What is the difference of Modem and a Router?

Good day everyone.

A brief walk-through on the difference between a router and a modem.


Figure 1: The modem functionality in brief.
  • A modem is responsible to bring you the online world to your home device.
  • The internet reads analog signals.
  • Computer, Mobile Phones and Laptops only read digital signals.
  • Hence, the conversion from analog to digital and vice versa is under the responsibility of a modem.
  • A modem demodulates the incoming analog signal from the internet into a digital signal before passed to a computer or a router.


Figure 2: The perfect view relationship between a modem and a router.
  • A router is what routes your internet connection to all the connected devices either via wireless or via a physical connection.
  • In general, most manufacturers target two types of customers, home and business (enterprise) based router. The only thing differentiates between a home router and enterprise router is the price, features and security provided. In other word, home routers only have few limited features while the enterprise routers have more features. However, most users still can purchase higher end router for more offered features.
  • Most routers now come with a built-in switch and further can be expanded by adding more devices either via adding an Ethernet switch.
  • Nowadays, there is a router+modem combo device available in the market. A modem+router would have a modem along with a built-in router feature in the a single device.

The word modem means Modulator and Demodulator.

There you go, the difference between a router and a modem.

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