The Difference Between Modem and Router

A modem provides the connection between the Internet and your home network. A router allows multiple devices on your home network to connect to the Internet simultaneously, and ensures that Internet traffic is directed to the correct devices on the local network.

If you’ve been on the internet for a while, you’ve no doubt heard the terms “modem” and “router” thrown around, but you might not have taken the time to understand what they are. We’re here to help.

What Is the Difference Between a Modem and a Router?

Your router creates a network between the computers in your home, while your modem connects that network and thus the computers on it to the internet. When you connect to Wi-Fi, you’re really connecting to your router, which forwards traffic between the internet and your computer. Many internet providers offer a combined modem/router unit that performs both these functions in one device.

So why bother to understand the difference? Because that understanding can lead to better decisions, like buying your own modem so you can stop paying $8-$15 a month to rent one from your ISP.

What Does a Router Do?

A router connects multiple networks and routes network traffic between them. In the case of your home network, your router has one connection to the Internet and one connection to your private local network.

The simple way to think about routers especially on your home network is like this. The router sits in between your Internet connection and your local network. It lets you connect multiple devices to the Internet through one physical Internet connection and also lets those devices communicate with one another over the local network. The router keeps track of what traffic goes to which actual device on your network. To the Internet, all the traffic coming from your house looks like it’s coming from a single device.

Routers can be as minimal or as elaborate as you want. Some support advanced mesh Wi-Fi networks and have enough features to keep even the most avid self-hoster happy, whereas others have only a couple of physical ports and no wireless connectivity at all. However, the average routers you’ll buy today contains built-in switches that let you connect multiple wired devices, like a desktop PC or an Xbox, and also contain wireless radios that let you connect Wi-Fi devices, like a laptop or mobile phone.

In addition, the router offers some protection to your devices over being exposed directly to the Internet. All routers are capable of screening traffic, so inbound and outbound traffic can only go through approved ports. Some offer even more advanced functionality and may be able to warn you if you’re visiting a malicious or suspect site.

But you can’t connect directly to the Internet with just a router. Instead, your router must be plugged into a device that can transmit your digital traffic over whatever type of internet connection you have. And that device is a modem.

What Does a Modem Do?

Your modem serves as a bridge between your local network and the Internet. Historically, the term “modem” is shorthand for modulator-demodulator. Modems were used to modulate the signals on telephone lines so that digital information could be encoded and transmitted over them and then demodulated and decoded on the other end. Though more modern broadband connections like cable and satellite don’t really work the same way, we kept using the term “modem” because it’s a device people were already familiar with and associated with connecting to the Internet.

How a modem attaches to your network depends on the type of connection you have. The modem plugs into whatever type of Internet infrastructure you have cable, telephone, satellite, or fiber and gives you a standard Ethernet cable output that you can plug into any router (or a single computer) and get an Internet connection.
RaphBlog.Com.NG. Powered by Blogger.