Modems and routers both are electronic devices that assist in linking different gadgets (computers, laptops, smartphones etc) to the internet. Several Internet service providers deliver integrated units of modem or router.  These units serve the purpose of both modems as well as of routers. However, one should keep in mind this point that the purpose and functionality of both devices are different, and both are required for a good quality internet connection.

The main function of modem is to encrypt and decipher data so that it can move onward from home network to ISP and vice versa. It means the basic purpose of modem is encoding and decoding. On the other hand router directs the data packets. They collect information or data packets from modem and then decide their route or their destination. Modem aids in fetching information and router allocates it to various devices.


Difference between modem and router:

·         In OSI model, modem lies in Data link layer that is second layer and router lies on Network layer that is third layer. The Data link layer manages connections between systems within a local network and Network layer manages communication across local networks.
·         Modem can be linked to one system through Ethernet port. Whereas, router can be linked to multiple systems through WiFi or Ethernet.
·         To establish an internet connection, modem is essentially required whereas network can be established without router. However, presence of routers provides additional support, security and allows multiple connections.
·         Modem can work separately from router to provide information to a solo computer. However, router cannot work independently from modem. Modem is unavoidable unit for router to transmit information between multiple computers.
·         Number of ports in modem is only two and their number in routers can be 2, 4 or 8. Both transmit data in the form of packets. Unlike modem, router offers security portion to protect network. They contain firewalls to monitor intrusions on network.Modem does not monitor data packet before passing it to the computers.
·         User can buy routers of their own choice, and they can use any router they want according to their budget and requirements. However, to select modem one should buy only those modems approved from their ISP. The reason behind approval required for modem is they are element of ISP network whereas; routers are element of anyone’s home network.



No doubt by using only modems user can get its system connected to the internet. However, one should not forget that indeed modems are practical devices but they are not smart enough to provide safe and multiple connections. One must need to add a router in network along with modem to get safe and improved internet connection.
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