Modem VS Router

Is it possible to tell the difference between a modem and a router? To put it another way, the modem connects your house to the Internet, whereas a router creates an inside-the-house network. Read our in-depth guide and learn everything about the differences between the two, we are quite sure that once you’re done with reading you will know everything about these devices.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 10:10AM 7/5/2022

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For most people, effectively carrying out their daily activities is practically impossible without an internet connection.

With your home network, you can have internet access in your house and beyond your home, you can also have access to the local area network.

In recent times people have to connect multiple devices like gaming consoles, smart devices (smart TV, smartwatch smartphones), personal computers, and lots more to the internet so all your devices can function effectively. That's how vital and indispensable internet access is.

One of the avenues you can have an internet connection is by having a modem or a router. Knowing the difference between these two devices is very important.

The question: between a modem and a router, what's the difference.

The Modem and the Router: Both Needed

Setting up an effective internet connection requires two main devices, a modem and a separate router. The minimum device you require is a modem. You cannot grant internet access to several wireless devices without a router.

Certain devices exist that can serve as both a modem and router. With this kind of device, consumers can save money on its purchase and subscription rather than subscribe to both a modem and router.

What Is a Modem?

The meaning of modem is modulator/demodulator. The job of a Modulator is to modulate the signal from the cable(fiber optic) to enable it to rely on a different means and ‘translate' the digital signal into a different tone.

There is a difference between a DSL modem and a cable modem. A DSL modem is first connected to the telephone line and from there linked to your devices but a cable modem has to be connected to your cable box first and added to your cable services.

The first thing a modem does is to ensure that the Internet signal gets to your home (Home network) after this it converts it into a signal that ensures that you have internet access.

Your smart tv or telephone is in subscription, the signal is also converted by your modem to enable you to stream shows online and make calls.

Without a modem, you cannot have internet access at home.

What Is a Router?

The router comes after the modem. The router makes it possible for the internet connection to be spread to several devices. This can be achieved in various ways: via Ethernet cables or wireless connection via a WIFI signal.

One distinguishing element among various router features is their speed. This is very important because your internet speed is dependent on how fast your router processes information. The signal range of routers mostly differs.

This will affect how wide you want to distribute your internet signal with a wireless router.

Using Both A Modem and Router Together As One Device: Is that Okay?

ISPs in recent times have provided both WIFI routers and modems in one. This is a good gesture and helps save money since you won't have to go through the stress of buying two separate devices. This means you would not require a stand-alone router

The modem and router together only benefit large households.

Are you Suffering from a Bad Internet Connection After Receiving a Modem-Router from Your Internet Service Provider?

If you're suffering from poor internet connection after you have received a modem-router combination from your internet provider, the solution is simple; you have to purchase new internet equipment like a wireless router.

Due to advanced technology, several smart devices can connect to the Wifi network. Most people are not aware of this.

Some of them include:

  • Smartphones
  • Laptops and desktop PCs
  • Smart TVs
  • Tablets
  • Lighting
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Thermostats

Connecting several devices to your router implies that it has to think more than it normally would. This is more work for the primary router.

This will slow down your router's speed. Also, the modem-router combination doesn't have a good signal range.

The solution is to physically connect a new router to your modem-router combination; after this, the old combination will be on bridge mode.

What Does a Modem Look Like?

Differentiating between a router from a modem has proven difficult for most people. A modem looks like a small box where various cables can be connected.

On the other hand, a router has black pins on top of it, they are called antennas, and their job is to split the Internet signal. Finally, a router is larger than an individual modem and looks fancy.

You cannot use a modem alone for your home internet connection; you would require a router with it.

How Should You Install a Router and Ensure that the Modem Connects with the Router?

Installing a router and ensuring the router connects with the modem is a very simple task.

The first process is the configuration of both the modern and the router before you can connect them. It needs power to function so you have to connect the adapter of the router and insert the plug into a socket.

Before you connect your router to the modem, read the manual carefully to understand every step you must take.


The article modem vs. router explains important information about a modem and a router, how to identify them, and the possibility of connecting all the devices you have to the internet.

You should easily distinguish between a modem and a router and their various functions, including how a modem connects to a router to achieve smooth internet service or connection with multiple devices.

Using a WiFi amplifier, you can increase the signal range in your house. If it's a big house using a mesh network will make the Internet range wider.

Finally, the internet service provider (ISP) may require you to pay a monthly fee to use the internet they provide. Without internet service providers, you cannot use the internet service. provider.

Frequently asked questions

The modem is a device that connects your home network to the wider Internet. A router is a device that lets all of your wired and gadgets, like wireless speakers, use the same connection at the same time while allowing them to communicate with one another without using the Internet.

Do you Need a Modem or a Router? If you want to use WiFi, connect multiple devices, or both, you'll need both a modem and a router. Because most modems only have one LAN Ethernet port, you can only link one computer at once; however, it doesn't provide the same level of protection as does a router.

It's possible that you're not using the proper modem for your network, which might cause your internet to be slowed down. A modem, on the other hand, is ineffective in increasing the speed of your internet connection. In any case, you should verify that the modem you're buying supports the data rate of your plan.

You'll only need a single cable between the modem and router, as well as many more from the router to each device. If you connect devices straight to the modem, you won't be able to browse the internet from them. The router is responsible for sharing the single connection provided by the modem.

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