You sign up for a year or more. These deals vary.
99 bucks is not a rip off. I see that price on the shelf here.
What is the difference between a modem and a router?
The modem gets the signal to some ethernet in the case of broadband. That's good enough for a single machine. Today people want more machine connections so routers were brought into the mix. At first we would add a WAP (see google) to add WIFI but now you can get all the parts in one nice little package.
I am looking to sign up with my local provider for broadband service. They sell a modem with wireless for $99 with the service, In my opinion that should be included, (used to be that way), and so that annoys me. I would like to shop for my own modem and get a better deal.
The problem is I have no idea exactly what to get. I want to connect my desktop machine, then have wireless access through my laptop, I guess a basic home network, nothing fancy.
What is the difference between a modem and a router? Which one do I need? Hopefully not both? What are the criteria I should compare when buying one or the other? I would also love some kind of internet access 101 tutorial, I have not found that through CNET though I remember some tutorial or buying guides on other products at some point.