Difference Between Router and Modem

What is a router?

A router is a networking device that lets several computers to connect to the same network. 

Initial routers only had several Ethernet ports for wired networks but as technology has improved, routers now offer wireless connectivity as well.  These “Wi-Fi enabled routers” usually have one or two aerials on the sides which you can move to improve coverage although some other models house the antennas inside the router case.  

Wireless routers usually let you connect various devices computers, smartphones and tablets, to join the same network.

Joining to a router will allow you to access to a local area network (LAN) BUT it will not automatically provide access to the Internet, which is what people often think they do.  In order for computers or internet enabled devices on the LAN to connect to the Internet, the router needs to be connected to a modem.  For this to happen, the router will need to be connected to internet via Ethernet port of a cable or DSL modem (DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. Users get a high speed bandwidth connection).

What is a modem?

A modem is a device that lets you access the Internet through an internet enabled device – smartphone, laptop, computer, smart TV etc.  An example of a modem is shown below.

The modem naturally connects your devices with our Internet Service Provider the modem is usually connected with either Fibre or DSL Internet service. 

If you associate your modem to a router (instead of directly to a pc) then all of the devices connected to the router can access the Internet. Because the router also does the job of providing all of the devices with internet, those devices may be connected with the router via wire or wireless. 

So in summary, the main difference between a router and modem is, router lets you connect your devices with the same Local Area Network (LAN) where modem enables your LAN network to connect with the Internet.

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