What is the difference between Modem and Router

It is quite important to know the difference between a modem and a router, especially if your aim is to set up your network. We once educated you on the Hotspot; this time; we will enlighten you on the dissimilarities between a router and a modem.

Different Between a Router and Modem?

A Router and a Modem look similar, that’s the first thing that could make anyone think that they are the same or that they share the same similarities. Both include indicator lights that blink, and you can find ethernet pots in them as well. In terms of the functions, they transmit data packets from a source to a destination.

Still, we can identify differences in a router and a modem. One major difference is that a modem has a public IP address, meaning that it can be accessed over the internet. A  router, however,  has a private IP address, which cannot be accessed within the confines of the web.

Another difference is that Modems use a Wide Area Network (WAN), while routers make use of a Local Area Network (LAN), or one with a limited area.

An image of a Modem positioned straight up

What is a Modem?

A modem is an admixture of the words’ modulation’ and ‘demodulation’. A modem relays signals from your Internet Service Provider to your home or office, and it does this by converting the analog internet signal into digital signals.

You have certain Modem types, which include Analog, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable, and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).

Analog modems use your phone’s telephone line to connect to your Internet Service Provider. You can certainly not make use of a phone while surfing the web with analog.

The DSL makes use of your telephone line. Transmission is carried out outside the frequencies that are meant for voice calls. It means you can use both the phone and the internet at the same time.

A cable modem is similar to the DSL. A difference is that a cable modem is connected to a router or a system with a coaxial cable and an Ethernet cord.

ISDN is telephone-based. It works from a dedicated line or circuit switch. The signals are transmitted over copper telephone wires.

Features of a Modem

  1. A Modem encodes (modulates) information from a transmitter before it decodes (demodulates) data from the receiver.
  2. A Modem can compress data, it can correct errors, and it can control the flow of information.
  3. A Modem group data together and then places them in one go, thereby speeding up transmission based on a certain set of rules.
  4. Modems are able to send signals to one another to accommodate varying WiFi and internet speeds with flow control.

An image showing a router

How Do I Identify A Router?

A router is a networking device that distributes (or routes)  internet connectivity from your modem to all of your other devices that could including mobile phones, laptops, Smart TVs, and more.  A router enables all these devices to connect to the internet at the same time. With a  router,  different devices can communicate with one another over the network.

Two main types of routers are Wired and Wireless routers.

  • The Wired routers are connected physically to a modem and a device with a cable.
  • Wireless routers, on the other hand, use built-in antennas to communicate with other devices on your WiFi network. Understand that a wireless router still needs to be connected physically to a modem with a cable to send and receive information from the web.

Features of a Router

  1. A Router handles traffic between various networked devices. The router keeps track of its Media Access Control (MAC) addresses to ensure information is sent correctly.
  2. A router ensures the ease and possibility for users to share resources over the network. These resources include but not limited to files, folders, and drives. Also, printers, fax machines, and scanners are included.
  3. A router has security features that can protect you, the user from hackers, and any unauthorized source that wishes to gain access to your network (You can assign a password to secure your network). With these, you can enable your firewall, restrict access to only devices that have a specific MAC address, block websites, and more.

Modem Vs. Router

If all you need is to connect one computer to the internet, a modem is preferable.  If you desire to connect multiple devices, you will need a router. If you want to have your devices connect to the internet wirelessly, you will also need a router.

We should let you know that, lately, certain internet service providers give subscribers a router-modem combination.

It becomes a two-in-one device that does not need many wires or cables to set up. You can also decide to purchase them separately. A separate modem and router will make later upgrades easier to do.

We hope this article is of value to you. What have you always thought a Modem and Router to be and what do you use them for if you have one? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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