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Modems and routers are some of the commonly used peripherals that work with a computer. Only a few people know what each one does. Even though there is a striking similarity in the function of the two devices, they don’t serve the same purpose.

The function of a router

The primary duty of a router is to share your internet connection between several devices. It does this by creating a WI-FI connection which several other mobile devices can connect to. Some designs of routers have Ethernet ports which permit for several connections of devices. 

The router will then need to go through a modem to connect to the internet after which it will receive public IP address. To connect your home devices to the internet, your router will first have to communicate with different servers. 

Left on its own, a router won’t connect to the internet. You will need an Ethernet cable and a modem to connect your router to the internet. 

The function of a modem

The primary function of a modem is to communicate with the network of your internet service provided. Some brands of modem come with cable. Such modem connects to the network of your internet service provider through a coaxial cable. DSL which is another brand of modem connects your modem using a telephone line.

To ensure proper communication with the network of your service provider, it is important to get the right type of modem. This also ensures it functions well with your ISP infrastructure.

No matter the kind of infrastructure you have, a modem should be able to connect well through a cable, satellite, fiber or telephone. Some come with outputs for Ethernet cables which can be connected to a router or a computer.

A quick breakdown of the difference between router and modem


While a modem can only connect to one device at a time, a router can connect to several devices.


A modem is porous and so the be easily by-passed by a threat. Routers on the other hand have firewall embedded in them which protects a network from external attack.


This depends on the style, features and functionality of the model you opt for. The price range for a router is between $10 to $74,000 while the price range for a modem goes between $5 to $23,000. Amazon is a good place to buy one. 

Things a router won’t do for you

Even though a router offers you a great deal of protection, don’t expect it to block off malware and viruses. It won’t make your internet connection faster; neither will it prevent junk mails from entering your mailbox. 

You need to put a security checks in place, else a hacker will infiltrate your router. The best security check you can have in place, is to update your anti-malware programs regularly. 

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