Modem and Routers are two terms that are synonymously used with an internet connection. An internet connection is usually provided through either a Wi-Fi Router or Modem. This has created confusion amongst customers where these two terms are used interchangeably. However, a router and a modem provide different functions and thus are two distinct devices.
What is a Wi-Fi Router, and What Does It Do?
A Wi-Fi router is a hardware device that your Internet Service Provider uses to connect to their cable or xDSL internet network. It combines the functions of a wireless access point and a router. To understand what a Wi-Fi router does, we must first understand that when we connect a device to the Wi-Fi, we are actually connecting it to the Wi-Fi Router. Your router then creates a network of all the devices connected to it in your home. A basic function of a Wi-Fi router is to connect multiple networks and to route network traffic between these networks.
A Wi-Fi Router is what enables you to connect multiple devices into one single internet connection. It also allows these devices to communicate with each other. This means that it enables data transfer between devices that are connected to a particular Wi-Fi router. This interconnectivity of devices under one Wi-Fi Router helps it identify what traffic is going to which device through the network. Wi-Fi Router is a suitable hardware application for homes with multiple devices which can seamlessly connect to the router, and it will distribute the internet connection amongst devices. Your Wi-Fi Router can also act as a line of defence and protect you from malicious malware.
What is a Modem, and What does it do?
On the other hand, a Modem functions by connecting your local network to an internet connection that comes from your Internet Service Provider. A standard modem provides a wired style of internet output compared to a Wi-Fi Router. A modem can connect to any kind of internet structure like cables or fiber connection. It then provides a standard Ethernet cable output that needs to be plugged into your computer or laptops to access the internet. Since a modem provides a wired internet connection, it cannot be used to access the internet on mobile phones. To make your connection wireless, you can connect your modem to a router.
The Real Difference Between Wi-Fi Router and Modem
An internet connection cannot be created without the use of either a Wi-Fi Router or a Modem. Where on one hand, Modems make signals readable by modulating and demodulating data from a digital format. It connects a device to the internet using a wired medium like an Ethernet cable.
On the other hand, a router can determine the best path and direct data packs to the correct nodes. It can connect multiple devices to one single internet connection. It can also assist in sharing data between devices connected to one single connection using a Wi-Fi network.
A Wi-Fi modem is a hybrid hardware solution that can be used to create a wireless network. A Wi-Fi modem combines the functions of a modem and a router. It translates internet data packets via modem and sends them wirelessly to devices that can be connected to it through Wi-Fi. Although the technology used in such a device, it is easy to use and is compact in nature. However, it is important to note that in such an implementation, if even if one part of the solution breaks, the whole device will stop working.