Help Me Find Modem A Home!

The modulator-demodulator, or what we call a modem (“MO-DEM”), has become an extremely important device for our homes and businesses. In 2016, the US Census found 82% of homes in the United States had internet modems. This number has been rapidly increasing.

Where is the MO-DEM in your home? Does your modem “have a home” inside your home? Does it have its own closet or is it stuffed in a cabinet or behind a piece of furniture somewhere?

One of the first MO-DEMs in the late 1940s used for receiving radar and telephone data. This modem would be an interior designers’ worst nightmare. Not so easy to hide!

Internet: The Way We Stay Connected

Have you ever thought about it? In the last 10 years, the Internet has become the number one way our families connect with the outside world. Think about it!

  • E-communication (text, social media, and email)
  • Online News
  • Online shopping (my wife’s personal favorite haha)
  • IP Telephony & Wi-Fi Calling on Cell Phones
  • Home Offices (Zoom, File Sharing and web browsers)
  • E-learning for homework- Listening to music (streaming)
  • Watching television (both cable TV and streaming)
  • Checking your security cameras 

Now think about this: all of the cool stuff above can only happen because of a special black box in your home called a “modem”. This device is what takes the Internet (the vast network of world-wide interconnected computers) from “out there” to “in here”. 

Finding The Modem A Home

As you know, AJ Hall Design helps architects, custom builders, interior designers and homeowners integrate technology into the overall vision for their homes. Usually the first thing I do is look for a place for the modem. We call that “home” a Smart Media Enclosure. I always use the biggest enclosure, the 42″ enclosure. Remember, the Internet starts in the street, then goes to the side of your home (called a DMARC). From this DMARC, we run cable to the Smart Media Enclosure (SME). From the SME, we run Cat6+ and coax to the rest of the house: Smart TV Jacks, Data Ports, Wi-Fi Access Points, and other connection points across the home and outdoor living spaces.

Cheap Design

One of the yuckiest things is when a low-voltage company and/or builder sticks the SME in the Owner’s Bedroom Closet. Why is this lame? Because when it is time to service the internet or security, a technician will have to enter the most private part of your house and rummage through your clothes to get to their equipment. Hear me out! Many of the technicians I know are wonderful people – but this a lose-lose. The guy has had to crawl through attics all morning and now has to dig through all your clothes that afternoon.

Better Locations

I still see architects/home designers trying to put the SME in the garage. That is awesome if the Garage happens to be an air-conditioned space. But that’s not usually the case and you don’t want your modem and other sensitive electronics in a non-conditioned space. Here are a few places I’ve found that work great:

1. Dedicated AV Closet (with AV and tech getting more important, a dedicated AV closet may become more and more important)

2. Air-Conditioned, Roomy Mech Closets

3. Foyer Closet (but sometimes not good if used as a “coat closet”)

4. Closets Under Stairwells

5. Guest Room Closet (works if you have a spare bedroom that doesn’t store as much clothes, etc.)

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