Frequently asked questions and answers regarding cable and DSL modems, home networking, and routers.
A cable modem is required to connect to an ISP's (Internet Service Provider) Internet network and to receive the cable Internet signal. The modem intakes the coax wire to receive the Internet. Once the cable modem is hooked up it can be connected to a single device, such as a router, PC, or TV. However, there are WiFi cable modems w/ built-in routers, aka a Gateway, that can send a signal to multiple wireless devices and / or up to four direct wired connections.
A single cable line can transmit both a TV signal and an Internet signal. No filter is needed with a cable modem, unlike the DSL modem that needs a filter. A coax splitter can be used at a coax outlet to split 2-ways to a modem and to a TV without any interference.
Almost all ISP's will rent or lease a cable modem to their subscribers for a monthly fee that is forever going. This charge can be as little as $3.00 / month or up to $14 / month with some ISP's. Variables include the ISP and type of modem, i.e. a standard modem or a gateway. You have the option of buying your own modem for a one time flat cost from any third-party. This would do away with the monthly rental fee from your cable company and save you money on your cable bill.
Here is a sample diagram for the hookup of a standard modem. If you have a WiFi cable modem or router, you obviously won't need a separate router. Instead, the WiFi router can connect directly to TVs, Computers, Game Consoles and other items either wirelessly or through a wired connection with Ethernet cable wire.
This video by the Shortcut Team explains cable Internet in a little more detail.