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My laptop modem odyssey began with the usual consumer research into PC Modem cards for laptops and the huge price variants that made no sense whatsoever. You could buy a 56k modem card from anywhere from $19 to over $200, and I never could make sense of why one was better than the other. If you can connect to your Internet Service Provider, neither they nor the recipient of your e-mail can ever tell what kind of modem you are using – as long as it works.

“So, who cares what kind of modem you buy?” I thought. Boy was I wrong. While actual modem speeds and efficiency do vary from modem to modem the only meaningful difference that I’ve ever found is how that PC card connects to your telephone line.

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