Difference between a modem and a router
What is the difference between a modem and a router? Think of them as good friends with different skills. One can connect to the internet, while the other helps you join an active WiFi network.
A router connects your devices to the internet via WiFi, whereas a modem connects your devices to a wider area network (WAN) or the internet.
If you prefer devices to connect wirelessly, a router is a device you need. A modem creates the network connection and a router routes data through it.
A modem is a device that translates analog signals from the internet service provider into digital signals that your devices can use.
With the term Modem, you are converting analog signals into digital ones so that it is compatible with computers and devices.
The modem is the only device that connects to the internet and it's usually connected to your router. There are generally three ports: one that connects to the internet, one that connects to a router or computer, and the third port for power.
Buying your own modem will save you money in the long run, often after only six months. Your internet provider will charge a monthly fee on top of the cost of a modem to use their wifi service.
Routers are networking devices that take your internet connection and send it to the different devices in your network. The router allows you to connect to the internet from a computer, mobile phone, or other devices.
A router is a device that monitors your network for all devices connected to the network. It assigns each corresponding device an IP address so when a user tries to access a website, it gets routed correctly based on the address given.
On your network, a router is responsible for setting up your local network and letting you manage its settings. For example, with a router, you can enable security settings and prioritize traffic to certain devices.
Wired routers need a wired connection installed in your computer, while WiFi routers use a built-in antenna to transmit the signal wirelessly.
All routers have an ethernet port that connects to your devices and a port that connects to the modem to send and receive information.
To network with WiFi, you need a modem and a router that have at least one Ethernet connection for security.
With a router, you can connect more than one device to the internet. As an internet hub for all of your devices, a router needs to be connected to the main modem in order for it to distribute the internet connection.
Rather than getting a separate modem and router for your home internet connection, modern devices offer both functions.
Check out our list of modem router combos to learn more about this convenient option.
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