What Is A Modem And A Router? Is There A Difference

We have all heard the terms “Modem” and “Router” as it pertains to our internet connection, network connection, and our computers, but do we know what they do? and what they are? aren’t they the same thing? Is there a difference between a Modem and a Router, and how do they work? These are all good questions and in order to answer them, we are going to have to take a closer look!!

Is There A Difference?

The second part of the question “Is There A Difference” is an easy one to answer, simply put yes there is a difference. One creates the network system inside your home, while the other connects your home to the internet. Knowing these differences could assist you to get your internet connection up and running again in the event of an internet disruption or a power outage.

What Is A Modem?modem

A MOdulator/DEModulator or Modem as it is more commonly known is the device that brings the internet connection into your home. The Modem transmits the signal from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and depending on your ISP this signal is transmitted via the phone line, coaxial cable or a fiber optic cable.

The Modem then converts this information into a digital signal. A Modem is much like a translator, as the other devices that make up your home network all speak a different language, or they transmit different signals. Modems have a Public IP Address assigned to it which is used to identify them on the internet.

The connection between your home and the internet is known as WAN (Wide Area Network) and since the Modem communicates with your ISP provider your ISP will supply the correct Modem that will work with your specific ISP’s infrastructure.

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network that typically travels over many geographical locations. The biggest and most notable is the Internet. While there are other WAN networks that exist like Data Centers for large companies, Military and Government agencies these WAN networks also allow for connection to distant parts of the world.

What Is A Router?router

A Router is a device that connects all of your other home network devices to each other and in the case of a wired network system to your Modem. In other words, the Router connects to your Modem and then connects to your devices such as printers, computers, Smart TVs, laptops, etc. together. This connection is made via either with what is known as an Ethernet Cable or a WI-Fi Signal.

The Router creates what is known as a LAN (Local Area Network) within your home. This network allows your devices to share information and files. A Router acts as a manager allowing all the information to flow to and from each device that is connected to the LAN.

In simple terms, the Router brings the internet to your devices, assigns a local IP Address to all the devices on your network, and creates a LAN network. It should also be noted that the Router does not have to be connected to a Modem to work. You can use a Router to create a LAN without access to the internet.

A Router will also create a Firewall and act as your first line of defense to prevent any possible security breaches. It also allows parental control over the network and handles all traffic on your network.

A Local Area Network (LAN) is a much smaller network that you will most often find in a home or business, it could also be found in a bit larger location such as a school or university. These network types are more localized and are not usually over widespread areas.

Modem And Router Combo?

You can find a Modem and Router combined into one device. These devices have both the software and electronics built in to provide both functions. These combination devices are capable of acting like a Modem that will communicate with your specific ISP and also functions as a Router to create your home network system. Some ISP providers will also add a phone interface to the device.

By combining the Modem and Router together and along with today’s technology helps to create a very powerful device. Joining the two functions into one helps to make it much easier to set up your home network system and keep it running securely and reliably. The Modem/Router combination will also help to free up space where ever you have your network devices, such as on a shelf, floor, desk, etc.

There is a disadvantage to using a Modem/Router combination, the use of separate devices allows more flexibility with what you can do with your home network system and allows you to choose the best quality of devices available.

If you are looking to save some money on your ISP service bill you can also look at purchasing your own devices. While you can use any Router if you are going to purchase a Modem you have to make sure it is compatible with your ISP service. Purchasing your own devices will cost you some money upfront but will save you in the long run, buying your own devices will also help to ensure you are using the newest technology available.

Am I Secure?security

The answer to this question is no, unfortunately, we are continually under threat of some sort of attack, be it a Hack, Cyber-Criminal, spam, scam or virus the truth is there are many risks to our devices and our network systems. The good news is there are many steps we can take to ensure our devices and network systems are kept safe and secure.

While we all know or have heard of most of the possible threats we may face, you are probably not familiar with DoS (Denial of Service) and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Such attacks are commonly targeting individual users, large and small companies, media and gaming companies, networks, servers, DNS (Domain Name System) providers, etc. no one is immune to these types of attacks.

The attacks are carried out with a couple of purposes, the first is to make a computer, website, etc. unavailable by flooding or more commonly referred as “crashing” the computer, website with too much traffic. The other may be to slow the network down with the threat of even more damage if a ransom is not paid to stop such an attack.

Both the DoS and DDoS attacks work similar, the only difference between the two is DoS is launched from a single computer whereas DDoS is launched by multiple devices connected to the internet. These attacks can and gain access through your Modem/Router and or any device with an IP Address that is connected to the internet.

How To Protect From DoS and DDoS Attacksprotection

Since you may not know that your network, computer, etc. are under attack while it is happening, most find out after the attack. There are steps we can take to prevent such an attack from happening.

  • First, secure your Modem/Router and devices by using your Firewalls
  • Use a reputable Anti-Virus/Malware program
  • Use a reputable VPN service provider, this may be the easiest and best option as the DoS and DDoS attacks target your IP Address to flood your network, computer, etc with unwanted traffic to “Crash” your devices or network, using a VPN hides your true IP Address, it will send the flood of traffic away from your devices.

What Now?now what

Since we face many threats on a daily basis and it seems like everything we do while on the internet and all the devices we use are susceptible to these threats we must be pro-active rather re-active. We have to start using and implementing security measures sooner rather than later.

We have to protect our information, privacy, identities, and devices now!!

If you are ready to take the first steps

Click Here Now

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or just want to leave a comment please do so below

Take care

Stay secure and always practice

Safe Text !!!

Butch

20 thoughts on “What Is A Modem And A Router? Is There A Difference

  1. Hi Butch, I must say that this post have simplified the meaning of some of the most commonly used terms in computing and internet connectivity; Modem and Router. The post is very easy to read and understand. I also learned from your internet security education which is very important and useful to everybody who is online. Thanks for the effort.

    • Hi, Joesph, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post informative and helpful. That is one of my goals to simplify and to help understand our internet safety, protection and the common terms associated with it. All the best

      Take care

      Stay secure and always practice

      Safe Text !!!

      Butch

  2. I remember back in college, I was taking some basic computer science classes and it took me some time to understand what were the purposes of both of these devices. I know it’s not a really complex topic, but for someone who knew nothing about computers, it was really challenging for me. I’m so glad I came across this article and refreshed my memory. 

    • Hi, Stephanie, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. all the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  3. Hi Butch! I have been wondering for a long time the difference between a Modem and a Router. You have explained it easily, thank you! In my experience, I first started hearing about modems, and that’s reasonable because it’s how internet enters our homes. Later on I begun to hear about routers, with the need to provide internet connection to all this avalanche of smart gadgets that have flooded our homes. Remembering what came first and what came next is just a simple way for me to remember the difference between them.

    • Hi, Henry, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  4. I think I have a modem and router combined device because I only see something that looks like a router but not a modem, and yet I have internet via wifi. I’ve never heard about Dos or DDos attacks before and never experienced them, but now I’m kind of worried. But I have an iMac computer and I heard that it automatically has anti-virus and anti-malware protection installed, so I think I should be okay.

    • Hi, Son, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. Mac OS is less susceptible to various attacks but they still can be attacked, DoS and DDoS attacks are directed at the IP Address of your Router, Modem and other devices since all these have IP Addresses assigned they can be attacked. I use a Mac daily and have so for years and mine did not come with any Anti-Virus/Malware installed on it. I protect it with the use of a reputable VPN and an Anti-Virus/Malware program. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  5. First of all, thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful and informative article with us.
    I want to install an internet connection in my house which is why I had a lot of desire to know about the modem and router.  After reading this post I realize which one I should use. Above all, I really enjoyed reading the article

    I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I would like to share this article on my social media 😊

    • Hi, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  6. Your guide is very helpful for everyone. While reading I know that A Modem is much like a translator, as the other devices that make up your home network all speak a different language, or they transmit different signals. The post is very easy to read and understand. I also learned from your internet security education which is very important and useful to everybody who is online. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi, Naksh, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  7. Hi Butch, First of all, thank you so much for sharing such an excellent article with us. Your article is really informative and I gained a lot of knowledge which is very helpful. Computers and the Internet are very important to me as I work in the world online.  I really enjoyed reading your article. These two devices have really played a vital role in the online world.

    I think this article is very important for everyone. So I will definitely be sending your article to my friends.  Can I share your article on my social media?

    • Hi, Shanta, Hi, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. Yes, you may share this post on your social media. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  8. It’s easy to get the two devices mixed up if your internet service provider (ISP) rents both to you as part of an internet package. Knowing the difference between a modem and a router and how each work can help you be a better consumer. You’ll save money by purchasing equipment, rather than paying a monthly fee to an ISP.

    • Hi, David, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  9. At a certain time, I was really very confused as to the issue of using Modem and router someone even told me something that made me more confused saying “a router needs a modem to function properly” I stood on that foolish analogy for a very long time….After stumbling on an article like this I was able to understand them, as I later knew that they both help devices to connect to the internet, that is they are the intermediaries between our ISP and the internet.

    • Hi, Juliet, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative and also helped to clear up the confusion. All the best

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

  10. The fact that I have learned something real from this post is satisfying. The theme of your website is nice and the simplicity of the color selection makes it easy to read. I was shocked a friend told me that there was no difference between a modem and a router he should read this article.

    • Hi, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your comment. I am glad you found the post both helpful and informative.

      Take care
      Stay secure and always practice
      Safe Text !!!
      Butch

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