Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

What is a modem?

In the field of networking, a modem is an instrument that modulates and demodulates (hence the term mod + dem, which means modem) the signal between analog or digital signals. This is essential because computers function using digital electrical signals that are digital in nature.

A successful transfer of digital signals across long distances with high speeds is, for moment, restricted to the most limited of techniques (including fibre optic cables).

In all cases the signal needs to be converted to digital signals that are interpreted by your device’s components.

This is why it’s essential for circuits to work with both analog as well as digital signal.

Examples of analog signals include:

The alternating current flowing along a copper wire

The variable frequency of the 4G and 5G radiofrequency (RF) signals.

Types of Modem

Depending on the kind of signal used to connect The modem’s operation will be slightly different.

Therefore, you’ll require a particular kind of modem based on your internet connection type.

DSL modems 4G modems, DSL modems, and fibre modems have a different type of signal.

DSL modems can demodulate signals transmitted by telephone lines made of copper.

Modem products

The majority of products that use an modem have either (i) the cell-based data modem (3G/4G/5G) to (de)modulating radio frequency signals (ii) an DSL modem or (iii) an Fibre modem that converts the flashes of light transmitted through a fibre optic cable into electrical signals that the logic board of the device can comprehend.

It is possible to buy an individual modem; it’s actually more uncommon in reality than using a combination router and modem. This is sometimes called “a gateway”.

A separate modem or router?

Devices that combine the features of a router as well as a modem are sometimes referred to as gateways. The manufacturer of the device may see them advertised as modems integrated into routers’.

The majority of modern networks won’t benefit from the separation of their router and modem.

However, this does not mean that the standard ISP-provided router will be able to meet the requirements of a huge business. Enterprise-grade routers equipped with integrated broadband and second hand UPS are adequate to meet the demands of modern businesses. Routers from the likes of DrayTek and Ubiquiti include all of the features described here.

browse through products and click to call-to-action banners that feature Ubiquiti devices

What’s the purpose of a router in the context of a network?

A modem functions as a type of analog/digital signal translator, changing signals in a format that is capable of traveling over long distances, into electronic signals that other devices connected to your network can comprehend. A router actually sends these signals to devices for which they were intended.

Signals that are coming into your network from all over the world have information. The data is used as a label, and serves to inform your router which device in the network is where it is.

Without the aid of a network router, your local network may comprise only one device. In the event that only you own one device, you could plug the device right into your router and create an entirely functional network.

The majority of routers have an inbuilt modem, so you won’t require a separate modem along with your router.

It is important to know what kind of internet connection you’ve got, an essential factor when selecting a router and second hand UPS for computer as the kind of connection you choose needs to be compatible with the modem.

Types of Routers – Features


Due to these issues and responsibilities organizations have sought out routers with features such as multi-WAN which lets you balance your network load.


To protect internal security, segregating specific portions of the network may be beneficial. For example for providing only a limited function to guests. This is possible by using VLANs or virtual local areas networks.

Throughput Speeds

The business-grade routers will have faster throughput speeds than consumer routers. Every LAN port typically provides up to 1Gbps of throughput. Which means it’s not your router that acts as the bottleneck for your network.

Consumer Routers

Consumer grade routers are less expensive than those designed for business use and will typically include other functions, such as switching or wireless access. They’ll also be much less flexible with no or less of the features mentioned above.


A modem as well as a router are both essential to every network. Although it is possible to buy the router with no integrated modem, the majority of firms will not profit by separating them.

If you are looking to purchase a router that has an embedded modem first you have to determine the type quality of connection to the Internet you are using. Then, it boils down to the specifications you require to run your network, such as speed of throughput, VLAN tagging as well as firewall rules in remote administration.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button