Don't know what the difference is between a modem and a router? We will try to help you. We will help you understand what these equipments do and which one is better for your internet connection.

At the superficial level, the difference between a modem and a router is simple. A modem connects you to the internet and a router offers Wi-Fi or wireless connectivity throughout your home. Once you know the difference between a modem and a router, you may even be able to save money.



What is the difference between a modem and a router?

Before something like Wi-Fi came along, most homes only had a desktop computer. All you needed to connect your computer to the internet was a modem. Around 2001, Wi-Fi showed its popularity and the number of devices requiring Wi-Fi connectivity in the home increased.


What does the modem do?

  • Your modem is your home internet connection.
  • The modem receives signals from your internet service provider and translates them for your devices to use.
  • Each modem is assigned a unique IP address that can identify the device within the World Wide Web.

What does the router do?

  • A router is the intermediary between your modem and your internet-connected devices such as laptops, smartphones, and smart TVs.
  • A router creates a local area network (LAN) around your home that allows multiple devices to connect to your Wi-Fi connection.

How does the modem work?

Modems often have lights in front of them. So you have the chance to see what's going on at a glance. One light indicates that the unit is receiving power, one is receiving data from the internet service provider, and the other is that the modem is successfully sending data.


How does the router work?

A router is a standalone device that connects to an Ethernet port on the modem and routes network communication or internet traffic to connected devices. The router typically has a special, color-coded Ethernet port that they use to physically connect to the modem.

Modem or router?

Technically speaking, a modem is much more important than a router. Because without a modem, it is not possible to connect to the internet. However, Wi-Fi may seem like a basic need as consumers have access to more mobile devices.


  • What is the modem used for? The modem transmits, receives and converts data. Even if you are using DSL, cable, fiber and satellite internet, a modem is a device that converts signals from digital or analog form to what you see on your screen.

  • What is the router used for? A router is used to distribute the Wi-Fi signal across an area, thereby creating a wireless network. A router will not work without a modem. Although these two devices seem similar, there is a difference.

You may want to use a modem and also a router to set up a home network. If you are connecting a single computer to the Internet with a cable, you can only use one modem. You will always need a modem to decode the signal from the internet service provider.

When you want to speed up your network, the point you should focus on is the router. There are bandwidth limits. It distributes the signal to all your devices. The router creates and manages your Wi-Fi solution. It is possible to summarize the main difference between the two in this way.