Modem vs. Router


Modems and routers are both involved in connecting your home PCs to the Internet. The modem encodes and decodes data so that it can pass between your home network and your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The router, on the other hand, directs the information collected by the modem to devices within that network. The modem brings the information in, and the router distributes (or “routes”) it to different devices like computers and phones.

Comparison chart

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Layer Data link layer (Layer 2) Network Layer (Layer 3 devices)
Ports 2.One for connection to ISP. Next one to connect with router(For large networks) 2/4/8
Device Type Inter-networking device Networking device
Data Transmission form Packet Packet
Function Facilitates a connection to the internet by transmitting and receiving data over telephone lines. Directs data in a network. Passes data between home computers, and between computers and the modem.
Connections Can connect to one PC using Ethernet port Can connect to multiple PCs or networking devices via Ethernet or WiFi
Necessary for Internet Connection? Yes No, but provides additional security and allow for multiple connections.
Independent? Yes. A modem can work without a router, delivering information (such as Internet access) to a single PC. Routers can share information between computers, but cannot connect to the internet without a modem.
Security No security measures Provides security measures to protect network

Contents: Modem vs Router

edit Function

How a modem and router connect to each other, the Internet and devices on the network.
How a modem and router connect to each other, the Internet and devices on the network.

A modem transmits and receives data through telephone lines, and is used to connect a single computer or an entire home computer network to the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

A router allows computers to connect to the modem and to each other in a network. It selectively delivers packets of information to multiple destinations, and allows multiple devices to connect to the Internet via the modem.

edit Connections

A modem can only connect to one device: either a home PC or a router.

A router can connect to multiple devices in a network, either through Ethernet cables or through WiFi.

edit Security

A modem does not screen the data it encodes or decodes, and so it passes on any potential threat to connected computers.

Routers examine data packets to determine their destination, and so can contain firewalls to screen out attacks on the network.

See also WPA vs. WPA2.

edit Cost

Depending on the style, features, functionality and the brand, the price of a Router can range anywhere from $10-$74,000+. Prices for Modem range from $5-$23,000+.

You can find current prices on Amazon:

edit References

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Comments: Modem vs Router

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Anonymous comments (2)

April 28, 2014, 11:36am

Effective info... thanks for it !!!

— 101.✗.✗.199

September 24, 2012, 12:23am

Thanks for making the video simple and easy to understand.
Great video.

— 68.✗.✗.22


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