Last updated on April 29th, 2023 at 12:35 pm
Modems and routers are often confused, but they are actually two different devices. Here are the characteristics of each
We all use a modem today to access the Internet from home. Indeed no: we use a router. Indeed no: we use a modem router. The confusion that revolves around these two terms, which actually identify two different devices, is now so high that most of us use them without distinction.
Difference between a modem and a router
Routers and modems, therefore, are synonymous for many today and in part it is true: all the modems installed in our homes by Internet Service Providers, that is, by those who provide us with ADSL or fiber connection, is actually a modem router. Even many technicians in the sector, for this, use the two terms with little precision because, after all, if you call that device router or modem you are not wrong in the first or in the second of the cases. The difference, however, is there and it is important to know it because every modem router on the market today has different characteristics: both in its modem part and in its router part.
What is a modem
The term modem is short for ” modulator-demodulator “. A modem is a device used to connect via twisted pair, fiber or radio waves to an Internet Service Provider. It is basically the gateway to the Internet in our home. Without a modem, we cannot connect. But not all modems are the same because not all transmission technologies on which the Internet is conveyed are.
There is ADSL, which still travels on a twisted pair. There is mixed copper fibre (FTTC: Fiber to the Cabinet). There is pure fibre that reaches home (FTTH: Fiber to the Home). Each of these technologies requires a different modem and, therefore, sometimes when we upgrade the connection (even if we keep the same ISP) we are sent a new modem home. Many ” free ” modems , that is, the ones we can buy ourselves online or at electronics stores, are able to manage multiple different types of connections.
What is a router
The term router derives from the English verb ” to route “, ie to route. And, in fact, the router does nothing but route the connection to other devices. The router, therefore, is the device necessary to create a network inside the house, either wired or Wi-Fi, to connect all the devices together. In the case of a modem router, then, the two devices work hand in hand and are housed on the same electronic board, inside the same plastic box. The modem receives the Internet connection, the router routes it” To all the devices in the house. Again there are differences between one router and another, especially in the number of available Ethernet ports and their speed (two fundamental parameters for creating a wired network, for example in the office) but also in the number of antennas and standards Wi-Fi supported (fundamental, however, to create a wireless network).