The Internet is a valuable tool that can be accessed through a wired connection and wirelessly via Wi-Fi, but the devices that offer these connections can be somewhat complicated and difficult to understand. If you don’t know which device does what, you’re in for a treat–today’s tech term will examine the differences between the modem and the router.
Before we get started, let’s get one thing out of the way; a router and a modem are two completely different things that are working toward the same end goal. The modem and router work in concert to make up what you know as a wireless network.
What Does the Modem Do?
A modem is the device that connects your local network to your Internet service provider. This also means that it’s the gateway to your Internet connection. It allows for constant connection to the Internet without any type of filtering.
What Does the Router Do?
The router is the device that bridges the gap between devices on your network and the Internet. This can be done either through a wired or a wireless network. Routers often feature security measures that can keep external threats from entering your infrastructure as well, but this is mostly on a fundamental level rather than a comprehensive one.
Sometimes you don’t even need a router to access the Internet, and you can instead rely on a wired connection directly to the modem. Ultimately, whether or not you need a router comes down to whether or not you have multiple mobile devices accessing the Internet.
Combination Modems and Routers
There’s usually an option to consolidate modems and routers into the same device. However, using a combination device like this can limit how much you can do with your network. You don’t have as much control and flexibility with your networking components as you may if you have a stand-alone modem and router.
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