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The Cable Modem Revolution Cable modems are the latest tools used for high-speed Internet access These modems connect to the Internet via coaxial cable lines rather than telephone lines like conventional modems By making use of the larger coaxial cables cable modems are able to transfer much more data than anything in the past These new modems can connect up to 180 times faster than the fastest analog telephone modems available today In other words a file that takes fifteen minutes to download using a 56k modem only takes about five seconds on a cable modem Currently cable modems are capable of data transfer rates of up to 40 Megabits per second Mbps Although rated as so most of the cable modems today can realistically transfer around 10Mbps Like regular telephone modems cable modems have to modulate and demodulate the stream of data from different computers at different locations The similarity with analog modems ends there however Cable modems also incorporate a tuner to separate the data signal from the rest of the broadcast stream parts from network adapters bridges and routers to connect to multiple computers network-management software agents so that the cable company can control and monitor its operations and encryption devices so your data isnt intercepted or sent somewhere else by mistake In order to use a cable modem certain hardware is needed First of all you need a fast computer A Power PC or Pentium processor with sixteen Megabytes of RAM would be recommended as a minimum Next you need to have a network interface card NIC installed in the computer The most popular NIC used today is an Ethernet card 10baseT Finally you need the cable modem itself and wires to hook everything up The physical connection is pretty straightforward but then you have to configure you computer with standard TCPIP software Once connected the computer is hooked up directly to the Internet There are no phone
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