Modems: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about modems.

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What are the different kinds of modems?

There are two common kinds of modems:

  • Broadband modems. Broadband modems connect to either a cable or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), and they provide high-speed Internet access.

  • Dial-up modems. Dial-up modems connect to the Internet using a phone line, usually at much slower speeds than broadband modems.

How do I tell what kind of modem my computer uses?

If you have broadband Internet access through an Internet service provider (ISP), you most likely have a broadband modem. The modem is usually connected to a cable or DSL line, and is then connected to your computer through an Ethernet cable and network adapter.

Most modems built into computers are dial-up modems, and they connect to the Internet through a telephone line.

How do I change the modem settings?

  1. Open Phone and Modem Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Phone and Modem Options.

    Note

    • You might need to provide information such as your country or region and any special phone dialing rules in the Location Information dialog box before you can access the Phone and Modem Options dialog box.

  2. Click the Modems tab.

  3. Select the modem you want to change settings for, and then click Properties.

  4. Change the settings you want.

What is TAPI?

The Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) is a standard protocol in Windows that allows your computer to use telephone lines for communication services.

What is Modem on Hold (MOH) and how do I determine if my modem has it?

Modem on Hold is a feature that allows your dial-up modem to work with call waiting. If you have Modem On Hold running and receive a call on the line that the modem is using, the modem can go into a hold state and pick up where you left off after you complete the call.

Modem on Hold requires that your modem, as well as your Internet service provider (ISP), support it. Contact your ISP and check your modem settings to determine if you can use Modem on Hold. For more information, see Change modem settings.