How to choose a modem

A modem is a device for accessing the Internet. Therefore, before you go to a digital store, you need to determine how the computer will connect to the network. A modem is needed only if you plan to access the Internet via 3G / 4G or ADSL. For PPPoE networks with static or dynamic IP, such a device is not needed.

How to choose a modem: determine the type

How to choose a modem for home


We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the rating of the best modems for home and office.

Determining which modem is needed begins with a call to the provider. It will be he who will tell you what protocol will be used to connect to the Internet:

  1. If ADSL (dial-up connection) – a modem is needed;

  2. If PPPoE (connection via Ethernet cable from the distribution block) – the modem is not needed;

  3. If the fiber-optic fiber – the modem in most cases is provided by the provider itself;

  4. If PLC (connection via household network 220 V) – similar to fiber;

  5. If there is no provider, whose network covers the house, where an Internet connection is required, then a 3G / 4G modem is required.

A 3G modem is also suitable for a laptop. It allows you to access the Internet from almost anywhere – the main thing is to have mobile network coverage. Therefore, at a considerable distance from some provincial city, it may not work.

It is worth distinguishing between a modem and a router. A modem is a device for accessing the Internet. It converts a signal of one type to a signal of another type. A router, on the other hand, distributes one Internet connection across multiple devices. Some routers already have modems built in.

In very rare cases, the provider provides access to the Internet via Wi-Fi. This is found in some cottage communities, for example. But extremely rare. To access the Internet in this case, you need a WiFi modem – or any adapter. It is worth remembering that such networks are very insecure.

ADSL modem

ADSL modem

ADSL technology, in which Internet access is via a four-wire (and in some cases, two-wire) telephone cable, is practically not found today. This is due to the low speed and stability of this standard. However, in some remote urban areas, suburbs and towns, it can still be found.

To access the Internet via ADSL, you will need an ADSL modem, respectively. When choosing it, you should consider the following parameters:

  1. Supported generation of the standard – ADSL, ADSL2 + or ADSL2 (or VDSL2 and other versions);

  2. Maximum data transfer rate. This parameter means at what speed the modem can exchange information between itself and the provider's server. The higher it is, the better;

  3. Maximum data exchange rate. This parameter means at what speed the modem can exchange data between itself and the computer. It should not be lower than the maximum baud rate.

If you plan to connect several devices to the Internet, then it is better to purchase an ADSL router (router). It works in the same way as a modem, but has multiple output ports and / or can distribute a Wi-Fi network.

USB modem

USB modem

A USB modem is required primarily to connect to a wireless mobile network using the 1G (GPRS), 2G (EDGE), 3G (protocol family) and 4G (LTE and subsequent enhancements) standards. Rare cases such as an external Ethernet or ADSL modem connected via USB can be ignored – they are too exotic.

When choosing a USB modem, you need to pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. Supported networks. So, for example, Yota modems can only work in 4G networks. And old devices from Huawei – only in 2G. It is desirable that the modem works in the entire range of networks – from 2G to 4G.

  2. Locking by the operator. Branded modems (MTS, Beeline, Megafon, etc.) can often work only in the networks of the 'native' operator. In most cases, this lock is software-based and relatively easy to work around, but it voids the warranty.

  3. Modem type. There are two types of modems, which differ in how they work – HiLink and Stick. The first one means that you do not need to install drivers, software clients, etc. to connect the modem to the computer. To connect the second to a PC, you will have to install all this. Nevertheless, HiLink has significant drawbacks – it gets hotter during operation and is not compatible with all operating systems.



A router or router is a device that is designed to create a local wired or wireless network. It itself does not connect to the Internet. A router simply goes into an existing network and creates a 'child' network from it – like a branch that grows from a tree trunk.

The router can be used to access the Internet only if the provider uses LAN-like networks: PPPoE standards, fiber optic, PLC. Moreover, in the last two cases, a modem (or rather a signal converter) is still required – to connect to an optical fiber or an outlet, respectively.

Routers can be used in conjunction with ADSL or USB modems. To do this, the router must be connected to the output port of the modem.

There are also mobile routers. They, like USB modems, connect to a cellular network and then open a Wi-Fi network over which you can share the Internet.


Before buying a modem, you need to make sure that you really need it. In most modern networks, you can do without it. A modem is required if the house has an ADSL connection or no 'wire' at all.


In the following articles, our experts will tell you how to choose a comfortable mouse pad and the secrets of choosing a webcam.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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