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What's the Difference Between Modem and a Router

Modem vs. Router: What’s the Difference?

If you are using the internet regularly, then there is no doubt that you have heard the terms modem and router. But it’s possible that you do not understand what their differences are. A lot of people actually think that a modem and a router are the same things.

But they are not. They are different from two separate roles on a network. A router, in general, creates a network between the systems in your home or business, on the other hand, a modem connects that network.

Here we are going to discuss what the exact differences between a modem and a router are. We will also highlight the differences in what they do and how they work. 

A Detailed Analysis of a Modem and A Router: Everything You Need to Know

Nowadays, you can connect with any person no matter where they are simply using the internet. But most of them do not have a clear idea of how networks function.

Whenever we talk about the internet, the first thing that comes to our mind is the router and modem. Both are the necessary components for both wired and wireless internet connection.

There are lots of differences between them. In this section, we are going to explain the working of both router and modem and their functions as well. Let’s get started with the modem first.

What is a Modem and How it Functions

Now, if you want the internet at your home or business, you have to have a modem. A modem is what brings the internet into your home or business, a dedicated connection from your internet service provider.

A modem is a device that is a combination of signal modulator and demodulator, which means it performs modulation as well as demodulation of the signal.

The Function of a Modem

As we mentioned above, a modem is a combination of modulators and demodulators. Most people do not know what it means.

We all know that a computer only reads digital signals while signals out on the internet are analog. As analog signals come in from the internet, the modem demodulates the incoming analog signals into a digital one. So a computer can understand the language.

A modem also modulates outgoing digital signals from a device into an analog signal as it goes out on the internet. And this is where we get the word ‘modem’. The word means modulators and demodulators which is exactly what a modem does. It modulates outgoing data from a computer and demodulates the incoming data from the internet.

What it can do?

A modem can connect to your internet service provider. Also, it converts the signal from them to a universal one that your device can use. It provides circular connectivity.

What it cannot do? 

It cannot connect multiple devices to the internet.

Now, let’s talk about what is the router and its functionality.

What is a Router and How it Functions

A router is a device that you would use to connect multiple computers to a network. The content of data packets that are transmitted in between a network or to another network is analyzed by it. 

Additionally, the router helps to determine if the destination and source are on the same network or whether data is required to be transferred from one network to another type of network.

The Basic Functions of a Router

When we have two computers that want to ‘talk’ to one another and send messages between them, we can do this by connecting the two computers with a crossover cable. This cable is an ethernet cable that allows you to connect to the devices. In such situations, we use a router.

A router is called a fancy PC because it has all the general components of a PC such as a processor, storage, memory, and storage space. There are different types of routers. There are routers that are used in businesses and larger organizations. And there are smaller routers are used in homes and small businesses.

But they basically do the same thing. It routes or passes your internet connection to all of your devices in your home or business. It directs it to all of your computers, tablets, phones and so on.

What a Router can do

Technically you really do not need a router if you only want one of your devices to access the internet. If you are going to have multiple devices that need access to the internet, that is where you would need a router.

What a Router cannot do

It cannot connect directly to the internet. Also, it cannot decode the signal from your ISP.

This is the complete analysis of a router and a modem. We hope this discussion has cleared any doubts that you had about a router and a modem and furnished enough information about the differences in how they work and what they do.