Home > mifamily > The best modem feature? The power switch!

The best modem feature? The power switch!


This week, we had a number of conversations about some basic features to have on a modem – so we thought it a good idea to talk about what features a modem should have, and why.

These features are common across ADSL, and Cable modems, however some providers may not give you access to configure them – the simple learning here is don’t buy the modem bundle unless you can configure these options.

For the less tech-savvy, the modem is the device that actually connects your computer (or device) to the internet. In the case of many mobile devices (3G or soon to be 4G), this is embedded in the device, and almost impossible to control, so this article talks more about your home environment.

I’m not going to talk about wireless features yet – this will be a follow up soon. I’m also not going to talk much about the basic features, and network compatibility the manufacturers do this, and usually confuse folk like you and me. This guide is more for the key features to check your modem has. If you don’t know what these are, then we have linked to some Wikipedia articles for more technical explanations.

Check your modem has these features as a minimum.

  • Power Button: Allows the modem to be turned off when you are asleep
  • Firewall: Turn it ON – makes it much harder for hackers to gain direct access to your computer
  • DHCP: Turn if OFF – but make sure each machine has its own fixed IP address!
  • Port Forwarding: Turn OFF – commonly used to speed up on line gaming and file sharing programs
  • Remote Management: Turn OFF – removes the chance of your modem being controlled by hackers.
  • NAT: Turn ON – hides your computers network address outside your home network.
  • Access Restriction: Turn ON, and change the default passwords. Default passwords can be looked up on the Internet.

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