Last updated: August 19, 2021

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The main function of a modem is to receive the internet signal offered by the telephone operator and distribute it to the smartphone, tablet, notebook, video game, smart TV and other electronic devices connected to the network.

As most people use the modem to access broadband internet at home or office, there is a wide variety of models, with different proposals, as you will understand by reading this exclusive content.




Summary

  • There are two models of modem, the standard modem is connected directly to the computer via ethernet cable, and the modem with router is the one that distributes the broadband internet signal to other mobile devices.
  • The modem receives the internet signal from different means like telephone line, fiber optic or 3G or 4G mobile data network. Those who use fibre optic internet should choose a model with a VDSL connection. You will also find models that support mobile data over the 4G network.
  • It is important to mention that the modem with 4G connection may present limitation in data consumption and instability in the internet connection.

The Best Modem: Our Picks

Buying guide: all you need to know about modems

Do you need an internet connection that is stable, fast and secure? Then you need a modem with cabling for computer only, or a modem with a built-in router to access the internet through mobile devices. We'll talk about both models in this buying guide.

Imagem de uma mulher acessando internet em seu notebook.

The modem ensures stable and fast internet connection. (Source: Petter Lagson/ Unsplash.com)

What is a modem for?

The modem is the electronic equipment responsible for receiving internet data via the telephone network, optical fibre or 3G or 4G mobile data network, and converting this data to the internet connection used by electronic devices.

The modem receives the internet signal and distributes it to the desktop computer, notebook, printer, smartphone, tablet, video game, smart TV and any other electronic device.

The connection to the broadband network can offer less or more stability, speed and security, depending on the internet package contracted through the broadband internet provider company and the modem chosen.

How to configure a modem?

The process of configuration of a mod em is simple and intuitive, as the device itself offers a virtual assistant or guide to the user during the whole process of configuration, that is, it will not be necessary to request a technician to assist you during the process. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you follow this step by step:

  • Connect the modem to the computer by the Ethernet cable or to the mobile phone by the Bluetooth connection.
  • Check the modem's IP number and type this code in the Internet search bar to access the modem's configuration menu.
  • Set a nickname for your wireless network and an access password that can be numeric or mix letters and numbers.

What are the different types of modem?

The modem is responsible for receiving and transmitting the broadband internet signal from the internet provider to the mobile devices connected to the modem. However, the device may operate with different technologies, called ADSL or VDSL.

A little older, ADSL technology receives and transmits the internet signals through the telephone network, so the speed is a little lower. VDSL technology is transmitted via fibre optic cable, so the speed offered is infinitely higher. But the device is more expensive and the number of fibre optic ports is limited, and in some regions the service is not even offered.

Imagem de um modem.

The modem with VDSL technology is more modern. (Source: Asif Asharaf/ Unsplash.com)

Should I buy a modem with or without integrated router?

For those who intend to use broadband internet only on the computer and no other electronic equipment, we recommend the purchase of a traditional modem, as this device will meet your needs and cost less. If you want to distribute broadband internet signal in a large environment, such as a commercial office or a two-story home, you may need to purchase two or more modems or signal replicators.

In this context, you should choose a modem with arouter, a device that distributes the broadband internet connection to multiple devices, eliminating the need to buy a modem and a router and offering convenience to the consumer.

Purchase criteria: how to choose the best modem

There is no point in hiring the best internet package offered by the telephone company that provides internet services if you have a basic modem, with simple technology, lower speed limit, that must be connected via cable and does not offer any additional connection.

For those who use the internet for everything, we recommend buying a modem based on the purchase criteria below:

Connection between modem and server

The most important purchase criterion when it comes to the internet modem is the connection technology between the modem and the server, which can be via telephone network, mobile data network or fiber optics. Remember that the modem with ADSL technology offers lower speed, but some regions do not offer a fast internet connection.

Is this your case? Then save money and buy an ADSL modem. If your region offers fiber optic internet points, your internet connection will be faster if you invest in a VDSL modem.

If you are always on the move or if you are in a place that does not offer any other kind of internet connection, we recommend that you choose a modem that works with a 3G or 4G internet connection. The mobile data network is accessed by a small device, similar to a USB stick and ready for use.

Imagem de um modem de internet.

The technology responsible for the interaction between modem and electronic devices determines the quality of the equipment. (Source: Compare Fibre/ Unsplash.com)

Router function

As we mentioned in the buying guide, some modem models offer two functions in one device, as they have the function of modem and wireless router, distributing the internet connection to multiple mobile devices.

This is a very interesting option, because besides concentrating two functions in one device, it is also simple to configure, takes up little space, saves electricity and is not connected to cables and connections.

However, make no mistake, the wireless internet connection offered by a modem with router function is less powerful than the modem and router duo, because an equipment dedicated exclusively to signal distribution is more efficient.

Connections

There is a direct relationship between the power of the modem and the quantity of connections that this equipment will make with your electronic devices. In this sense, calculate the amount of people and devices that will benefit from the broadband internet connection.

More basic models are only indicated for those who live alone or with a partner and intend to connect few devices to the mobile internet network. In any other context, we recommend the purchase of a device with a higher number of connections.

Speed limit

Before buying a modem, we suggest that you check the speed supported by the electronic equipment, i.e. the speed at which internet data will be received and transmitted on your internet network.

You will find models that support 150 Mbps or 300 Mbps speed. It is important to note that the speed of your internet does not depend exclusively on this factor, but also on the contracted internet package.

When you reach the monthly speed limit contracted in your package, there is a drastic speed reduction, so, keep an eye on your internet consumption and prioritise a package compatible with your needs, even if the price is a bit higher.

Summary

We've reached the end of another comprehensive buying guide on technology. In today's article, we talk about the modem, an electronic device responsible for receiving and transmitting broadband internet signal to the computer (traditional modem) or other electronic devices (router modem).

As you have learned, a series of characteristics must be analysed when buying a modem, as the device must be compatible with the technology offered in your region, as well as the internet package contracted. Any questions, leave a comment below.

(Source of the highlighted image: Compare Fibre / Unsplash.com)

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