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What is the difference between a modem and a router?

In life, we often hear the words router and cat, the corresponding English is Router and Modem.

The cat here is not the cat of Garfield, nor the cat of the cheese cat, nor the cat of Elvis, nor. . . technowalla, you are enough, don’t get tired again. This cat is a transliteration and is a homonym of Modem. Modem is actually a compound word, a combination of a modulator and a demodulator, which is a “modem.” Modem is what we often call “cat”. It is an indispensable thing when computers are connected. Because routers are often used together with “cats”, many people confuse them together. I don’t know what modems and routers are. The difference, in fact, the modem is completely different from the router, what is the difference between the modem and the router, let’s take a look.

What is Modem?

The modem communicates with the network of your Internet service provider. If it is a Cable Modem, it is interconnected to the ISP’s infrastructure via a coaxial cable. If it is a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modem, connect your phone line to communicate.

The modem side connects to your Internet service provider’s infrastructure in a variety of ways, such as: cable, telephone line, satellite or fiber connection, and the other end connects to any of your routers (or one via Ethernet cable). Computer), then you can go online (if you connect a router, it is generally the router sharing Wi-Fi to each device to access the Internet, or the device is wired to the Ethernet interface of the router; if it is a computer, you can access the Internet )).

What is the router doing?

Routers are basically used to share network connections to multiple devices (of course this is a simple description). Most routers today are Wi-Fi routers, which create a Wi-Fi network that can be connected to multiple Wi-Fi networks. Frequent routers also have multiple Ethernet ports that can be connected to multiple devices with a network cable.

The router is connected to the Internet via a modem, and the router itself is assigned to a globally unique public IP address on the Internet (generally the public IP). The server on the Internet communicates with the router. The router directs the network signal (called routing, the word “router itself” means “repeater, distributor, route person”) to the LAN/private network (such as your home network, Or the corresponding device on a company’s network).

However, if you only have one router, you can’t connect to the Internet. The router needs to be connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, and the modem is responsible for this.

What are the differences between Modem and router?

1, the role is different

Modem is a necessary device for computer networking. A modem computer can be used for dial-up Internet access. A router is a device that helps multiple computers share a network. With the help of a router, several computers can be on the same network cable. Internet access, but the router is not a necessary device for computer Internet access. Without a router, the computer can still be connected via modem.

2, the connection method is different

Because of the different roles, the connection methods of the two are also different. One end of the modem is connected to the telephone line, one part is connected to the computer or the router, and one part of the router is connected to the modem, the other end can only be connected to the computer, and the router is directly connected to the telephone line and the computer. It is impossible to achieve networking.

3, different shapes

The shape of the modem is relatively simple, such as a flat rectangular box, very small, and the shape of the router is diverse, has a rectangular parallelepiped shape, also has an oval shape, the overall size is larger than the modem, and the wireless router also With a different number of antenna devices.

4, the port is different

The port shape and number of the two are different. The ports of the modem are generally only two, one is connected to the telephone line, one is connected to the network cable, and the router has more ports. Usually there are five, one is connected with the modem, and the rest is Feel free to connect to one or more computers.


In summary, modems and routers are fundamentally different. These differences can be discovered and mastered through observation or repeated practice. However, for many newcomers, it is not easy to distinguish between modems and routers. Therefore, the market There is a device that combines the two, that is, as long as the device is connected to the telephone line and the computer, it can play the role of a modem and a router at the same time. The shape of the device is very similar to that of the router, and the port is set and connected. The method is similar, you may wish to try it.


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