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Router VS Modem

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

What is a router?

A router routes inbound and outbound traffic to and from your device. It is in charge of directing network traffic through what is most commonly called a LAN (Local Area Network). So, the router for your home sees all your devices and when those devices are communicating with each other- for example, from printer to computer. It also directs communication with outside sources on the internet. For example, if "Computer A" went to google.com, then it knows to send that traffic to "Computer A", not "Computer B". When you do go to a website, the router looking outbound to the internet will communicate with that website and vice versa before it jumps back to your device. This is a very basic overview of what a router does. It can also protect your device using a Firewall, which you can learn more about through our previous blogpost here: https://www.pctouchup.com/tech-blog/firewalls-what-are-they

What is a modem?

A modem is a device that gives you access to the internet through receiving analog signals, pulses of electricity. The modem takes those pulses of energy and converts them into a digital signal that can then be understood by your router.

Types of Modems:

1.) A cable modem connects a coaxial cable to the modem and converts analog signal to a digital signal that can be transferred. This can be done internally, to a router built into the modem or externally, converted through a digital cable (usually a RJ-45 or an ethernet cable).

2.) DSL modem or your phone line. This takes one or two pairs from your phone provider and converts it to a digital signal that you can use.

3.) Fiber modems (locally you will see Peak Internet use) connects your modem to a local Fiber Line, which uses pulses of light, rather than electricity. Those pulses of light are converted into a digital signal. Most of the time, fiber modems will not be built into routers but will be a stand alone devices

Thank you for your time, and as always if you have any questions, feel free to call us at 855-728-6824

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