Software Modem

What Does Software Modem Mean?

A software modem is a modem with minimum hardware capability designed to work using a host computer’s resources. Softare modems are capable of a majority of tasks performed by a traditional hardware modem, but use the host computer’s processor to carry out the signal processing required to modulate and demodulate data signals.


This term is also known as win modem, soft modem and driver based modem.

Techopedia Explains Software Modem

The first commercially available software modems only worked with Microsoft windows family of operating systems and hence were referred to as win modems. It was also difficult to incorporate modems of this type on other operating systems, due to lack of vendor support and standard device interface.

Software modems generally fall into two categories – the win modems and linmodems. The win modem only works on Windows and linmodems on Linux. Win modems incorporate CPU and DSP of modems into an enhanced fabric of a PC. They are implemented through chipsets, which modem manufacturers solder onto motherboards.

Software modems can also be classified based on communication interface with host computer. These modems cab be integrated in PC cards or MiniPCI for use in a portable computer.


Related Terms

Latest Networking Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…