Modem Vs Router: 10 Important Difference Between Modem And Router

difference between modem and router
What is the difference between Modem and Router?

Both modems and routers are required for accessing the internet. A modem is a box-like device that links your home or office network to the internet directly whereas the router is a box-type device that allows many computer systems to access the internet at the same time.

A modem serves as your internet gateway, whereas a router serves as a central hub for all of your devices in a network.

Although your Internet service provider may offer you with a single box that works as both a modem and a router, the two technologies are still distinct.

A router by itself does not provide Internet access. So, how are they associated with one another? We’ll go over the difference between modem and router in this post.

What is Modem?

A modem is the key device that acts as a communication bridge for connecting your LAN to the Internet. It works by converting your computer’s digital signals into analog signals that travel through phone lines. Then, at the other end of the connection, it converts incoming analog signals back into digital signals so you can check email, surf the web, and do other things online.

Modems are assigned with a public IP address that allows them to be identified on the Internet. Most standalone modems contain only two ports: one for connecting to the ISP and another for connecting to a computer or router via Ethernet.

There are three kinds of modem based on cable they use – Cable, DSL and Fiber

Cable Modem

Cable modems are hardware devices that connect computers to your Internet service provider. They are different from other types of modems in that they use existing coaxial cabling – the same lines used to bring cable TV into our homes – as a conduit for data instead of telephone or DSL lines.

DSL Modem

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. It’s a way to get high-speed Internet through your phone line. DSL comes in three different flavors: SDSL (Symmetric DSL), VDSL (Very High Speed DSL), and ADSL (Asymmetric DSL). A modem is a small box that connects your devices to the Internet using coaxial cables. In the case of a DSL modem, the modem is connected to your Internet service provider through a phone line, typically with an Ethernet cable.

Fiber Optic Modem

A fiber optic modem (FOM), also known as a Fast Ethernet over optical fiber, is a device that enables an electronic device—such as a computer—to transmit and receive signals to and from a wide area network (WAN) using fiber-optic cables for signal transmission instead of the traditional copper wires.

What is Router?

A router is a networking device that connects two or more networks by forwarding data packets between them. A router is a device that uses IP addresses to route or forward data from one network to another.  It operates at Layer 3 of the OSI model. A router is the smartest and most difficult of the hub and switch combinations.

It is still possible to connect to the internet without using a router, exactly as it was with internal PCI modems in the past.

Firewalls are installed in routers to screen out any assaults or threats that may attempt to gain access to your network.

There are five types of routers – Wireless router, wired router, edge router, core router and virtual router but wired and wireless routers are the most prevalent. Wired routers require a wired Ethernet connection to connect to your PCs and other devices. On the other hand wireless routers broadcast your network’s internet signal wirelessly using built-in antennae.

Wireless Router

Wireless routers allow you to share an Internet connection among multiple devices, such as your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. If you place the wireless router indoors, its connection will reach about 150 feet; if it’s placed outdoors, then the range can be more than 300 feet.

A wireless router connects to a modem using an Ethernet cable. It converts binary data packets into radio signals and broadcasts them using antennae. A wireless router does not create a local area network; instead, it creates a WLAN—a wireless local area network—which connects multiple devices using wireless communication.

Wired router

Just as a wireless router connects to a modem with an Ethernet cable, so too does a wired router use an Ethernet cable. With that cable connected, and separate cables then connecting to the devices on your network, you can create your own local area network (LAN), and link all your devices on that LAN to the Internet.

If you are at a bank or a small campus, you can see that the computers are connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable. That is the wired router.

Edge Router

The distribution router is the second name given to the edge of a router, which sits on the edge of the backbone of the network and can be connected on either wired or wireless lines. It sends internet data packets to one or more networks, but not within networks.

Core router

Core routers run on the backbone of a network, while edge routers distribute packets across multiple networks. Core routers are responsible for heavy data transfers.

Virtual Router

You can turn your computer into a router, creating a virtual router and allowing other devices to connect to your computer in the same way they would connect to a standalone router.

Also Read: Difference Between Hub, Switch and Router

Difference Between Modem and Router: Modem VS Router

ModemVSRouter
A modem is a piece of equipment that modulates or demodulates a signal.DefinitionRouter is a networking device that routes data packets from source to destination over a network.
Necessary to access the internet.Internet AccessNot necessary to access the internet.
Data Link Layer (Layer 2)Operation Layer in OSI ModelNetwork Layer (Layer 3)
Two ports are available. One for ISP and another for your device.PortsNumber of ports varies. 2 to 4 ports in minimum.
Either a PC or a routerNumber of Connected DevicesMultiple devices can be connected using ethernet cable or Wifi.
RJ45 to connect with router, and RJ11 to connect with a telephone line.Cable UsedRJ45 for the computer.
It is not secure as it sends data without authentication.VulnerabilityMore secure with password protection.
Inter-networking deviceType of DeviceNetworking deivce
Has public IP addressIP AddressAssigns local IP address

Do you Need a Modem or a Router?

Traditionally, routers and modems were two different devices that worked together to establish your home network. However, with today’s technology, you don’t necessarily need a separate modem and router, as modern combination of modem and router systems combine the functionality of the two devices into one powerful device.

If you want to use Wifi or connect several devices in your home, you will need both a modem and a router. The modem will allow you to connect only one device at a time, but it won’t provide the same level of protection as a router.

To speed up your network, you should concentrate on the router, which is the component in charge of distributing your Wi-Fi signal to all of your computers, tablets, and smartphones. It is also the component that sets up and manages your Wi-Fi network.

Conclusion: Modem Vs Router

Modem stands for a Modulator/Demodulator and it converts digital signal to analog signal and then sends it via telephone line however when the data reaches from modem to computer it gives back digital signals. A router is an electronic device that allows a computer or network device or network system to communicate. It works as a gateway for all the devices which are connected to LAN. The router performs many tasks like coding IP addresses, filtering unwanted data, ensuring the security of your computer by blocking hackers, etc.

Nowadays, both devices are now available in an integrated form, which combines the modem and router into a single device, eliminating the need for two separate devices. Modems connect your home to the Internet, whereas routers connect your gadgets to the Internet.


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