What is the difference between a router and a modem?

Most of you out there get both the Router and Modem as a package from your Internet service provider (ISP), even if not both at least the modem, and hence, you don’t know the actual difference between Router and Modem?

I got confused when spectrum ( spectrum is a cable network) offered me to choose between router and modem. I chose spectrum router as I was not aware of the difference between modem and router

Well, the difference is that a Modem gets the internet to your home from the ISP, and the router connects your devices to the WiFi.

Both of them are required to have access to the internet over various devices of yours. Before we understand in-depth, let’s know what functions do modem and router perform.

difference between router and a modem.

Modem and its Functions

The modem connects or acts as a source of connection to provide the internet from your ISP to you. Whether you connect t to a router or directly to your desktop in all the possible ways, which are fiber optics, Comcast, to your TV via satellite, etc. all of them are possible with the aid of a Modem.

It encodes and decodes the data between your ISP and your home network for you to have internet access. Modems are generally of different types for each type of service and cannot be changed amongst.

Router and its functions

The primary function of a Router is to connect your device to it via WiFi. Routers generally come with different numbers of antennas. The higher the number of antennas, the more the range i.e., the farther it will be able to connect to a device.

Although you can still increase the range with an extender, which helps you to connect to your router even from a long distance. The router generally requires an electricity connection to function.

Now, the difference between Modem and Router and how one is useful to another.

Modems get the internet to your home, but the router is the one that fulfills the requirement of devices being able to use it.

A router is of no use without a modem. One can connect their device to a Router, but they won’t have an internet connection unless a modem is attached or plugged in into a Router via a cable.
This concludes that both modem and router are of not the same

You can use the below-given steps to understand how it goes.






  1. Your Internet service provider first receives internet service.
  2. After receiving it is provided to you via a Modem that encodes and decodes the data in between, which will help you to use and have access to the internet.
  3. After modem, it is the Routers job to connect to your device and provide the internet access on all the devices you want by connecting you to the WiFi.


In short, both Modem and Router are a part of getting your internet access. A router is what connects your device to the WiFi, and a Modem is what gives access to your router to the internet, which the router needs to provide you the same.

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