• A modem is a box that connects the home or office network to the broader internet. Meanwhile, a router is a box or device that allows all wired and wireless devices to connect to the Internet simultaneously.
  • For most households subscribed to a retail internet service provider, your ISP will provide you with an NBN connection box or device that is both a modem and a router. But in some cases, you might need the two.
  • ISP providers often provide modem and router combo devices to their clients. Take advantage of these since it is the ideal setup for home internet connections and the more affordable type.

In order to enjoy the internet, you should at least have a basic knowledge of how it works and what devices are required to help you stay connected. For example, you can find many users confused as to how modems and routers function and if there’s a need to have both. 

 

The good news is that if you’re on the NBN already, your internet service provider will hook you up with one device that combines the power of a modem and a router. But if you do have an old modem or router from your previous connection, and you’re looking to upgrade, then learning the difference between the two will come in handy for you.



Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

 

A modem is a box that connects the home or office network to the broader internet. Meanwhile, a router is a box or device that allows all wired and wireless devices to connect to the Internet simultaneously. Interestingly, through a router, wired and non-wired devices connected to the router can communicate with each other without using the Internet as their platform.

 

For most households subscribed to a retail internet service provider, your ISP will provide you with an NBN connection box or device that is both a modem and a router. But in some cases, you might need the two.

 

Some modems do not have router functions, and some routers do not have modem functions. However, for a simple home internet setup, you need both the function of the router and the modem to connect all your devices to your internet at home.

 

What is a Modem?

 

The modem is responsible for modulating and demodulating electrical signals that travel through the coaxial cables, phone lines and other types of wires. It features two ports - one that connects your home to the outside world or your internet service provider and the other that is used to connect to a computer or a router. Although some ISPs provide a separate router and a separate modem, there is most likely an additional fee involved in such cases. Therefore, a modem is considered a privilege for most household subscribers.

 

What is a Router?

 

A router is a device that routes data between the devices in your home, connected to the Internet. The router creates a connection between devices as well as your device to the wider internet. Thus, it can be collectively referred to as your home network. For a scenario where the modem is different from the router, the router is connected to the modem that is commonly labelled as Wide Area Network or WAN.

 

There are two types of routers available for your home. Stand-alone WiFi Routers are ideal for small spaces with a couple of dozen devices connected to the Internet. However, for bigger homes with more gadgets to be considered, a Wi-Fi repeater for your router may help. A WiFi mesh networking kit would better cover bigger areas with plenty of rooms and more devices connected to the Internet. This ensures that practically every area in your home offers accessibility to the Internet.

 

Is a Modem or a Router the Best Option for Your Home?

 

On the surface level, a router may be the best option available for your home internet subscription. However, for bigger homes with higher internet use demands, a separate modem would be beneficial. Moreover, without a modem, your home will not be able to connect.

 

ISP providers often provide modem and router combo devices to their clients. Take advantage of these since it is the ideal setup for home internet connections and the more affordable type.

 

If a separate modem and router are required or essential to enjoy internet service efficiently in your home, talk to your ISP providers about possible savings you can get by binding your modem use to your monthly services. Do your research too. Some ISPs require monthly fees for the use of modem devices on top of your routers at home. It all applies to knowing what your service provider offers and which one of these would be the most efficient and ideal for your budget.