Dial-Up Modem

At one point in time, dial-up modems were the only way to connect to the Internet. While technology has seen many changes to how we plug in and use the web, there's still a need for hardware. This hardware utilizes dial-up connection capabilities by sending a digital signal across your phone line.

How does a dial-up modem work?
  • Acting as a translator for PCs, a modem converts digital information into analog data. This allows networking devices to reach each other using a telephone line.
  • The hardware allows PCs to talk to each other. When you hear the dial-up connection sound, that is the hardware converting the original signal from your PC into a digital signal.
  • Modems are used to connect to much larger networking processors across the globe.
How do you know if you need to buy one?

In order to know how to choose the ideal option, you first have to know whether or not your PC has a modem built into it. You can tell by checking if there is a phone jack on the back of the PC. If there is none, you'll have to decide on what type to purchase.

What is a modem on a computer?

A modem on a PC is simply a type of hardware that can be used to connect your phone line. There are two types:

  • Controller-based modems - Also known as a "hardware modem," these are stand-alone and come outside of your PC. Everything required to run the device is already built into it.
  • Soft modems - Your more typical hardware, these are built into your computer and are powered by the PC. They are no more than an interface where you can plug in your phone line.
What is a modem for a laptop?

These are often referred to as "controllerless." They use less power than your typical PC modem, which is why they're often found in laptops. They can be used to connect laptops to the Internet without the hassle of having your modem run complicated procedures.

How do you set up a modem?

There are two main steps involved in setting up a dial-up modem. The first is finding an Internet service provider. The second is installing software that allows your computer to dial the phone numbers.

  • Finding an Internet provider - Some broadband providers offer these services. However, if your local ones do not supply dial-up Internet access, there are stand-alone companies that can assist you.
  • Using software - Once you've chosen an Internet service provider, you will have to install a program that will allow your PC to dial the phone numbers. These programs will establish a dial-up connection to the Internet. They also will redial if you lose connection.