The modem is what most people use to connect to the internet with. You simply install the modem and plug a phone line into it and you can surf the net, send and receive faxes, and even talk on the phone if the modem has voice capabilities. I am predicting that in another 4-5 years the modem will be pretty much extinct. 56Kbps (Kilobytes per second) modems have been around for the past 3 years. They are as fast as modems will get. This speed is very slow for the internet today. If you have a 56Kbps modem you will probably connect at about 48Kbps and your download speed will be around 4Kbps. This is very slow and for some people unacceptable. It is not the modem, it is the fact that standard phone lines cannot carry any more information than that. The Ethernet card is more practical. for the Internet today. Cable connections or ADSL are the fastest ways to get around on the net today. There are two different kinds of modems out there today. Software or Win modems, and Hardware modems. Win modems use your processor to decode all of the information that they receive from the internet, which makes them a tad slower than Hardware modems. Hardware modems will also cost a bit more and are a bit bigger in size.
This Modem is Creative Labs Modem Blaster PCI. Just like most peripherals it fits into a PCI slot into your motherboard. This modem has two phone jacks on it. one is for your internet line, and the other is for a phone. This is good if you have call waiting, the modem will allow you to pick up the phone. And also you do not need more phone jacks for the extra line for a phone. There is also a speaker jack and microphone jack on the modem for voice capabilities. This is fine, but what if you have all your speakers and microphone plugged into your sound card? well, the modem has a cable that comes with it, so you can connect your Modem and Sound card, so that you can use them both at the same time to talk on the phone. I cannot get my modem to work with this configuration, but I am sure that it is just the software that I am using.
I gave the Creative Labs Modem Blaster PCI a 75% for greatness. It is just another modem that does the same thing every other modem out there does, but because of the useless software I got with it, I had to pay $40 for the modem. I also have a broadband connection, so I never even use the modem anyway. On the plus side the modem is hardware, not a win modem.
This is the cable that connects your modem to your sound card. Note: it is not essential.