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How to Use Your Laptop’s Modem

You can access the Internet using your laptop’s internal modem. Modems come standard as part of your laptop, integrated right into the main circuitry board, the motherboard. To connect your laptop’s modem to the phone system, you use a standard telephone cord, by plugging one end into a phone jack and the other into your laptop.

The gauge of a modem is its speed; however, since the mid-1990s, nearly all dial-up modems are of the 56 Kbps variety. That means that the modem can send or receive information at about 56,000 bps, or bits per second. That's about seven pages of text a second, which is relatively slow.

  • The only part of the modem you're likely to see is the hole, or jack, into which the phone cord plugs.

  • Some laptops may have two modem holes or jacks. One is used to connect the laptop to the phone jack on the wall. That's the line jack. The second hole can be used to connect a phone. That's the phone jack. That way, you can still use the phone without having to unplug the modem.

  • No, you cannot use the phone while the computer is online.

  • The computer makes phone calls just like a human does: It dials a number, and then it screeches its unmelodic tones at the other computer, which also screeches back.

  • Long-distance charges apply to modem calls just as they do to regular phone calls. Hotel surcharges apply as well.

  • Some countries charge extra for modem-made phone calls. When you're traveling overseas, be sure to inquire about any extra fees before you use the phone.

  • On the rare chance that your laptop lacks a modem, you can readily find a modem PC Card.

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