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Modems convert digital network data into an analog signal compatible with long-haul networks. They include products that work with cable TV systems, digital subscriber line services (DSL) and traditional telephone land lines. Many have networking features that extend their capabilities such as built-in Ethernet ports or Wi-Fi. The selection of NETGEAR, TP-LINK and Cisco products available at Staples includes home and business internet modems as well as devices that support fax and point-of-sale functionality.
Make an Internet Connection With DSL or Cable Modems DSL and cable are the most common type of internet connection used in homes and small businesses, and many of these products combine reliable ISP communications with networking features that simplify connecting computers, tablets and other devices to your private network. Cable-compatible devices support DOCSIS 2.0 and 3.0, the protocols used by most of U.S. cable providers, while DSL models support ADSL and VDSL communications standards. Using your own modem can also eliminate the rental fees charged by ISPs when you lease their equipment.
While the internet provides access to many data sources, some devices and services use V.92 communications, a protocol that works over any telephone line. Fax machines are the most common application for this form of connectivity, but point-of-sale systems use it for credit card verification, and payroll and financial software often uses an analog modem to transfer sensitive personal information. In some rural areas, 56K dial-up service is the only way to reach the internet.
A Modem Offers Advanced Networking Features Many DSL and cable devices deliver more than internet access. They have built-in Ethernet ports that provide connections to multiple hardwired devices and Wi-Fi access points that work with tablets, smartphones or media players. Some models include USB ports. Connect an external hard drive and share photos, movies or music between computers, or use it to back up important data. Those with wireless capabilities include security features that protect your network, and most products have easy-to-use web interfaces that make it simple to configure these devices.
Which Modem Should You Choose? The two primary considerations when selecting a cable or DSL modem are the type of connection offered by your ISP and the network features you need. While most providers offer technical information about their service, a chat with a customer representative may help ensure compatibility. Internet modems that support 802.11 Wi-Fi provide internet access to a broad range of devices in your home or office. Fax modems with built-in V.22 connect in under a second, making them an excellent option for point-of-sale applications or ATM installations.
What Security Features Do Modems Have? While analog fax modems don't require much in the way of security because they're used for dedicated point-to-point communications, products with networking features do need additional protection. Most DSL and cable models feature built-in Wi-Fi support WEP, WPA and WPA2 security standards, which encrypt communications and protect wireless access with a password. Some models also include advanced protection such as network address translation and MAC address filtering that further enhance security.
Modems are a critical link in the network communications chain. Find the right device to handle your communications needs when you browse the selection of networking products available at Staples.
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