Difference between a modem and a router

What is the difference between modem and router?

Modem and router, extension and plug-in, browser and search engine… Clear terms for the seasoned user, but whose meaning is not always obvious to ordinary mortals. Test Connect sets the record straight.

Modem versus router

Both terms relate to your internet connection.

Modem stands for “MOdulator-DEM modulator”.The modem ensures the connection to the Internet via your access provider. Without a modem, you have no internet access at home.

Arouterdistributes the internet signal between all the devices in your home network and ensures communication between them (desktop computer, laptop, printer, smartphone, tablet, etc.).In the “internet channel”, it, therefore, comes after the modem.

In the internet chain, the router is after the modem.

Today, practically all access providers deliver modems with an integrated router. So you usually only have one device at home, which is called a modem router. But if you want to improve your home wifi network, you should know that, in this case, a new router can be useful. You will then connect it to your modem (or your ISP’s modem-router).


Difference between a modem and a router

As long as your internet connection is working normally, you probably don’t see the usefulness and the interest of making the difference between a modem and a router. In addition, understanding the roles and differences of each will help you ensure that your network connection is optimal and reliable. The modem and the router are now essential in many homes. We present to you, in 4 questions, the main differences, and complementarities of the two devices.

Why do we confuse modem and router?

Not sure what the difference between a modem and a router is? Don’t be embarrassed! At first glance, these two devices look very similar and that is why their use is often confused. First of all, they look alike at first glance: they are plastic boxes with a series of lights on the top, ports, and wires for connections. The modem and the router are also often found in the same place. They also essentially perform the same function when together: to help connect you to the Internet. Despite these similarities, your modem and your router are quite different.

What is a Modem?

A modem is a device responsible for connecting your home or office network to the internet. It can be identified by the flashing lights on the front or by the wires that are connected to the wall. This is because the modem wires use the connection jack that is designated for data (like a phone line) or the drop line for cable. The modem is primarily used to bridge the connection outside your home or office. Its main function is to link your internet service provider and your local network. Once connected, it directs a small portion of your internet provider’s bandwidth into your home or office for use on your local network.

What is a Router?

The easiest way to define a router is to see it as an addition to the modem. The modem is responsible for the internet connection, while the router broadcasts a signal in a determined area. The signal can be picked up and used by computers, tablets, or other devices when they find themselves in this area. While routers can be wired or wireless, most modems have them. If you’re wondering which of your devices is the router, look at the plastic antenna attached to the top of the box. This antenna is used to send the wireless signal to other connected devices.

What are the basic functions of a modem and a router?

When you understand the difference between a router and a modem, you will be able to understand the overall functions of your local network. Be aware that it is possible to have a modem without a router, but it is impossible to have a router without a modem. While every office network has a router since it allows multiple users to connect simultaneously, the modem and router combo is becoming increasingly popular in many homes. Did you also know that more than computers and tablets use a router to connect? Printers and other wireless devices also connect to it. When a printer is connected to the router, it allows printing from other devices (computers, cell phones) connected to the network.

Modems and routers work together and provide networking for your home or office. Now that you know the difference between the two, it will be easier to identify the source if you are experiencing internet service interruptions.

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