-Those of you that already have a cable modem you know what the internet is supposed to be like. At this moment in time I do not have one. I just moved and it will be another month before I get one again. I miss it so much and its like owning a Ferrari and then going back to your Volkswagon. The best way to describe it is it sucks real bad. But enough of that for now. How do they work and should you have one? I am tempted to write this answer as yes, and of course you should and who cares how it works as long as I can download porn really quick!
-Each cable company is a little different. First you need to worry about how strong of a connection you have in your house or apartment. Some apartments have bad data rates compared to a home.
-What happens in essence is that your connection is just a cable channel. When you turn your modem on it is on a channel that everyone else is using. You are also sending information to which can be grabbed by others on the same channel. Don't worry much about this one there are steps to insure you get the data and not everyone else. But the bad side to this is that your data does go everywhere in the system till its finds the modem it originated from. After your connection is flowing it really flows and quick. Most of the time you setup is just a internal network card with a cable box. This is the best way to go if possible. Though there are also connections that receive from cable and send through telephone lines. This is a little bit of a drag but you have to figure most of what you do is download anyway. If you are a gamer you really need the upstream and downstream cable ability.
-Speed, this is so important and honestly it really fast. Nothing seems to compare. The connections are great and always on. The bandwidth is wonderful except to one exception. You are sharing this cable channel as mentioned before. When there are a million people on it at 6 o'clock in the evening you may slow a bit. Even at the worse case scenario its still pretty damn fast. You can expect as much as 10Mbs up stream and 42Mbs down stream. Not to shabby is it?
-Modems, most of the time you will rent this from the Cable company of they will let you buy it. I don't recommend buying your own yet. I say this because its not a standard with all cable company's so far. Some computer manufacturers are putting cable modems in there systems but they may not work for you. These cable modems also may be a Ethernet card that just plugs into a PCI slot or even a combination of this and a cable box. Most times you may need a available PCI, ISA slot for this one. Most times its a PCI slot needed and a available IRQ.
-Conclusion, if you have it in your area and serious about the internet, go get it. The installation fee is a little much with some company's but monthly rates make it worth it.
Installing a Modem
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