What is a Modem Used For?

Uses of Modems - Asianet Broadband

With the world chugging along at top-speed to get fully digitalized, it’s essential to know the function of each and every part of your internet device. To begin with, there is the tiny box-like modem which serves as a common link between your computer and your internet connection. And if you are using a DSL connection, then your modem will connect to a special wall outlet – and if it’s a cable connection, then it will connect to the available coaxial cable box.

Modems formally came into existence in the 1960’s and were used to allow terminals to connect to computers over existing phone lines. They are typically used to send digital data over phone lines or coaxial cables. Basically, modems talk analogue while computers talk digital, so a modem is needed in-between as a translator. The modem works by translating data sent to it in the form of analogue waves over telephone lines or cables and converts them into digital content before delivering it to your computer. The sending modem modulates the data into analogue signals compatible with the phone while the receiving modem demodulates the signals into digital data compatible with the computer. So the word ‘modem’ is basically a contraction of the words ‘modulator’ and ‘demodulator’.

And in this way the modem connects you to the internet, enabling you to send and receive emails, upload and download files, play games and stream videos and music.

You will also find that there are different kinds of modems available out there which are designed to go with the specific type of internet connection you have.

Cable modems

These types of modems use coaxial cables. One end of the cable connects to the back of the modem while the other end exits into your cable box or a special wall outlet.

DSL modems

These can connect to an external modem (just like with cables) or the computer can come with an already inbuilt internal modem that can dial-in through your phone lines. And unlike the dial-up modems, it’s possible to access the internet while the phone is in use.

Dial-up Modems

This is the oldest method of accessing the internet connection and uses your traditional phone lines to connect to the internet service provider. As compared to the cable modems and DSL modems, dial-up modems are slower. Another shortcoming is that you can’t access the internet while the phone is in use for talking.

Hope you have a better idea on the basic workings of a modem now!