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The Types of Broadband Modems

High-speed modems fall under the category of broadband modems. Broadband modems connect to the Internet at top speeds. The only downsides to broadband modems are that you must live in an area that provides broadband service and you pay more for access than you do with a dialup modem.

Three common broadband services are available, and each comes with its own type of modem:

  • Cable: This type of modem is the fastest you can buy. When more of your neighbors begin using their cable modems, the overall speed does decrease. But at 2 a.m., your cable modem smokes!

  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): This type of modem gives you fast access by taking advantage of unused frequencies in existing phone lines. Next to cable, DSL gives you the fastest connection speeds.

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    The speed is limited by how far away your location is from the phone company's home office. Also, regular phones used on the same line as the DSL modem require special filters.

  • Satellite: Combined with an outdoor antenna and a subscription to the satellite service, this is one of the fastest modem options available. Try to get a satellite modem that provides both sending and receiving abilities.

    Avoid satellite service that is “download only.”

You can buy your own broadband modem or rent one from your Internet provider. You may want to buy a modem if you know that you'll be in the same location and using the same service for at least a year.

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