With internet becoming more dynamic and necessary in our lives by the day, having access to the best possible equipment to take advantage of all of its many features is something everyone is looking for. For those who are constantly online -- be it for business or recreation -- stability and speed is mandatory. The Modem & Wi-Fi units regulate your computers' connection to the world wide web, and this buying guide will help you make the best possible purchase in that regard.

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Buying guide

Modem 1Buying a Wi-Fi Modem

In the last few years, internet has become a part and parcel of our lives. It started off as a cable connector through landline systems, but today internet access is available as a form of Wi-Fi or the wireless technology. Thanks to modem Wi-Fi systems, users can now enjoy incredible internet speeds without carrying the hassled and entangled wire everywhere. Currently, endless number of options is available for Wi-Fi Modem and choosing one of them is difficult. This buyer guide combines a list of factors that could be considered while purchasing a modem with Wi-Fi technology.

Choosing your Wi-Fi Modem

Get acquainted with a modem

Do you know what a modem is? In layman terms, modem is a like a middlemen between internet and the device that needs connection. It acts as a receiver as well as transmitter of internet or high speed data signals. Modems, also known as broadband transmitters were originally kept close to computers and had a singular wire that could enable one to connect to the internet. But over the years, modems have evolved to become Wireless technology, which offer internet access to several home computer systems, tablets and phones at the same time. Currently, these modems do not require dialing up ISP servers. These newer Wi-Fi Modems aren’t like traditional dial up modems and therefore, they offer better speeds and access.

Choose from different types

Roughly divided, Wi-Fi modems are of three different types: Hardware modems, which contain hardware chips that are in-built and put lesser strain on computer’s operating system; DSP modems, which are similar to the former one, but puts pressure on a computer’s processor; and Software modems that require computer’s processor to receive and transmit data. Depending upon user’s gadgets and computers, a choice between these three can be made. Prices differ with the hardware modems being most pricey of three of them.

Choosing between interfaces

Normally, either of the two types of interfaces is found in Wi-Fi Modems- the internal ones, which are present in the computer or laptop itself and have PCI or ISA connections with main board. This kind of interface normally uses software based or the DSP based design. Considered to be more affordable and cheaper than their external counterparts, these kinds of interfaces may require opening up of computer and strain to the processor. The external interface on the other hand is quite expensive than their internal counterpart, but they mostly use hardware style and are mostly easy to install and set up. The Wi-Fi modems with external modem interface put no strain on a computer’s operating system.


The original dial up modems offer 56 kbit/s, but current modems with Wi-Fi can offer v.90 standard, which is the best solution in the market. Make sure that the product you buy offer best speeds and ensure that all users receive a certain set of designated speed when they use the Wi-Fi technology.

USB Support

These days, routers have introduced special USB ports on modems. These USB ports can help the router to work simultaneously with a printer or an external hard drive. For Wi-Fi modems, having USB port ensures that the USB Printer or other devices can be accessed by multiple computers that are connected to the modem via the Wi-Fi technology. For instance, with special USB ports, four or five computers can use a printer at a single point of time with the help of Wi-Fi Modem. But in some cases, the add-on feature of USB port might bring decay in the network security that is generally common with NAS Wi-Fi modems. So, storage and usage of USB ports shall be restricted to casual data sharing and streaming.

Modem 2Which Wi-Fi Modem for which use?

Choose Hardware based modem if you are concerned about not putting extra strain on the computer’s processors. Choosing DSP based and software modem is better for those who go for internal modems. Those on a budget can opt for such internal modems, which are known for reducing electricity bills as they don’t need extra power supply and don’t require any kind of cables. But they are usually not as good as external modems and may put strain on a computer’s processing system.


External modems can be chosen by those who don’t have a budget to strictly adhere to. These modems are also quite convenient and have indicator lights to display modem’s status. Plus, they don’t put a strain on computer operating system and the entire computer doesn’t need a reboot. Easy to use and maintain. Make sure that the product that is chosen is provided with warranty, ensuring that it remains as good as new and works even after years. Users should also see how many computers do the Wi-Fi system supports to ensure that the product can be used for different computers at home or the office. Remember: the only way to make the best choice with such electronic products is through extensive research and comparing prices. Take your time and make full use of Shopbot’s tools before making your purchase!

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