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on video Modem vs Router - What's the difference?

 


While both a modem and a router help your devices connect to the internet, they have separate (and complementary) functions. A modem is a box that connects your home network to your internet service provider, or ISP. A router is a box that lets all of your wired and wireless devices use that internet connection at once and allows them to talk to one another directly. Often, your internet service provider will give you a device typically referred to as a gateway, a single box that serves as both modem and router, but these are still different technologies. You need the features of both a modem and a router, integrated or not, in order to have an internet connection for all of the devices in your home.

For people who have internet access provided by a cable company (and who don’t have gigabit or higher internet speeds), we recommend using a separate modem and router if possible. Modem technology changes slowly, and you can usually use a modem for years until it breaks. But you might need to replace a router because you want better coverage, because you've added more devices to your network and your old router isn't keeping up, or because you want to take advantage of the latest improvements in Wi-Fi technology , which can change more often than modem standards do. Typically you can save $5 to $15 on your monthly internet bill if you use your own modem and router instead of the equipment your cable provider offers.

If you have a DSL or fiber internet connection, your ISP is likely to require you to use its provided modem, which usually serves as a gateway and router as well, and the situation is more complicated if you also get phone service from your ISP.


 


While both a modem and a router help your devices connect to the internet, they have separate (and complementary) functions. A modem is a box that connects your home network to your internet service provider, or ISP. A router is a box that lets all of your wired and wireless devices use that internet connection at once and allows them to talk to one another directly. Often, your internet service provider will give you a device typically referred to as a gateway, a single box that serves as both modem and router, but these are still different technologies. You need the features of both a modem and a router, integrated or not, in order to have an internet connection for all of the devices in your home.

For people who have internet access provided by a cable company (and who don’t have gigabit or higher internet speeds), we recommend using a separate modem and router if possible. Modem technology changes slowly, and you can usually use a modem for years until it breaks. But you might need to replace a router because you want better coverage, because you've added more devices to your network and your old router isn't keeping up, or because you want to take advantage of the latest improvements in Wi-Fi technology , which can change more often than modem standards do. Typically you can save $5 to $15 on your monthly internet bill if you use your own modem and router instead of the equipment your cable provider offers.

If you have a DSL or fiber internet connection, your ISP is likely to require you to use its provided modem, which usually serves as a gateway and router as well, and the situation is more complicated if you also get phone service from your ISP.


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