Know the difference between a Wi-Fi router and a Wi-Fi modem

Know the difference between a Wi-Fi router and a Wi-Fi modem

Many of us have broadband connections at home and still need to find out if we have a router and modem separately or simply a ‘router-modem’. Read on how different these two are.

What’s a modem?

A modem is a modulator-demodulator that connects an internet service provider through a physical connection. It translates the data from your ISP into a format that the devices at home can use. There are three types of modem connections found –

  • Dial-up — This modem uses a phone line to connect to the internet service provider. The dial-up modem is the oldest type and is replaced by broadband connections.
  • DSL — A digital subscriber line modem uses a phone line to connect to the ISP, which delivers a higher speed than the previous model.
  • Cable — A modem that uses a cable TV line to connect to an ISP. You will find lots of Indian homes with cable modem connections, and this is why cable internet connections are the most common.

Most ISPs either provide a modem for rent, or you can buy from them or other stores.

What’s a router?

A router creates a Local Area Network, which is then connected to a modem. Through the modem, you can then connect your devices. The router connects all devices on your home network and lets these communicate. With a router, you can connect your devices to the internet.

There are many advantages of having a router at home. It includes –

  • Firewall protection – A firewall is software that protects external threats from harming your devices and network.
  • Network security – It can also help safeguard your home network by hiding the IP addresses of your devices from the public network.
  • Parental controls – Parents can restrict their children from accessing the internet with advanced features in the router.
  • Connect to a VPN — A router can also connect to a virtual private network, providing additional privacy for your network.

There are two types of routers –

  • Wireless routers: A wireless router connects to a modem through an Ethernet cable. Wireless routers won’t create LANs; they can connect to several wireless devices.
  • Wired routers: A wired router connects to a modem using an Ethernet connection. It then uses other cables to link the network’s devices; the user can access the internet through this.

If you are doubtful about buying a router or modem, you can buy a device with a modem and router. Advanced devices have these two, which can enhance your online experience. Your security will be improved, and the signal strength can be increased.

It would help to understand that routers and modems can’t promise faster internet speeds. They can enhance the existing signal strength to an extent. That’s why you must have Excitel fiber internet at home, for high-speed internet at the lowest prices.


  1. How do you know if your router is a modem or a router?
    If your router has an in-built modem, you can connect your devices wirelessly or wired.
  2. Do you use a router or modem for Wi-Fi?
    Without a modem, your router can’t connect to the internet and without a router, devices on the network would not be able to communicate with each other. But these days, advanced routers have inbuilt modems.
  3. What are the two main differences between a modem and a router?
    A modem is responsible for sending and receiving signals from the ISP, while the router distributes the signal to devices on the network. The modem has a public IP address, while the router has a local address.