You might be using the internet for a while, and also heard of terms like ‘’router’’ and ‘’modem.’’ But, you never think of knowing the difference between them and actually understand what they are. Both the router and modem almost look the same, but their uses and working process are different.
In short, the router establishes a network between the computers. On the other hand, modem connects that network to the internet. For instance, if you are connecting your device with Wi-Fi, your device is actually getting connected to the router. Most of the internet providers, especially in the United States, offer a combined router/modem unit to the users. Now, let’s understand the actual difference between them.
How Router Functions?
A router connects numerous networks and simultaneously routes the traffic between these networks. On home networks, the routers have two connections; one is connected to the private local network, and the other to the internet. Above all, most of the routers have multiple built-in switches, which allows you to connect multiple wired devices.
In simpler words, your router is between the local network and internet connection. The router allows you to connect numerous devices to the internet through a single physical internet connection. It also establishes the connection between the devices and later connects them with the local network. However, your router protects your devices from connecting with the internet directly. Your router also keeps track of traffic going to the devices.
But, you cannot directly connect with the internet through your router. Your device should be plugged into a device that can transfer digital traffic to your internet connection. This device is known as a modem.
How Modem Functions?
Your modem acts like a bridge between the internet and your local network. Basically, the modem is shorthand for modulating device and demodulating the signal. Modems are used to modulate the signals over the telephone lines. Due to which, the digital information can be converted and transfer over the telephone lines. Finally, the digital information will be decoded and demodulated on the other end.
However, some modern broadband connections like cable and satellite, don’t work the same way. We all were using the term ‘’modem’’ because it’s a device that is already familiar with to you. Modems are basically associated with connecting to the internet.
Modem attaches to the network, depending on the connection you are using. The modem directly plugs into the type of infrastructure you are using like telephone, satellite, fiber, and cable. The modem gives you a basic Ethernet cable output, which you can connect into any router or any primary computer. Later, you can start using the internet connection.
However, the modem will communicate with your internet service provider. Therefore, you have to purchase an appropriate type of modem that can function with your ISP’s infrastructure. You can use any type of router, but the modem should be accepted by the ISP to connect with their network.