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Chapter 25. Configuring Your Computer fo... > Dial-Up Networking Versus Broadband ...

Dial-Up Networking Versus Broadband Connections

Modems translate communications between computers and outside sources such as an Internet service provider (ISP). Standard modems convert the analog signals used on an ordinary voice-grade telephone line, as well as the digital signals used by computers. Newer devices such as cable modems and digital subscriber line (DSL) modems provide an end-to-end digital connection between your computer and your ISP and thus require no digital-to-analog conversion.

The Standard Modem

The standard modem, which originally worked at speeds of 150 to 300bps, now ranges up to 56Kbps. That speed is adequate for users who use the Internet for nothing more than sending e-mail and viewing Web pages. For downloading large files or playing games on the Internet, however, this connection speed can be much too slow. Additionally, even a modem rated at 56Kbps rarely connects at that speed. Poor connections, old wiring, and heavy traffic are just some of the factors that reduce modem speed.


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