A digital subscriber line (DSL) modem is a type of modem used to connect a personal computer (PC) to the Internet. DSL modems can provide fast Internet access as they are designed for use with high-speed DSL connections. DSL connections are considered to be much faster than dial-up Internet connections. In addition to higher speed, the DSL service allows the user to talk on the phone while simultaneously accessing the Internet.
An ADSL modem.
A DSL modem, also known as an asymmetric DSL (ADSL) modem, provides similar service, with the exception of speed, to that provided by a dial-up modem. However, there are some important differences in the configuration and technological composition of DSL modems. For example, dial-up modems are often, though not always, installed inside computer terminals. In contrast, a DSL modem is typically external and connects to a computer via a USB or Ethernet port.
A DSL modem typically connects through a USB or Ethernet port.
There are DSL modems that use either a USB or Ethernet port, as well as those designed for use with both. While a DSL modem can work with a universal serial bus (USB) port, most experts recommend using an Ethernet port. The connection is said to be considerably better when an Ethernet port is used.
A DSL modem is typically an external modem.
A DSL Ethernet modem can be used whether the user has a single computer or a network of PCs. A router can be used to allow more than one computer to enjoy the same Internet connection. The router used must be capable of Network Address Translation (NAT). In contrast, USB modems are recommended for use with a single computer only. Typically, a modem connected through a USB port does not support a router.
DSL modems can be purchased at many electronics, computer, and department stores. They are also available online from a variety of companies, as well as from private sellers. They are often sold with the necessary cables, power supply and filters in one package. The filters included with a DSL modem are called low-pass filters. They are used to prevent data signals from interfering with regular phone calls.
Often, companies that provide DSL service offer DSL modems free of charge to their customers. Often, as a condition of receiving a free DSL modem, the customer must sign a contact agreeing to pay for the company’s Internet service for a specified period. In other cases, the DSL modem is purchased directly from the service provider. Some companies offer the modems for rent.
Acoustic couplers – which send and receive computer data over telephone lines – predated modern modem technology.