Ethernet employs electrical pulses (signals) rather than light pulses to transmit data between two sites. One of the reasons fiber is superior to cable, DSL, and satellite is due to the pulse approach, which relies solely on the decoding of pulses in a manner akin to Morse code.

Having said all of that, a modem transmits the extracted data across an Ethernet wire, which the router then receives. The data is then transmitted as electrical impulses across additional Ethernet connections by the router. The router is responsible for performing the modulation and demodulation for Wi-Fi.

Different types of modems

Following are the various types of modems. You can choose the type that meets your needs and requirements. 

  • Hardware modems 

External modems are an example of what we refer to as hardware modems because they are connected to your computer via a cable or PCMCIA socket and completely rely on chips and other electrical hardware to perform all modem-related tasks.

  • Software modems

As their name implies, software modems use software to perform almost all of a modem’s tasks, says TLDP. They are a particularly popular option in devices like laptops and netbook computers where space is at a premium because they are inexpensive, small, and simple to upgrade. Software modems

Final words

We hope your modem-related concepts are clear now. We have tried our best to include everything from the definition of the modem to its significance but if, you are still unclear and have queries then feel free to leave, them in the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Last Updated: August 24, 2022

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