Cable Modem Summary

Like DSL, cable modems bring high-speed remote access capabilities to the home. The speeds might seem astounding—30 to 40 Mbps downstream is indeed impressive. In fact, I had a cable modem a few years ago and was one of the first people in my neighborhood to get it. I surfed the web much faster from home than I did from the local Cisco Systems office! The data service is always on, even when someone is watching TV. Because it doesn't use the telephone line at all, you also can use the phone at the same time.

Cable modems do have a few drawbacks. The per-user data rates degrade as more users are added to the network. Also, because the network broadcasts all downstream traffic, anyone can put a network-analysis tool in their home and get a copy of what their neighbor is receiving.

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