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Difference Between Modem and Router

Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2024
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The basic difference between a Modem and a Router is that a Modem takes Internet Signals from the provider and connects it with your device and a Router takes the Internet from the modem and transfers it to your wireless devices. Both Modem and Router measure the networking devices, wherever a piece of electronic equipment connects your laptop or your network to the Internet Service Provider for accessing the web. To get the internet connection for our network, we both need a modem and router either individually or integrated. We will discuss each Modem and Router in detail.


A Modem is a short form of Modulator/Demodulator. The Modem is a hardware component/device that can connect computers and other devices such as routers and switches to the internet. Modems convert or modulate the analog signals coming from telephone wire into a digital form that is in the form of 0s and 1s. It acts as a bridge between the telephone line and the computer. It converts the input analog signal to a digital signal and directs it to the computer and vice versa.       



Types of Modem

There are multiple types of modems available but the important of them are:

  • Dial-Up: This is one of the earlier types of modem connection that uses a phone line to connect to an Internet Service Provider, But these are very slow modems.
  • Digital Subscriber Line: DSL provides high speed internet access over telephonic lines, but they operate on different frequency bands.
  • Satellite Modem: They are used for accessing the internet over satellite communication, they are used in that area where the normal internet connection is not possible.
  • Cable: These are those modems that use a cable TV line to connect with an Internet Service Provider. This is the highly used type of modem connection.
  • Internal Modem: The internal modem is connected inside the system/computer system, due to which its rate of data transmission is very slow and its installation is quite complex.
  • External Modem: An external provides modem is connected outside the system/computer system by using a cable , it provide high data transmission rate, it is a alittle bit expensive but its installation is very easy.
  • Two-wire Modem: It uses a pair of wire that is why its called Two-wire Modem, these two wires are used for incoming and outgoing signals.
  • Four-wire Modem: It uses the pair of wires for incoming and outgoing signal. So it is double of Two-wire Modem, that’s why this is called Four-wire Modem.

Advantages of Modem

  • The modem is more helpful in connecting LANs with the internet.
  • Modem speed depends on the cost, the more is the cost more powerful the modem.
  • A modem is the most probably used in data communication roadway.
  • A modem converts digital signals into analog signals.

Disadvantages of Modem

  • The modem lacks in providing traffic maintenance.
  • It is just an interface between LAN and the Internet.
  • It can make the computer vulnerable to hackers and malware.

Features of Modem

  • A modem has fewer Ethernet ports in comparison to a Router.
  • A modem has a public IP Address.
  • Modem uses Wide Area Network (WAN) for transmission.

What is a Modem Used for?

  • It connects the internet from the Internet Service Provider to your device.
  • It modulates and demodulates the electric signals from analog to digital and vice-versa.
  • It basically provides a secure connection to your device.

How do I know I need a Modem?

A modem is a necessary device to connect your device to the Internet. The Internet Service Provider sends Analog Internet Signals which the modem converts into Digital Signals and a Router converts and sends these digital signals to our devices.

Both Modem and Router measure the networking devices, wherever a piece of electronic equipment connects your laptop or your network to the Internet Service Provider for accessing the web. 


The router is supposed to connect totally different networks along. The essential distinction between electronic equipment and a modem router is that electronic equipment is necessary for connecting your electronic network to the web whereas, a router is crucial to direct the trail to the traffic of information packets on the network. 



Types of Routers

  • Wired Routers: Wired Router is used to connects multiple wired devices using a Ethernet cable, It takes the transmission data from the modem and distribute it to a further network, it is widely used in schools and small offices.
  • Wireless Routers: Wireless Routers does not need any wire for there connections, they are highly secure and the user having correct Id and Password can access the network.
  • Virtual Router: They are implemented using a software on the virtual machine , and they are more flexible and scalable.
  • Portable Routers: They are used to create private Wi-Fi and hence designed for easy portability.
  • Edge Router: Edge Routers are used to transmit data packet between two or more network, they can either wired or wireless , they provide unwrinked communication between the networks.

Advantages of Router

  • It helps connect devices without the need for a bunch of wires because of the wireless routers.
  • High-security network access can be provided with password protection.
  • It applies collision features and reduces traffic.
  • It can be connected with different architectures of networks such as WLAN, and WI-FI.

Disadvantages of Router

  • The connection becomes slow when a lot of devices are connected over a network. It results in slow speed.
  • Routers are more expensive than some other system administration gadgets. This incorporates center point, extension, and security. 

Features of Router

  • Routers have more Ethernet ports in comparison to a Modem because it has to connect to a number of devices than a Modem.
  • Routers have a private IP Address.
  • Routers uses Local Area Network (LANs) for transmission.

Functions of Router

  • Forwarding: The router receives the packets from its input ports, checks its header, performs some basic functions like checking checksum, and then looks up to the routing table to find the appropriate output port to dump the packets onto, and forwards the packets onto that output port.
  • Routing: Routing is the process by which the router ascertains what is the best path for the packet to reach the destination, It maintains a routing table that is made using different algorithms by the router only.

Do I need a Modem and a Router?

Modems and Routers are essential components nowadays. If you want to use Wifi in your house, you require these devices. You can connect one device with the modem as they generally provide one LAN, but to connect to more than one device, you require a router. However, a router must be connected to a modem for the internet, So that they can distribute the network to many devices. The modem and router are essential in ensuring a stable and reliable connection. So, the conclusion is for using the internet at high speed then you require a modem and router.

Troubleshooting and Maintaining your Router

Routers are a little bit complex to understand, but for running your network smoothly and securely, there are some troubleshooting and maintenance tips you must know before moving ahead:

  • Perfect position of the Router: A router must be placed in some perfect position which should be close to the center of the house to as to get connectivity at all corners of the house. Routers should not be kept in any closed box or in a corner, etc.
  • Firmware Updates: Updation of new Firmware can increase the performance of the Router, and resolve security problems. Many firmware routers install these updates automatically, but if a router does not do updates automatically, you can consult the service provider. Routers must be replaced if not having updates for more than a year.
  • Change Passwords: Passwords of the Router must be changed at regular intervals of time, which can lead to not hopping your network and using your internet without permission.
  • Reboot your Router and Modem: If the modem and router can’t access the internet, then you can reboot your router and modem, these things are regular, but if it happens regularly, try to connect to the service provider.

Difference between Modem and Router

The Modem may be a device that contains a combination of a symptom modulator and a symptom rectifier. Electronic equipment converts the digital signal of your laptop to the analog signal and vice-versa is also true. It is implemented with the electronic data link layer.

The router may be a device that connects multiple networks along. While the router examines an information packet and verifies its path to succeed in the destination PC. It is implemented with the network layer.

Modem Router
The modem is crucial to access the net because it connects your laptop to ISP. While in which you can access the net while not employing a router.
In modem, the information packet is not examined; thus, the security threat is often there. While in the router, the information packet is always examined before forwarding it, to work out the threat.
It is placed straight to the computer or it is also placed between a telephone line and a router. While a router is placed between electronic equipment and a network.
The modem performs signal decoding by decoding the ISP signal. While a router does not perform signal decoding.
Modem brings the requested info from the net to your network. While the router distributes that requested data to your PC.

Modem is not secure.

Router is highly secure.

Modem works on the Data Link Layer of the OSI Model

Router works on the Physical Layer and Network Layer of the OSI Model.

Frequently Asked Question on Modem and Router – FAQs

Why do you want a Modem?

Modem is a fundamental thing for your access to the Internet. It takes Internet signals from your Internet Service Provider and provides you with Internet Connection in your device. 

Why do you want a Router?

Router takes an Internet Connection from your equipment and sends it to the wireless devices. More than one device can be connected at any particular time. 

Which is better Modem or the Router?

In basic Comparison, the Modem is the winner because it is the main gateway to the internet, and the electronic equipment the router generally distributes the network.

Do I need a modem or a router or both?

Both Modem and Router are crucial component of networks especially for those who have work remotely. Modem is responsible for recieving and sending signals from Internet Service Provider and router is responsible for spread signals to the devices on the network.

List some examples of Modem and Routers?

Examples of modem is Motorola MB7621 and example of router is TP-Link Archer AX20 and TP-Link Archer AX50.

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