Most people consider that router and the modem are both the same things with different terms.
But do you know the difference between a router and a modem? And many other such questions may come into your mind like, can a router work without a modem?
Firstly, you need to know that both these devices are different and the backbone of the broadband experience, but not everyone knows how they fit together.
Now let’s breakdown that what is a router or modem, what’s the difference between them and do you need both of them or can get help by acquiring only one?
What is Modem?
The modem is the device that set between the line of your ISP and the router. Its crucial function is to translate the message that your ISP passes to the computer language to understand.
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And in the same way, it helps by reading the response of the computer and convert its language into something you can send to your ISP.
Without both devices, router, and modem, you can’t able to connect any wireless devices such as Bluetooth wireless headphones, smartphones, security wireless cameras, smart TV, and wireless photo printers.
As everyone knows that computer loves the digital signals because it has binary language, due to this digital speaks through ONs and OFFs, that play a vital role in this data transfer language.
All homes with internet connections are connected with their relevant ISP with the use of phone lines or copper cables.
Neither copper cables nor phone lines use the digital signals to send data; copper cable utilizes the electricity while phone lines use the analog signals for this transfer.
And here, the modem is used to convert those coming signals into digital language and vice versa.
But keep in mind that a modem only permits one device to be plugged in for internet access. That is why if you need to have an internet connection, you can simply plug it with a standard Ethernet cable and enjoy a fast connection.
What is a Router?
The router is specifically used to transfer the data, so outfitted is a way to handle all kinds of data channels. To start its work, you need to plug an Ethernet cable into its back or connect with 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency WiFi.
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The router supplies the best WiFi channels for your device, and you can also automatically connect to the best network channel of your choice.
The router is more than that all, but some routers will have the firewall on it to keep to connection more secure.
Today advanced routers allow you to feed it with the details of VPN, and this will then automatically route all the connections that receive toward the server of VPN.
A router does the most work to connect the multiple wired devices and act as a domain name service. It manages and assigns all IP addresses. Most of the people are like to use a combination of router-modem for faster internet speed.
It can also send requests on the internet on behalf of your devices and get back with the results. It makes your connection strong by ensuring that your devices are not exposed to the internet in the direct form.
Difference between a Modem and a Router?
If we talk about then what’s the difference between these devices, then a modem acts as a translator of language between computer and your ISP. It reads the data coming from your side and then converts it into a format that your computer can understand and comprehend.
Whereas the routers act as the distributors by taking all the date from the modem and then send it to your devices. It can also receive data from the devices and then send it to the modem and back to ISP.
Most of the houses have a strong internet connection that will be used with the two in tandem for having the best experience.
Those modems can handle the communication between your ISP and your home, and the router then handles the communication between your device and home.
If you want to have a fast internet connection, then you must utilize the router for this.
Because an average home has an internet connection connected with multiple devices and without using a router, you won’t be able to connect some of the devices to the internet at all.
Modem vs. Router: Which Do You Need?
Most people use both to have a good internet connection, but there are some cases when you can get your work done with only one.
When You Don’t Need a Modem
Previously I told you that people connect their internet either from copper cable or from the phone lines, you might have the question in your mind that still some people have the connection through the fiber-optic.
If you just review how fiber optic works, you will see that it sends the data using light or off pulses like a digital signal, so why might you need a modem?
And I didn’t discuss this option because this is not mostly for the home but the long distances. And in that case, you don’t need a modem.
When You Don’t Need a Router
As you might have understood that the modems convert the signal into the digital format, and then pass it towards the router.
But what stops you from directly attaching a computer to the modem? If that modem is a digital signal, then it must understand its language, right?
There, nothing is stopping you from plugging your computer directly with the modem. You can plug the modem’s Ethernet cable that usually goes to your router and plug it into a PC instead.
If you connect directly to your modem, you’re risking the security that a router can bring. It’s not worth the trouble, so ensure to connect to a router.
Can a router work without a modem?
Yes, a router can work without a modem. The router gives a connection between your devices and then assigns an IP address to all of them. It also allows you to send files from one device to another, and it also streams a movie on your smart TV from your phones.
But what if you don’t get the internet connection that comes from your ISP. It’s not a practical way to send the definitive data through Ethernet cable to long distances.
The data is transmitted in the form of signals that can only be interpreted by the modem. Keep in mind that WiFi and internet connection is not the same thing, not even interchangeable.