Modem vs. Router: What is the Difference?

Reading time icon 4 min. read


Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

black corded electronic device

| Sponsored |

We all know how essential modems and routers are! Without these devices, you cannot use the internet. However, both devices are different in their functionality and purpose, but you need both for a stable internet connection.

Do you know the differences between the two? If not, then dive in!

What Is a Modem?

The term modem refers to the modulation signals that the telephone line uses and then converts them into digital signals that the devices can easily understand. The modem is vital because it connects your home network to your internet service provider.

The modem translates the digital signals from the ISP so your device can smoothly use the internet. Each modem tends to have an assigned public IP address that identifies it over the internet.

Most of the modems tend to have two connection points. One point is connected to your device, while the other is connected to your ISP. However, the latest modems tend to have three ports. One of these ports is connected to the router, one is for the internet connection, and the last one is for a power source.

If you are looking for a modem, then consider asking your internet service provider to provide you with one on a rental basis. The mere reason is that your internet service provider can suggest the modem that is the most compatible and suitable with your internet plan.

What Is a Router?

The router is another essential device that connects to the modem and then broadcasts internet signals to the rest of the devices in your home, such as your smartphones. A router is a device that your internet-enabled devices connect to.

It is responsible for routing traffic between your internet connections to several other devices like your computer. Therefore, it is an essential device because it can communicate between your household devices to your internet connection.

Furthermore, it depends largely on your router and how far your Wi-Fi signals can reach. Keep in mind that unauthorized devices, or those that don’t belong to you, may also get connected to the router. To avoid this and the security risks this poses, you must take necessary security measures, such as keeping a robust password.

Routers are available easily everywhere now, such as in electronic gadget stores. You can also ask your internet service provider for it so they can easily set up your internet connection. Therefore, your provider might know which device works best with the plan you are subscribed to.

You can have a reliable internet connection and robust internet equipment if you subscribe to Windstream communications. Other than Windstream customer service and an extraordinary internet connection, it also has a highly qualified and helpful team of experts.

Verdict: Do You Need a Router or a Modem?

Although modems and routers are different, they are vital for a stable internet connection. To tell the truth, you need both!

The modem will connect your home network to the ISP. However, you can complement the whole network with a router that broadcasts internet signals and allows multiple devices to connect to the internet simultaneously.

Traditionally people used two different devices that worked together to provide a stable internet connection. But, with the advent of technology, you can free yourself from the hassle of buying two separate devices. You can opt for 2-in-1 combo devices that work as routers and modems.

You can use the combo device designed with the latest technology, so setting up the internet connection is simpler. Hence, talk to your service provider about it, as only its team of knowledgeable individuals can help you find the perfect devices for your home network.