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Choosing a Modem

The other major type of connecting device that you are likely to use is a modem. Modems come in several flavors, depending on the type of connection through which the modem works. The major modem types are the following:

  • Phone line or dial-up All modern Macs include a 56K modem as standard equipment. The only significant benefit of dial-up modems is that they work over any standard phone line, which makes them the only practical option for many people. However, phone line modems are slow and are not as reliable as other modem types.

  • Cable Cable modem connections to the Internet are among the fastest and most reliable. Cable Internet service availability can be limited, but if it is an option for you, you should definitely consider it.

  • DSL Digital Subscriber Line modems offer benefits that are similar to those of a cable modem. However, in many areas, DSL connections are even less available than are cable modems.

  • ISDN At one point, it seemed as if Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) modems were going to be the best way to connect to the Net. However, with the rise of cable and DSL modems, ISDN modems are usually preferable only when these two options are not available. IDSN modems are faster than dial-up modems, but they aren't nearly as fast as cable or DSL. An ISDN account also tends to be more expensive than other options.


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