Router and modem

The router and the modem often work almost as synonymous, but in truth they are different devices, with different objectives and functionalities. In that sense, the modem is a modulator and demodulator of an internet signal; Instead, the router is a kind of distributor of the connection to different computers dependent on the same local network.

Definition / functionIt is a signal modulator and demodulator linked to the telephone line. It is responsible for translating the signal and sending it to a device.Connect different computers from the same local network. It broadcasts the signal translated by the modem and has no connection to the telephone line.
TypesInternal and externalSOHO, distribution routers, core, wireless and ADSL

Both the modem and the router are hardware devices (the physical part of the computer) used so that users have access to the Internet, through computers, tablets, cell phones, among other devices. However, their functionalities are different because they are essentially different devices.


What is a modem?

This device is a signal modulator, that is, a device capable of converting digital signals into analog and also vice versa. It is an input / output peripheral that connects different computers to each other through the telephone line , which emits analog signals converted into digital thanks to the demodulation of the modem. And this is what allows access to the internet.

The process is quite simple: the modulator outputs the carrier signal. The modulating signal, which contains the information to be sent, transforms the carrier and thus a brand new signal is obtained with the content to be transferred. Once reached the destination, the demodulator removes the carrier part and only retains the modulator.

Types of modems

A small distinction can be made in reference to modems and that is the one that divides between internal and external:

  • Internal:  We refer to cards that contain the circuits that make up the modem and are inserted into the computer. They are complex to install, but have the notable advantage of taking up little space and receiving electrical power from the computer itself.
  • External:  These are the famous small boxes connected to the computer through the serial ports. As it incorporates LEDs and occupies space outside the computer, the user will always know the status of the device.

What is a router?

The router is that device that connects several computers in the same local network , allowing the exchange of data packets between computers that are in the aforementioned network. It is part of a configuration where there is a source and a destination computer, interlaced precisely by the router. To recap: this device supports multiple devices linking and sharing the same web connection.

Then the router interconnects a set of IP machines and establishes the route for each of the data packets within the computer network made up of various devices. At each moment he will try to define which is the most appropriate rota for such a task. This is where the routing protocol comes in, from which it connects with other routers, sharing information to determine the best access or route.

Types of router

As in the case of the modem, different types of router can be distinguished.

  • SOHO (Small Office, Home Office):  These are residential or small business routers (they are known as access routers). Its function is to allow access through a private and secure virtual network to broadband.
  • Distribution routers:  They get more traffic through other routers or through the accumulation of data.
  • Core routers: In  charge of managing the different levels of these devices.
  • Wireless routers:  They are the bridge between mobile and fixed networks.
  • ADSL router:  They allow several local networks and several computers to be connected at the same time.

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