Difference between modem and router

Main difference

Physically, the modem and router look the same, but it does not mean that something similar represents similar function and operation. There are many differences between modem and router. The main difference between modem and router is that modem means a device that modulates signals to encode digital information and demodulates signals to decode transmitted information. On the other hand, router means network device that packets data between computer networks.

What is modem?

The modem or modulator-demodulator is a networking device in which the modulator encodes the digital information and the demodulator demodulates the signals to decode the transmitted digital information. The purpose of the modem is to generate a signal that can be quickly and easily transmitted and decoded to reproduce the original digital data. Modems can be used with any analog signal transmission medium, from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to radio. A common type of modem is one that converts digital data from the computer into a modulated electrical signal for transmission over telephone lines and demodulated by another modem on the receiver side to retrieve the digital data.

What is the router?

Router refers to a network device that forwards data packets between computer networks. It is connected to two or more data lines of different networks. When a data packet arrives on one of the lines, the router reads the address information in the packet to determine its final destination. Then, using the information in its routing table, it routes the packet to the next job in its journey. This creates an overlapping internetwork. Routers perform the functions of “directing traffic” on the Internet. Typically, a data packet is forwarded from one router to another through the networks that make up the internetwork until it reaches its destination node. The most common type of routers are home and small office routers that simply pass data such as web pages,

Key differences

  1. The modem layer is the data link layer (layer 2), while the router layer is the network layer (layer 3 devices).
  2. The modem contains two ports: one for connection to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the other to connect to the router for large networks. The router has 2, 4 or 8 ports.
  3. Modem is a networking device while router is a simple networking device.
  4. The modem can connect to a computer using the Ethernet port, while the router can connect to multiple computers or network devices via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
  5. The modem can work without a router, while the router can transmit information between computers, but it cannot connect to the Internet without a modem.
  6. The modem does not provide security measures, while the router provides security measures to protect the network.

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