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?
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?
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?
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 Attacks
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.
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
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or just want to leave a comment please do so below
Stay secure and always practice
Safe Text !!!