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An Ethernet interface, on the other hand, is intended for network traffic only. It connects directly to the computer's bus so that high speed transfers occur with the lowest possible CPU overhead. Ethernet interfaces are included with most modern motherboards. Older machines need a PCI-based Ethernet adaptor. Ethernet interfaces can typically connect at 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet). Newer Ethernet interfaces connect at 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps (Gig Ethernet).
In most cases, you will want to use a wireless or wired router behind your cable modem. In this case, you must use Ethernet for the modem to router connection.
What about speed? Your cable modem will typically operate at 3 megabits per second or less. This speed can easily be handled by the slowest USB or Ethernet connection. Most cable modems can connect with USB 2.0 (up to 400 Mbps) or Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps).
The Ethernet interface is usually preferred, as this frees your USB ports (and bandwidth) for other peripherals.
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