Most users get confused between a modem and a router when discussing their home internet connection. In most cases, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer a single box that works on both a modem and a router. However, they have different technologies and individual functionality.
This means that not all modem routers are included and not all routers have modems. However, you need both devices (probably combined or not) to get an internet connection for all the devices in your home. To make things easier, here we will discuss some key differences between a modem and a router.
How is a modem different from a router??
A modem connects your home network to the wider Internet, where a router allows your wired and wireless devices to use that Internet connection at the same time when communicating with each other without using the Internet. It is always good to use different modems and routers for different reasons.
Generally, you can use a modem year after year until it is damaged. This is possible because modem technology is slowly changing. On the other hand, if you want better internet coverage in your home, you may need to replace a router more frequently than your modem. If you want to add more devices to your network or just take advantage of recent advances in Wi-Fi technology, you need to buy a new router if your old router is unable to handle them.
Users can also save money on their monthly internet bill if they buy their modem and router without using the offer offered by your ISP. However, this is only possible if you only use the Internet. The situation becomes more complicated if you use DSL or fiber connection and if you get your phone service from your ISP.
How does a modem work?
A modem converts digital information from your computer into analog signals that can be transmitted via cable. It also translates analog signals into digital data that your system can read.
Most modems have two ports – one that connects to the larger Internet and the other an Ethernet jack for connecting a computer or router. ISPs usually provide users with a modem or a modem / router combo device. However, you can disable the router features of a modem / router combination and use it as a standalone modem and purchase a new router. However, your ISP will need to support this customization, and the process may vary depending on your service provider and the type of Internet connection you use.
How does the router work?
The main responsibility of a router is to direct data between the devices in your home and the wider internet. When we talk about a home network, it collectively refers to the interconnected device and the router’s own system. Your modem connects to a port on your router labeled “WAN” or “Wide Area Network”. The remaining ports are for other devices or they can wirelessly connect to the router via Wi-Fi standard.
Most two-bedroom apartments with multiple devices can be covered by a single Wi-Fi router. These devices provide the best coverage if you can keep them close to the center of your home so that all devices have the best wireless connection. It is important to note that one or two devices with poor connectivity may interfere with the functionality of other wireless devices connected to the network.