modem : a device that converts signals produced by one type of device (such as a computer) to a form compatible with another (such as a telephone) and that is used especially to transmit and receive information between computers via landlines — Webster See also OneLook
Modem (portmanteau of modulator-demodulator) is a hardware device that converts data into a format suitable for a transmission medium so that it can be transmitted from computer to computer (historically over telephone wires). A modem modulates one or more carrier wave signals to encode digital information for transmission and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded reliably to reproduce the original digital data. Modems can be used with almost any means of transmitting analog signals from light-emitting diodes to radio. A common type of modem is one that turns the digital data of a computer into modulated electrical signal for transmission over telephone lines and demodulated by another modem at the receiver side to recover the digital data.
Modems are classified by the maximum amount of data they can send in a given unit of time, usually expressed in bits per second (symbol bit(s), sometimes abbreviated “bps”) or rarely in bytes per second (symbol B(s)). Modems can also be classified by symbol rate, measured in baud. The baud unit denotes symbols per second, or the number of times per second the modem sends a new signal. For example, the ITU V.21 standard used audio frequency-shift keying with two possible frequencies, corresponding to two distinct symbols (or one bit per symbol), to carry 300 bits per second using 300 baud. — Wikipedia
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