Modem Vs Router | What is the Difference Between Modem and Router

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Modem Vs Router | What is the Difference Between Modem and Router

Modem Vs Router | What is the Difference Between Modem and Router

With the advancement of wireless technology, the connections of large networks are made easy. The two devices that assists these networks to get connected together are the Modem and the Router

Apart from that a standard network connection is made up of 4 devices ; Modem, router, switch/hub and the wireless access point (WAP). While majority of the people use home network for accessing the internet, they may not know how the network works. For connecting a home network there should be both modem and a router. Therefore it is a way clear that both modem and the router are essential components in networking. However for internet access the router always relies upon a modem. Even if you can connect a single computer to the internet with a modem there is no possibility in a router. This is because modem has the capability to decode the signal received from the ISP. 

Likewise even though both of the devices looks similar, they are different in their purposes. Knowing the difference between them can help you fix many of the problems that is related to the networking. In this article, I will be discussing about  Modem Vs Router | what is the difference between modem and router. At the end of this article you will know whether modem and router are the same thing.

Let's move to the topic,

1. Functions

Modem is a device which modulates and demodulates transmissions in order for carrying data. It is the main component which provides pathways from the large infrastructure to the small homes and offices. Modem connects directly to the Internet Service Provider (ISP). In short modem provides the pathway to your home network from the ISP. Apart from that it is the modem which provides unique IP address for every computer for identifying itself on the internet. Usually the data status of the modem can be seen in the form of light indication. LED blinkings indicate what's happening to the data. And also this lighting can indicate if the modem is having any kind of problem with the ISP.

On the other hand, Router is a device which connects to the modem by creating a local network. In short it receives digital signals from the modem and directs it to the computer. Therefore modem is an essential component when connecting a router. Without a modem, a router cannot gain access to the internet. Hence it is the gateway which lies between LAN and WAN connections. Even though most of the routers use the standard 802.11ac, latest ones also support Wifi 6. When you are connecting to a Wifi you are actually connecting to a router. Routers are not only used for connecting wireless devices, most routers has the capability for connecting many wired devices through their builtin switches. Using this the router can deliver sensible data to different directions. Hence it contains a database of traffic which goes to each of the devices.

2. Connections

Modems generally use coaxial cables for its connection. But there are instances where Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) can be used too. In this case the connection jack looks similar to the ones present on the telephone lines. However comparing to a cable based connection, DSLs are actually slower. It is especially useful for the subscribers living in rural areas. 

In earlier days the routers only provided connection through ethernet ports, but today the newest models support the use of wireless connection. From the wireless routers several devices can be connected to the same network. Apart from that modern day routers are equipped with 4 ethernet ports that allows wired devices to be connected directly. Using these ports will be the best option, if you are looking for a high speed network connection. These ports can support the speed up to 1Gbps. Additionally wireless routers contain 2 or 3 antennas which provides large range of wireless connectivity. 

3. Security

Most router manufacturers include a firewall service in them. Through this firewall security breaches are prevented. Firewalls examine each of the packets for any kind of threats. Hence it is highly impossible for any threat to overcome this firewall. Whatever the information that goes from the devices and the modem is highly secured. 

But modems act just as a network translator. The information that comes from the ISP is directly passed to the devices without any further checking. Therefore potential threats can get easily passed the modem. 

4. Cost

Modem Internet Service Providers lend modem for a monthly subscription fee. The subscription fee depends on the amount of data allocated. However instead of paying a monthly subscription fee you can purchase your own modem. Yes, that will cost you high but it will be cheaper comparing to paying a bill every month. Same applies to routers as well. Rather than using a router that the ISP provides, it is a way cheaper to buy your own router. And also home routers support many technologies like Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 which ISP routers fails to provide. But whatever the modem and the router you purchase, you have to make sure that it is completely compatible with your ISP.

5. Modem + Router Combo

There are some devices which has the function of both the modem and the router. While there is no any name given for this, people call it is as gateway or simply a modem. Like modem and a router this can also be purchased from an ISP or purchased directly. While comparing to a cost of buying a separate modem and a router, purchasing this is relatively cheaper. But this has its own drawbacks as well. One such drawback is that if one of the devices in it gets malfunctioned the whole unit has to be replaced. Some Internet Service Providers also include the VOIP functioning, so that you can use it with your phone interface.

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