Understanding The Different Types Of Cable Modems
There are three different types of cable modems. They are standard cable modems, WiFi cable modems (gateways), and voice modems. We take a look at and review each of the aforementioned below. For reference only, there is also a DSL modem, which supplies internet via phone lines serviced by companies like AT&T. For now, we will only review cable modems that supply internet from cable companies like Comcast, COX, Spectrum, and more.
Standard Cable Modems
A stand-alone cable modem receives the cable Internet signal from your provider. From there, the signal can be sent via an Ethernet cable to ONE device. That can either be a PC or game system. Additionally, a router can be connected to add more wired ports and wireless signal to multiple devices. This is the most typical in today’s high demand for in-home WiFi. Most believe that this is the best choice when buying a new cable modem. A separate router can work better with increased speeds and greater distances. Also, with two separate units, if one burns out down the road, it’s cheaper to replace an individual device.
WiFi Cable Modem / Cable Modem Router Combo / Gateway
WiFi Cable Modem – Commonly referred to as a modem/router combo. With a WiFi modem, the router is build-in and offers an all-in-one unit. It typically has four wired Ethernet ports and can support multiple wireless devices in the home. These are more expensive because you don’t have to buy a separate router. WiFi modems will sometimes have visual external antennas or may not be seen if they are internal. Most made today have internal antennas.
Voice Modem / Telephony Modem / eMTA
As with the aforementioned modems, a telephony modem can have a built-in router or be used with a separate router. Only some cable companies allow the use of third-party eMTA modems, so be sure to check on your provider’s page here. This rule doesn’t apply to the FCC regulations due to the sophistication of the modems and how they are set up by each provider. Looking at the back of this modem you will see two telephone ports at the top. Below that, you see one yellow ethernet port which is used to connect to a single device such as a router or TV.
We should also mention that there are DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems. 3.0 is the most used today but 3.1 is quickly gaining ground as the cable providers update their networks. Perhaps in the next five years or so 3.1 will be the standard.
Different Types Of Modems
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