[Modem vs. Router] Being from today’s computer networking equipment market, there is a huge range of wireless and wired devices to choose from. It sometimes may confuse you and maybe the reason for some questioning why technologies feel confusing. In fact, there are devices that require the same or similar design, utilize similar technologies, have similar functions, and require the same cable types as well. Routes and modems fall into the list. Thus is it very much important for you to know the difference between a Modem and a Router.
However, the difference between the modem and the router is much more straightforward and evident. But, it is important for the consumer to know the difference and every little thing about the device they are buying. So here are the differences that you must be aware of nothing big but important.
What is a Modem?
A modem usually depends on the signal that comes from the Internet Service Provider, for example, Verizon, Comcast etc, to your office or home just by converting the analogue internet signals to the digital ones. Basically, it is the doorway to the outside world and keeps your network connected to the greater network. Most of the time, you can expect to have your modem from the chosen ISP right at the time when you opt for the internet plan.
There are several types of modem which include digital subscriber line or DSL, Analog, ISDN or the Integrated Services Digital Network, and cable. All these are differently connected and differ in terms of connection and certain functions.
Analog modem will use your phone’s line to connect to your ISP and you can’t use the phone when you surf the web. The DSL will also use the telephone line but the transmission takes place from outside frequencies that are designed for voice calls. Thus, you can use both the internet and your phone at the same time interval. In fact, the cable modem performs the same way but it is connected to a computer or the router via Cat 5 cord and a coaxial cable.
What does a Modem do?
So what does a modem do? Moden is the networking device that helps to demodulate as well as modulate signals from the ISP to all your devices and vice versa. This will encode all the data from a transmitter and then decode them from the receiver. So, it basically works as a network translator. You can convert the proprietary signals from your ISP into a regular signal that any device can use.
Modems help to compress your data, control the data flow and correct the errors as well. This further helps to speed up the all transmission process by grouping the data together and then submitting all in one go. Now again the modem checks whether the data you have sent is correct and matches with the values assigned and if not then it sends the data back. This is how the modem works in data correction as well.
On the other hand, the flow control allows your modem to send the signals to others so as to hold varying internet speeds and WiFi.
What is a Router?
A router is nothing but a networking device that allows you to distribute the internet connection from your modem to all other required devices. You can connect all your devices such as a computer, laptop, phone, etc with your internet and access all at the same time. With the help of a router, you can simply connect and communicate with one another over the same network.
In the market, you will find several different types of routers and the popular ones are wireless and wired routers. You need to manually connect the modem as well as the device with the cables in case of the wired routers. Whereas, the wireless routers usually use the inbuilt antennas that allow you to communicate with other devices on the same WiFi network. But you still need to manually connect the wireless router to the modem using a cable so as to receive and send data from the web.
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What does a Router do?
So the question now is what does a router do? Well! The primary function of the router is to handle all kinds of traffic between several networked devices. What it does is to keep the track of the media access control or the MAC (media access control) addresses and ensure whatever information is there is sent properly. For say, if you want to watch a movie on your phone in that case the router will ensure that your smartphone receives the video information and not the laptop connected to the same network.
Apart from this, a router allows the users to share several resources over the network coverage. All these will include drives, files, folders as well as computer peripherals such as scanners, printers, and fax machines. In fact, the router has security features that help to protect the devices from hackers and also the other unauthorized actions. It allows you to enable the firewall and then you can restrict the device access using the MAC address or you can block any specific website and many more.
Modem vs. Router: What’s the Difference?
1. Modem vs. Router: Configuration
A router always requires configuration to perform the work. Without a configuration, you cannot pair the network with the ISP. You will also have to inform the ISP while pairing with the device.
Most of the modems do come with an auto-configuration network. You won’t have to manually configure the mode to use the device.
2. Modem vs. Router: LAN
The router comes to set up a LAN network from where you can get to connect multiple wired and wireless devices.
On the other hand, the modem does not form any type of LAN. It works in a simple mechanism to transmit the data from the ISP to the WAN.
3. Modem vs. Router: Wireless Access
A modem does not come with any wireless module. It is thus very difficult for you to connect to wireless devices with just a modem.
You need a router to connect to wireless devices. They have simple wireless modules that help to connect with both wired and wireless devices easily.
4. Modem vs. Router: Latency
A modem is a specialized device that allows regaining the data speed and placing it to your configured device. There is no such drop in bits speed from the modem.
A router allows you to gain shared internet. Since it does not have any Stabilizer, there’s already data loss by the time the megabits are received by the router.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can you use a router without a modem?
Yes, you can use a router without a modem. However, there will always be a drop in the internet speed evidently. Having a router means that you can get to share wireless access. However, the modem acts as a stabilizer in recovering the lost data.
Q2. Do you need a router if you have a modem?
This completely depends on what type of work you are doing and what your requirements are. If speed is a big factor for you to pay for the high internet, consider purchasing a modem and router combo. If you do not require such high-speed internet, only purchasing a router could do the job for you.
Q3. Can a mobile hotspot replace home internet?
Mobile hotspot comes with an internet cap from the service provider. Usually, the data you receive is light and may not be strong enough for you to configure multiple devices. If you have to connect a laptop and a TV set together, try to purchase a router that will bring up some stability on the internet.
Q4. Does buying a new modem increase Internet speed?
The answer to this question is both yes and a no. ISP delivers you the data from network switches, from which you can get the internet to your home. By the time it reaches your device, it already loses out on data. If you have a modem, it works on recovering the lost data which allows you to gain some extra speed that you would normally have.
Q5. How often should you replace your modem?
There is no such specification on replacing the modem. Most of the manufacturers do provide a 2 year warranty on this. However, keeping it away from dirt should be a priority. You can still expect a modem to run at its best for 5-8 years. You can change the modem after this.
Conclusion On Router Vs. Modem
If you are talking about the difference between the router and modem, the first thing you need to understand is what is a router and a modem. And the next thing that you need to know is how both of them work. If you go through the above sections then by now you must have understood the basic differences between the router and the modem. In case, you have any queries, you can comment down below and you will get everything answered.