Router vs. Modem: What’s the Difference?
Feb 08, · The router creates a local area network (LAN) within your house, allowing your devices to share files and peripherals like printers. The router manages all the information going to and from each device and the modem and makes sure it all ends up safely in the right spot. However, a router doesn’t need to connect to a modem to function. Feb 11, · A modem connects you to a wide area network (WAN) or the internet. On the other hand, a router connects your devices to your local area network (LAN) or WiFi network, and it lets your devices communicate with each other wirelessly. Basically, a modem is your gateway to the internet, while a router is a central hub for your devices.
Answer: Routers and modems are two of the most common computer peripheralsyet many people do not know the function of each one.
While the two devices may look similar, they each serve a different purpose. Fortunately, the functions of the two devices are pretty easy to understand. A router is a small box that allows multiple computers to join the same network see below. While early routers only had Ethernet ports for wired connections, most modern routers provide wireless connectivity as well.
Wireless routers allow multiple computers and other devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to join the same network. Connecting to a router provides access how to upload your website from dreamweaver cs5 a local network LANbut it does not necessarily provide access to the Internet. In order for devices on the network to connect to the Internet, the router must be connected to a modem. Therefore, most routers have a specific Ethernet port that is designed to connect to the Ethernet port of a cable or DSL modem.
Cable modems have a coaxial or "coax" connection, which is the same type of connector found on a TV or cable box. This connects to a cable port on the wall.
DSL modems have a telephone connector, also called an RJ jack, which connects to a telephone socket on the wall. By connecting your modem to your router instead of directly to a computerall devices connected to the router are connected to the modem, and therefore, the Internet. The router provides a local IP address to each connected device, but they will all have the same external IP address, which is assigned by your ISP.
Important: While the router and modem are often separate entities, it has been more common for the modem and router to be combined into a single device. This type of hybrid device sometimes called a gateway is offered by some ISPs to simplify the setup process. A modem is a device that provides access to the Internet see below. To summarize, the device connection order is outlined below: PC or wireless device Router Modem ISP Internet Important: While the router and modem are often separate entities, it has been more common for the modem and router to be combined into a single device.
Why is my computer's USB connection slow? What is the difference between a router and a modem? All Hardware Questions.
What's the difference between a modem and router?
Mar 29, · What Does a Modem Look Like? Modems typically look like small black, skinny, square boxes. Frequently, they have between two and four antennae but not every modem includes an external antenna. The images at the top of this article give you a good idea of what a modem looks like but every manufacturer uses a different style and shape. Jul 25, · This lesson answers the questions what is a router and what is a broadband modem in Plain English, while also showing you the steps to hook your router up to. Apr 25, · In addition, the router offers some protection to your devices over being exposed directly to the Internet. To the Internet, all the traffic coming from your house looks like it’s coming from a single device. The router keeps track of what traffic goes to which actual device on your network.
Your modem is a box that connects your home network to the wider Internet. A router is a box that lets all of your wired and wireless devices use that Internet connection at once and also allows them to talk to one another without having to do so over the Internet.
You need both, integrated or not, in order to provide an Internet connection for all the devices in your home. We recommend using a separate modem and router, if you can. You can often save money on your monthly Internet bill if you buy your own modem and router instead of using the ones your ISP provides, though this is usually true only if you have cable Internet, not DSL or fiber, and the situation is more complicated if you get phone service from your ISP as well.
A modem modulates and demodulates electrical signals sent through phone lines, coaxial cables, or other types of wiring; in other words, it transforms digital information from your computer into analog signals that can transmit over wires, and it can translate incoming analog signals back into digital data that your computer can understand.
Most stand-alone modems have just two ports: one that connects to the outside world, and an Ethernet jack that connects to a computer or a router. If you use cable Internet service, your ISP probably gave you a modem when the company set up your service. You have to spend a lot more on a router—or a mesh kit if you have a very large home—to get anything even a little better.
We recommend two kinds of wireless routers depending on the size of your home, how many devices you connect to your network, and where the router is in your home. Most one- or two-bedroom apartments with a couple dozen devices can be covered by a stand-alone Wi-Fi router.
These models function best if you can place them near the center of your home and give all of your devices the best wireless connection possible; even one or two devices with a weak connection can reduce performance for all the other wireless devices on the network. It is consistently fast in a variety of tests and surpasses more expensive options. If you have a larger home, if you have lots of smart devices in addition to your computers and phones and streaming boxes, or if your router has to sit far away from the center of your home, a Wi-Fi mesh-networking kit is a better fit.
These kits usually come in two or three pieces, with one piece that functions like a stand-alone router and one or more pieces that act as satellites. Place each satellite in between your router and an area of your home with a poor Wi-Fi signal, and it will act as a go-between, increasing the range and improving the quality of your entire wireless network.
Unlike traditional Wi-Fi extenders , which don't coordinate with your router, these mesh Wi-Fi systems were developed to work together ; they make sure that each of your devices is connected to the router or satellite that provides it the best, strongest signal.
If you want to know more about the way your router does its job, this summary of common networking terminology is a good place to start. But these common troubleshooting and maintenance tips should help you keep your network running as smoothly and securely as possible. One possible exception is if you have a cable bundle that also includes landline phone service. Jump back. Buy from Best Buy May be out of stock.