Cable Modem Vs. Telephone Modem

By Nasim Bey

Cable modems and telephone modems are two different ways of accessing the Internet.
i Four White Plug In Telephone Jacks Going to High Speed Modem image by Chuck Alexander from

Choosing between a telephone modem and a cable modem depends on a variety of factors. Cable modems use fiber optic technology to access the Internet. Telephone modems rely on telephone lines. An Internet user should consider cost, speed, reliability and availability before choosing a modem.


Using a cable modem is more expensive than a telephone modem. Cable Internet companies will provide the modem for free, but charge for installation. Telephone modems come installed on computers and have no fee for installation. The monthly cost of telephone modem service is often much cheaper compared to cable modem service.


Browsing web pages, downloading files and playing online games are much faster when using a cable modem. Cable modems have a higher bandwidth than telephone modems because they can transfer large amounts of information at fast speeds with fiber optic technology.


Unlike cable modems, telephone modems are not always connected to the Internet. They stop incoming telephone calls and their connection to the Internet can be sporadic. For people who require reliability, a cable modem is a better choice.


A telephone modem can be used in any home that is wired to a telephone network. Cable modems can be used only in areas where a cable Internet company provides service.