DSL Modems Of The Future, Today

dsl modemIt was not that long ago that a simple DSL modem and a service to use it on was all it took to be considered the king or queen of high tech in your neighborhood.  In some places that still remains true as broadband continues to roll out to more urban portions of the country.  Fortunately, there is so much momentum behind DSL today that modern DSL modems seem like something out of a science fiction novel or movie.  Here are some of the most amazing features that DSL modems have today:

USB Ports on a DSL Modem?  Sure!

One of the most impressive new features on DSL modems is actually something that PCs have had for a long time: Universal Serial Bus technology.  USB ports on a modem are a big deal though, because they allow for a lot of really useful advances.  For example, a DSL modem connected to a storage device could share that storage device throughout the local network as well as offer access to that device from the road.  Imagine never being far from all of your critical files again.  Suddenly a crashed laptop hard drive would not ruin a presentation, and there are countless other viable applications for remote access to your files that are just emerging.

There are other devices that can use a USB port as well.  Printers are a great example of this, but printers are also going wireless.  This opens the door to the type of printing device that has typically had to be connected via a wire for full effect: the multi-function printing device.  Many of the latest multifunction devices are now being built with USB-connected modems and routers in mind.  This has already enabled a great of innovation, but things are just starting to get interesting.

Integrated Surge Protection

It may not seem like a lot at first, but do you remember when you had to unplug everything whenever a storm was brewing for fear that the electrical spike would kill your electronics?  If so, then you might appreciate the surge-resistant technology built into modern DSL modems more than the average person.  You might consider it even more impressive when you factor in the knowledge that telephone wires may be running throughout a much larger area and could carry a modem-killing charge form a bolt of lightning impressive distances.  You might see the storm in the distance, and it could kill an unshielded modem easily!

Powerful WiFi Enabled DSL Modems

When DSL modems were in their infancy there was no way to share them without a switch, server, and/or router.  The integration of a router into the modem solved this temporarily, but the world has gone wireless.  Some modems starting coming with basic wireless as an option, with the general idea being that wireless was more of a gimmick than a serious technology that was going to stick around and eventually supplant wired standards such as Ethernet.

By 2012 the advent of beyond-gigabit wireless technologies operating multiple shaped streams at multiple frequencies has essentially enabled WiFi technology to outpace Ethernet performance for the first time.  How long will it be before Ethernet technology evolves?  Who knows!  Moreover, who cares!  Nobody is going back to wired unless there are tangible speed gains, and there are a number of other technologies that would need to make significant advances before the war between wireless and wired networking could possibly heat up again.

Other WiFi advances include guest networks that let you share your broadband access while still keeping your private network just that: private.  No longer do you need to worry about granting access to a friend or neighbor because your information.  In fact, WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) systems make it easy to share login credentials with someone without revealing any information about your network!

Modern DSL Modems Offer Intelligent Data Management

For years there have been technologies in place to help manage the flow of data to ensure that applications that need time-sensitive access to data get it, but now that technology is border to border with a DSL modem.  It starts at the DSL input and ends at the Ethernet port or WiFi connection.  From there it is up to the device (computer, tablet, etc.) to prioritize the data, but now the entire network side of the equation can be managed with one device.  This is especially important because this is really the first time that WiFi, Ethernet, and DSL networking components have been able to talk to one another and manage quality of service this intelligently.