What is the Difference Between a Router and a Modem?

A router and a modem are very common devices for the internet. These days, every internet and cable user will have their modem and routers for their home and business. Many users get confused about the difference between these two. Both of them work differently and are not the same as many think. In this article, we will discuss the work and the difference between the modem and the router.

Difference between modem and router

What is a Modem?

A modem is required to get the internet to your home and business. The modem will establish and maintain a dedicated connection between the user and the internet service provider. It converts the two different types of signals that are used between the computer and the internet. The computer understands only digital signals, while the internet comes in analog signals. Therefore, the work of the modem is to demodulate the incoming analog signals into digital signals so that the computer can understand. A modem also modulates the outgoing digital signal into analog signals. The word ‘modem’ also comes from the modulator and demodulator.

Working of a modem

What is a Router?

A router is used to pass or forward your internet connection to all other devices that are connected to it. By using a router, you can use multiple devices to access the internet. Devices can connect through wired or wireless to the router. Devices can also communicate with each other using the router. The routers come in different sizes for home or small office and for large businesses, but they all work the same. A router assigns local IP addresses to all connected devices and uses those IP addresses to send and receive packets.

Working of a router

Difference Between a Router and a Modem

Now that you all know the basic difference between these two, we can discuss differences that are more detailed. The modem is in Data Link Layer (Layer 2) and Router comes in Network Layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Model. Both transmit the data in the form of packets. The modem can be connected to a single PC using an Ethernet port while router can be connected to multiple PCs and devices through Ethernet or WiFi. Modem brings the internet to your home and the router brings the internet to your devices. The router will assign local IP addresses to devices and the modem will have a public IP address. The modem uses the WAN network and Router creates the LAN network.

However, nowadays most devices come as a modem/router combination. It works as both a modem and a router at the same time. It can have multiple Ethernet slots and a WiFi built-in.

Modem/Router combination.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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