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Definition: USB modem

A modem that plugs into the USB port of a computer. The term states only that the connection to the computer is via USB but does not imply which network service is supported. It often refers to a 3G or 4G cellular modem, but it may also refer to an analog dial-up modem.

It generally does not refer to a cable or DSL modem, because the vast majority of those devices connect to the computer or the network via wired Ethernet. See cellular modem, analog modem, USB and V.92.

USB Modems
Although both of these devices are advertised as USB modems, the Sewell unit (top) is a dial-up modem for an analog phone line, while the Verizon device adds 3G data service to a computer or tablet. (Images courtesy of Sewell Development Corporation and Verizon Wireless.)