If you are reading this article on your computer at home, it probably arrived via modem.

In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we'll show you how a modem brings you Web pages. We'll start with the original 300-baud modems and progress all the way through to the ADSL configurations!

(Note: If you are unfamiliar with bits, bytes and the ASCII character codes, reading How Bits and Bytes Work will help make this article much clearer.)

Let's get started with a short recap of how the modem came to be.