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How Do I Choose the Best USB Broadband Modem?

A HSDPA modem and USB cord for broadband Internet access.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 July 2014
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There are many points to consider when selecting the best universal serial bus (USB) broadband modem. First, a buyer must select a modem that will be compatible with his computer and his Internet service. Then, he'll do well to consider factors such as speed, reliability, features, and price. Most buyers consider the modem that offers the highest speed and the most features at the lowest price to be the best choice.

Many people turn to their Internet service providers when they want to purchase a USB broadband modem. This is a smart tactic, as the service provider can inform the buyer of the modems that are compatible and work best with their particular Internet service. In fact, many cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet service providers offer modems for free with Internet service contracts or lease or sell them to their customers. If a person has cable Internet, he will need a broadband cable modem. A DSL user will need a broadband DSL modem.

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Speed and reliability are among the most important factors a person usually considers when buying a USB broadband modem. An individual may choose the best modem by obtaining a list of recommended models from his service provider and comparing their specifications, considering such details as data transfer speeds and integrated security features. A buyer may also do well to read reviews of the modems on his list, making sure the connections they provide are consistent. If a modem’s reviews state the connection is frequently interrupted, for instance, that’s one to scratch off the list.

Often, people assume that all broadband modems are compatible with the latest operating systems. It’s wise to check this, however, as some models aren't compatible with every operating system. In such a case, the buyer may spend time installing his modem, only to find out he has to return it and purchase a different model altogether. Likewise, buyers should check the modem’s other system requirements, such as processors and CD drives.

A modem’s ease of installation is another important factor. A buyer may check reviews to determine whether the installation process for a particular USB broadband modem is straightforward. He may also learn whether any accompanying software is known to have glitches. Buyers should also consider whether troubleshooting the modem will be fairly simple as well as if free technical support is available.

Sometimes people turn to online buyer’s guides to select the best USB broadband modem. These guides typically list some of the most popular brands and provide details about their costs and specifications. Such guides are supposed to be objective and can be good for figuring out which models offer the best features and for narrowing a short list of modems down to one top choice.

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