What’s the difference between a router and a modem? Properties Comparison

If you are using the internet for a long time, you’ve surely heard the terms “router” and “modem” often, however may not have taken the time to know what they’re. The majority of users mistake a modem for a router and contrariwise as a result of they’ll look similar. Each has indicator lights and LAN (Ethernet) ports on the rear. They additionally perform some similar functions. Each device transmits data packets sent from a supply to a destination.

For one, a modem sometimes has lesserLAN (Ethernet) ports than a router. A modem additionally contains a public information processing (IP) address, which may be accessed over the web. In distinction, a router contains a non-public information processing (IP) address, that can’t be found on the net. Modems mostly operate a wide area network (WAN), whereas routers work on local area network (LAN), or on a limited space.

Knowing the distinction between a router and a modem is vital if you would like to line up your network or troubleshoot problems along with your network connectivity. The main distinction between the 2 devices is that a modem helps you to hook up with the internet, whereas a router routes and distributes that connection to completely different devices. A modem is your entrance to the net, whereas a router could be a central hub (or switch) for your devices. We can simply say that the modem connects the network to the computer while the router creates a network for communication. When you connect different gadgets at home to the same internet connection, it is the router that routes all the traffic to these devices.

What does the router do?

A router is a device that is used to route the internet to make an internet connection with different devices at home or offices. It can make internet connectivity in both wired and wireless mode and direct traffic (both incoming and outgoing) in an efficient manner. It provides both types of connectivity

  1. Wireless connectivity
  2. Connectivity via Ethernet cable

A router is used to connect many networks and routes traffic of a network. It’s very that easy. within your home network, the router has one affiliation to the net and one affiliation to your personal devices. Additionally, most routers conjointly contain constitutional switches that permit you to connect any wired devices. Several routers conjointly contain wireless radios that permit you to connect wirelessly via wifi.

The simple thanks to believing routers—especially on your home network—are like this. The router sits in between your web affiliation and the local network. It helps you to connect many devices to the net through one physical web affiliation and conjointly lets your devices communicate with each other over the local network. Additionally, the router also provides protection to your devices from being exposed to the net. To the net, all the traffic returning from your house appears like it’s returning from one device. The router keeps track that how o route traffic efficiently to actual devices.

But you can’t connect on to the net with simply a router. Instead, your router should be connected to some device that can convert the digital signal from your computer/router into an analog signal to transmit over the internet, which is done by modem. 


MODEM which is an abbreviation of “Modulator demodulator” is the one that actually makes your device connected with the internet that your device can understand only digital signals while internet signals are analogs. So, the modem act as a modulator modulating analog signal into a digital signal to be understood by the computer. Similarly, it also demodulates your device signal into an analog signal to communicate over the internet. So, it plays the role of modulation and demodulation.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Modem simply plays the role of a bridge between the internet and your device. Modems are also used in telephones to modulate the analog sound signal to digital to be transferrable over the telephone line and again demodulate it on the other end, to be heard by the receiver. Now, you can understand that modem actually work between you and the service provider, you should select the right model working for your ISP infrastructure.


When you need a router and modem?

Router and modem can be used in different scenarios. A modem is compulsory to use in every connection however sometimes, the router is not required. But in most of the cases, you need both router and modem to make the network.

  • When you only want to connect a single device on the internet, there is no need for a router. You can connect it only through the modem. You can connect your computer directly to the modem through cable.
  • If you want to connect many devices to the same network, then you would definitely need a router.
  • If you want a wireless connection, then you need a router or additionally WAP (wireless access point).


Although many people consider the router and modem are the same but these are entirely different.


A device that is used to modulate and demodulate signal for transmissionA device that is used for connecting multiple networks and routing traffic
It converts the digital signal of your device to analog and vice versa. To make it transferrable over the internet.It receives data packets and communicates it to the destination and examine the right path for it
Modem captures requested data from the internet and modulates it into digital formRouter routes this digital data to correct device
The modem is a key component to access the internetRouter routes/connect different devices to that connection
Modem span on the data link layer.Router span on the data link, network, and physical layer
It is not secure as it doesn’t examine dataIt can easily understand threat because it examines data before forwarding
A modem is placed between the internet vendor/ provider and the router.A router is placed between your device and modem.


Modern Routers:

But nowadays, you only see one router in your home but, not any modem or switches. Have you ever think where are the switches and modem? If yes then most probably you know the difference? But if not, don’t worry I will tell you? The modern routers available in the market now a day have modem and switches integrate into it. These routers are a combo of both the modem and router. It performs all the tasks of modulating, network connection, and routing traffic wired and wirelessly. You simply connect your internet to the router and left the rest on the router, it will automatically modulate and route traffic.



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Written by Ghost

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