Router vs Modem: What’s The Difference?

Have you ever wondered about what is the difference between a Modem and a Router? 

If yes, then we would like to tell you that you have landed in the right place. 

In this article, we are going to discuss an in-depth analysis of Router vs modem. We will discuss their pros and cons and subsequently end up comparing both of them to conclude. 

As per the report, it is expected that the average mobile internet speed will expand from 6.8 Mbps in 2016 to 20.4 Mbps by 2021. On one side the average mobile internet speed is witnessing a YOY (Year-on-Year) growth, the growth of cable internet service is also conspicuous. 

A Modem helps to connect you with the internet, while a router performs the task of distributing the internet to your devices. Here, don’t misunderstand that the router connects you to the internet itself. 

The connection is established by the Modem and distributed with the help of a router. You need to understand the difference between the functionalities of these two devices. This knowledge will not only help you to set up but also can help with troubleshooting. 

We are excited to explain the differences to remove the confusion between the Modem & Router. So, let’s dive more into the details of these two devices in our next heading. 

What is Modem?

A modulator-demodulator is an external device that changes data from a virtual format into a format suitable for an analog transmission medium such as telephone or radio. 

A modem transfers data by developing more than one carrier stream signal to en-code virtual information, while the receiver demodulates the signal to improve the original virtual data. The end objective is to produce a signal that can be carried easily and decoded certainly. 

A cable modem is a device that connects you to the internet through a COAX cable. The main functionality of Modem is to connect your computer devices with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

There are distinct modems available in the market such as Analog Modems (Dial-up), Digital  Subscriber Line (DSL), or Cable Modems. The Modem will provide you with a reliable, wired internet connection. The modem works well as long as you are having only one device that needs to connect to the internet. But in case of multiple devices, or you want to use your device wirelessly (WiFi), then you are also required to have a router. 

What is Router?

A Router, unlike the Modem, distributes the internet to two or more packet-switched networks. There are two primary functions of a Router; Managing traffic between various networks by transmitting data packets to their predetermined IP addresses and admitting multiple devices to use the corresponding internet connection. 

There are different varieties of routers, but most routers transfer data among Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs). A LAN is a collection of connected devices confined to a specific geographical region. A LAN ordinarily necessitates a single router. 

Excessive internet usage is giving rise to an extensively growing router market. As per the survey, the total number of mobile/cellular subscriptions for Router and other devices worldwide in 2021 is forecast to hit 310 million subscriptions, which will perpetually increase till 2026.  

Router Vs Modem: Pros & Cons

Under this heading, we are going to discuss their Pros and Cons. We hope that after going through their merits and demerits, you can make more informed decisions. 

Pros and Cons of Router

Pros of Router

  1. The Router lets you connect multiple devices through Ethernet, Token ring, etc to the internet at the same time. 
  2. They are customizable which allows the network managers to create policies based on routing arrangements. 
  3. A router provides advanced routing, potential control, and traffic segregation. 
  4. It uses dynamic routing algorithms to determine the best path across the internetwork. 
  5. A router attaches another level of security to the connection with the internet using its firewall. 

Cons of Router

  1. A router is usually more expensive than any other network device. 
  2. You may find it a bit slow because they analyze layered data deeply. 
  3. Dynamic router reports can cause extra network overhead, pointing to less bandwidth for user data. 
  4. They demand a substantial amount of initial arrangement. 

Pros and Cons of Modem

Pros of Modem 

  1. A Modem possesses a high transmission rate since telephone lines are used here. Usually, these are measured in a unit called ‘Baud’.
  2. Modems work on a function known as Automatic Dialing (accepting commands from other computers for communication).
  3. Some modems are compatible with fax technology.
  4. It converts digital signals into analog signals by a modem. 
  5. A good modem usually has good speed compared to others and vice versa. 

Cons of Modem

  1. These Modems are less secure and can lead to virus and malware attacks. 
  2. They can be slow when connected to HUB (a physical layer networking device that is employed to connect multiple devices in a network). 
  3. Only a limited number of devices can connect to a Modem. 
  4. The Dial-up connections are slow and can disconnect the server while you receive a call. 
  5. You may not find services in rural and remote locations. It also depends upon the local phone company. 

Which is better: a router Vs modem?

A wireless home network requires a connection to the web (through a Modem) and wireless access to that connection for your devices (through a Router). Don’t worry! You don’t require to have two separate gadgets. Presently, you can see various all-in-on devices available in the market. They are just modems with their own, in-built routers. 

Now, a question arises that which is better, if you see separately, a Modem or a Router? 

A modem is essentially important than a router because you would not be unable to join the internet without having a Modem. However, technically speaking, as customers shift off from conventional computers and rely more on handheld gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, holding Wi-Fi can seem as important as water.

Do you require a modem if you have a router?

If you have a router and are wondering whether to buy a modem or not? Let us tell you that you do not necessarily require a modem or an internet connection to communicate with other gadgets on LANs (Local Area Network). As long as you are fixed to a router’s wireless connection, you can send data to wireless printers and other external wireless devices drives. 

Is Modem Faster Than Router?

Let us tell you that a modem will always outperform a router in terms of speed. Technically speaking, a router manipulates every packet to convert the private labels to the shared public ones. This process of course takes time.

Does a router increase the Wi-Fi range?

It is not always true that the latest Wi-Fi standard gives you the best speed and range. As the right speed gets at the charge of range, so you should preferably get the right coverage from a router with the best performance utilizing 2.4GHz, not 5GHz. 

Router Vs Modem: Conclusion

This article was highly productive. We got to know various facts and information about the Modem and Router. 

Now it must be easy for you to differentiate between the Modem and the Router. Knowing about the merits and demerits of these two highly essential devices is fun.

Isn’t it? So, be mindful about what you are going to get. 

Whether you choose a modem without a router, or a router without a modem, or a combination of both in a single device, you should go through the article once. 

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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