Difference Between Modem and Router

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Difference Between Modem and Router: With the growing use of the internet for almost everything that we do in our day-to-day life, modem and router are used for internet connection in our home/office. The ISP(Internet Service Provider) provides both devices in order to make our internet connectivity possible. The major difference between modem and router is that modem is used to provide the internet connection whereas the router will be used to connect the devices to the modem for possible internet connectivity. 

The modem and router can be combined as well to create a router/modem combo which is also called a wireless gateway. Here, we will first see what is router and modem, and then we will discuss the difference between modem and router and Modem vs router comparison based on various aspects.

Difference Between Modem and Router

Although both modem and router are used for the internet connectivity where both solve different purposes but there exist various differences between them. The Modem vs Router is explained in the table provided below:

Key Differences Between Modem and Router

Modem Router
Used to connect the internet to the house/office from ISP. Used to create connections between devices and modem.
Signals are demodulated and modulated by it. Makes connection possible between WAN and LAN.
Operates on datalink layer. Operates on various layers such as the data link layer, physical layer, or network layer.
Security concerns are available. Security concerns are less and help in identifying the threats.
Connected between router and telephone line or computer. Connected between modem and computer
Do not establish a wifi connection. Responsible for wifi connection.
Local Area Network is not set up by modem. LAN is set up by the router.
WAN is set up by modem. WAN is not set up by a router.

What is a Modem?

The modem is a device that is used to bring the internet to the home/office. It connects the internet from ISP to your house/office via a coax cable connection. They are used to convert the signals into the form of usable internet signals for our devices. 

The WAN or wide area network is formulated when the internet from ISP is connected to the house/office. An IP address is assigned to the particular modem which is unique and used to identification of that modem. The types of modem are:

  • Analogue modems (dial-up),
  • Digital subscriber line (DSL) modems, and
  • Cable modems
  • Mobile Broadband Modems
  • Half Duplex Modem
  • Full Duplex Modem
  • Four Wire Modem
  • Two-Wire Modem

What is a Router?

Similar to the modem, routers are used to make the internet connection possible. They are used to connect the modem to the devices present in our home/office. Devices are connected using routers and the internet connection is made possible with it. Using a router, internet connection is made with the TV, printers, smartphones, laptops, and a lot more devices easily. 

The LAN or local area network is formulated when the connection is made within your house or for the local area using a router. The router will assign an IP address to all the devices connected to it individually. The routers help with security breaches as well. The various types of routers are:

  • Wireless Router
  • Modem Router
  • Bridge Router
  • Distribution Router
  • Core Router

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