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Modem vs. Router : Know the pros and cons

Monday, Sep 28, 2020 · 10 mins

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Modem vs. Router Modem vs. Router
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From remote support for work to online education and family entertainment, there are many tasks that are heavily reliant on a good internet connection. It all begins with getting a broadband connection for your home. Then comes setting up a home network fully customized to suit your needs. Depending on the number of devices you connect and the data speeds you require, you can arrive at the ideal combination of modems, routers, and network extenders to use. To configure your network, you should know the difference between modem and router. To understand modem router combo vs separate device configurations, you should know the functions of these devices.

Router vs modem – understanding the differences

Modem stands for “modulator-demodulator” which is self-explanatory. Your internet service provider lays down the wiring that lets you bring an internet connection to your home. A modem is a device that is connected to the fiber optic cable that reaches your home. This device helps establish the connection between your home network and the internet.

The router then connects this modem to all the other devices at home that need to access the internet. It could be both wired and wireless connections. So, do you need a router if you have a modem? A modem aids data transfer to and from the internet and a router is to create a local area network. So, yes you need both the devices in most cases.

When a router is connected to the modem, it comes with internal or external antennas. These enable the creation of a wireless network. All the Wi-Fi enabled devices can then be connected to this router simultaneously. One of the major perks of using a router is that it supports convenient wireless network configuration. Without the hassle of managing too many cables, you can easily allow various devices to enjoy the high-speed internet connection at your home. Most of the smart home setups benefit from the use of both a router and a modem.

Do I need a modem and router combo or separate?

Pros of a router and modem combo

  • When you are running short on desk space, a combo would be your ideal option.
  • The configuration process would be simpler when there is only one device involved in both activities.

Cons

  • You cannot alter much when it comes to changing the position of the router.
  • There is also a limitation based on the features.
  • You cannot change the router based on your requirements

Pros of separate modem and router

  • You can pick a router of your choice. When you have chosen a high bandwidth connection, you also need a router that supports a higher throughput for the network.
  • In case there are any faults in the individual devices, the cost involved in repairs or replacements would be less than replacing the entire router and modem combo device.

Cons

  • There is a lot of cables involved. Therefore, you need enough space to place them both.
  • You also need two power outlets separately for each device.

Wrapping it up

So, what is the difference between a modem and a router? The modem brings home your internet connection from the wiring provided by your ISP and the router makes this internet accessible to all the networking devices at home. Do I need a modem and a router? If you have multiple devices at home that need to connect to the internet then having these devices let you customize the setup.

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