What are a modem and router and their difference

A lot of people think that any modem and a router are the same things but they are not. They are different with two separate roles on the computer network so going to explain the difference between the two now if you want internet inside your home or business, you have to have a modem.

What is a modem


A modem is what brings the internet into your home or business and a modem establishes and maintains a dedicated connection to your internet service provider to give you access to the internet.

Now the reason you have a modem is two different types of signals that are used on computers and the Internet. A computer only reads digital signals, while signals on the Internet are analog.

While analog data comes from the Internet, the modem demodulates the analog signals coming in a digital signal so that a computer can understand them, and also a modem. modulates outgoing signal from the computer to the analog signal as soon as it passes over the Internet.

This is where we get the word ‘modem’. The term modem means modulator-demodulator which is a modem that modulates outgoing data from a computer and demodulates data coming from the Internet.

What is Routers


There are different types of routers, those are routers that are used in businesses and large organizations, and smaller routers that are used in homes and small businesses but they do the same thing.

We’re going to use that small office/home office router that most of us are familiar with. Now a router is what routes or passes or your internet connection of all of your devices in your home or business.

It reaches all your computers, tablets. Phones and so on so that those devices can access the internet any typical small office/home office router, like the one here, will have a built-in switch with multiple ports so that you can connect multiple devices using an Ethernet cable connection such as tablets and laptops can have internet access.

Now technically you don’t need a router if you only want one of your devices to access the internet you can just plug that device’s network cable directly into the Modem, and then you will be able to access the Internet.

However, like most homes and businesses, you must have many devices that require access to the Internet, and where you will need a router.

Difference Between Modem and Router



The modem is a device that is the combination of signal modulator and demodulator A router is a device that connects multiple networks connection
The modem provides cellular connectivity The router does not provide cellular connectivity
The modem is an inter-networking device The router is a networking device
The modem converts the digital signal to analog and vice-versa The router does not convert digital signal to analog signal
The modem operates on a data-link layer of the OSI model The router operates on physical, data-link, and network layers of the OSI model
The modem does not examine a data packet A router examines every data packet before forwarding it
The modem is placed between a telephone line and a router The router is placed between a modem and a computer network
The modem connects to a router using RJ-45 and to the telephone using RJ-11 The router connects to the computer network via RJ-45
The modem does not provide IP server connectivity The router provides IP server connectivity
The modem can work without a router The router cannot connect to the internet without a modem
Types of modems: half, full-duplex, two-wire modems Models of routers: broadband, edge, wired, and wireless routers

Similarities about modem and router

  • both are network devices.
  • plugs and jacks are almost the same.
  • they are similar in size and shape.
  • both have flashlights for proposing that they are working.

There are also different types of modems.

Two of the most basic types are cable and DSL modems. So Depending on what type of Internet you are going to use, you need to use the right type of modem.

The cable modem is connected to your home using a coaxial cable. The cable is typically provided by the same company that provides you with cable television such as Comcast, which One of the largest providers in the United States.

And DSL modems are connected using a specific phone line. DSL is provided by companies such as AT&T, which means the largest provider in the U.S.

Now a lot of time your internet service provider when they send you a modem, or if you were to buy one at the store, the modem might be a modem/router combination.

Then it will be a modem with a built-in wireless router in one physical device, such as this one here so here is an example from several different networks on how they connect to the internet.

So it doesn’t need to use a router. This can just directly connect to the modem because only one device needs internet access. Now if you’re wondering how hubs including switches relate to routers and modems.

Routers will have a built-in switch inside them, so if you already have a router that has a switch built-in, there is no need to switch.

So for example any router like this may have a four-port integrated switch so that you can connect four Ethernet cables as your wired devices. So the only time may need to add a switch to this network is if you need more wired connections for your devices.

So you can simply connect a switch to your router and then add more connections to the switch. So just to make things even more clear, here we have internet with all its routers, as the internet is routed in this private network, it first reaches the modem, then it integrates with the modem Goes to the router with the switch and then it is passed to all its computers.

What is a switch in networking


What is a switch and how does it work so this is what a switch looks like one of the switches that you can bay so is a net gear 5 port switch and these ports on the front are called Ethernet ports or RJ45 ports.

And this is also a switch or these are cisco enterprise-level switches these are a lot more money and they can have hundreds and hundreds of ports and are used to connect computers in offices together.

How does a switch work

So a switch is different from a hub you may have heard the term hub and a hub is an older device in which all the data going from every device is out to every port in that switch.

A switch is a bit more clever and only sends the data over to the device that wants it and not back to all other devices.

Example of how that works



So in my example I’ve got pc ABC and D they’re connected into the switch and one into each port and if PC A wants to send some data down to PC D we won’t go into too much detail on how that’s address, but it would put the address of PC D in the header, and this data would then come into the switch and it would know that it’s destined for PC D.

But initially, the switch doesn’t know where PC D is if this is a brand-new network these have just been plugged in and nothing has talked before.

So what happens is the data would come from PC A to the switch and in the days of the hub, this data was then sent out to every single port that was connected and was up to PC to get that information and then decide whether it was for a device or not.

Now if the address of the PC were not in the header of the data, it would say well that’s not me I need to discard that and it would throw it away the device that it was targeted for in this case PC D would say yep that’s for me and I’m gonna reply to PC A.

Now with a hub, it would do that all the time over and over and over again so every bit of data that was coming out of every device was sent out to all ports so it made the hub very busy in a switch it’s more clever and the switch tries to make up a map of which device is connected out of which port.

Only the pc that data was for respond



In this example that data for PC B in PC C was not for then so they discarded it and PC D now is going to reply to PC A and in the operation doing that the switch has now been able to make a map and it’s been able to map that PC A is connected into port one and PC D is connected into port two.

So every other communication now between PC A and PC D will only go between these two ports and it will not have to be sent out of other ports to PC B in PC C and any other devices that might be connected.

So I hope that that straightforward explanation has told you what a switch is and how it works so you just need to remember that a hub very rarely is hubs are used nowadays, and they are mostly switches in computer networks and hub would send all the data out of every port to every device and that the device is discarded that data and with a switch.

the switch uses a mapping process to map each PC or laptop or device whatever device is connected and it uses what’s called a MAC address and it creates a map within the switch tying each MAC address of the devices to which port.

So whenever any data comes into the switch it knows where it needs to send it and only sends it out of that device.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *