Functio ns and Types of Modems

February 9

2010
Dennis Wanyoike Kuria DIT0350022/2009

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Table of Contents
Table of Contents....................................................................................................... 2 Introduction................................................................................................................ 3 Internal and External Modems:................................................................................4 Intelligent and Standard Modems: ..........................................................................4 Wireless and Short-Haul Modems: ..........................................................................5

Introduction
A modem is an electronic device that converts computer's digital information into analog carrier signals and vice versa. Computers use modems to communicate with each other over a network. The word modem is derived from "modulator-demodulator" that defines the functions it performs. Modulation is the process of changing the form of the signal carrying the information. The demodulation process does the task of extracting information from the signals that are modulated. Modems are classified on the basis of two criteria,
• •

Data sent per unit time Change in the state of the signal per unit time

Functions of the Modem
1.

Error Correction: In this process the modem checks if the information they receive is undamaged. The modems involved in error correction divide the information into packets called frames. Before sending this information, the modems tag each of the frames with checksums. Checksum is a method of checking redundancy in the data present on the computer. The modems that receive the information, verify if the information matches with checksums, sent by the error-correcting modem. If it fails to match with the checksum, the information is sent back.

2.

Compressing the Data: For compressing the data, it is sent together in many bits. The bits are grouped together by the modem, in order to compress them.

3.

Flow Control: Different modems vary in their speed of sending signals. Thus, it creates problems in receiving the signals if either one of the modems is slow. In the flow control mechanism, the slower modem signals the faster one to pause, by sending a 'character'. When it is ready to catch up with the faster modem, a different character is sent, which in turn resumes the flow of signals.

Different Types Of Modems
Modems are classified on the basis of different criteria such as the place where they are installed, the manner in which they accept information and the way they transmit signals. Based on these criteria, modems are divided into the following types.

Internal and External Modems:
Internal modems are in the form of circuit boards, fitted in expansion

slots of the motherboard. An internal modem is a device installed inside a desktop or laptop computer, allowing the computer to communicate over a network with other connected computers. There are two types of internal modems: dial-up and WiFi® (wireless). Dial-up operates over a telephone line and requires a network access phone number and logon credentials to make a connection. WIFI connect wirelessly and without credentials in certain cases.
External modems are enclosed in separate cases and not inside the

system units. The modem is connected to the computer and telephone line by means of two separate cables.

Intelligent and Standard Modems:
Standard Modems: Most modems used today are called standard

modems. These modems are usually operated by commands entered from a microcomputer keyboard. Users control the functions (dialing,

etc.) of a modem through the keyboard. Modems may use different command languages to control their functions, but most modems (called "Hayes compatible") use a popular language developed by a company "Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc."
Intelligent Modems: Intelligent modems are also called advanced

modems. These modems can accept new instructions and then respond to the commands while transmitting data and information. These can be done by microprocessor chips and internal read only memory (ROM) contained in the modem.

Wireless and Short-Haul Modems:
Short-Haul Modems: Short- haul modems are devices that transmit

signals down the cable through any COM1 port. They sometimes are called modem eliminators, because they do not require an external power source. They are also called line drivers that can send data for a distance of more than one mile. This type of modem can be used within or across several buildings in a company or a university campus.
Wireless Modems: Wireless modems transmit the data signals through

the air instead of by using a cable. They sometimes are called a radiofrequency modem. This type of modem is designed to work with cellular technology, and wireless local area networks. Wireless modems are not yet perfected, but the technology is rapidly improving.

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