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Modem vs. Codec: What's the Difference?

Modem and Codec Definitions


A device that transmits and receives data using a modulated carrier wave. Modems are used to establish network and internet connections.


(computing) A device or program capable of performing transformations on a data stream or signal.
Audio and video codecs are important in making multimedia files small enough to distribute and simple to play back.


A device that encodes digital computer signals into analog/analogue telephone signals and vice versa and allows computers to communicate over a phone line.


To transmit by modem.


An electronic device that converts electronic signals into sound waves, and sound waves into electronic signals, used to transmit information between computers by the use of ordinary telephone lines; also called modulator-demodulator; as, the latest modems can transmit data at 56,000 baud over a clear telephone line. The speed of transmission of information by a modem is usually measured in units of baud, equivalent to bits per second.


(from a combination of MOdulate and DEModulate) electronic equipment consisting of a device used to connect computers by a telephone line

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