A lot of people actually think that a modem and the router are the same thing. But they are not. They are different with two separate roles on network.
If you want an internet inside your home or business you have to have a modem. A modem is what brings the internet into your home or business. A modem establishment and maintain a dedicated network to your internet service provider to give you access to the Internet.
The reason why you have to have a modem is because of the two different types of signals that are used on a computer and on the internet.
A computer only reads digital signals while the signals On the Internet are analogue. As analogue data comes in from the internet.
The modem demodulate the incoming analogue signals into a digital signals a computer can understand. It also modulate outgoing digital signals into analogue signals as it goes out on the internet. This is where we get the word modem, which means modulator and de-modulator, which is exactly what a modem does.
It modulate outgoing data from the computer and demodulate incoming data from the internet.
There are different types of modem. Two of the most common types
- Cable modem
- DSL modem
Depending upon what type internet you are going to use, you need to use the correct type of modem. Cable modem is connected to your home using a coaxial cable. Cable is typically provided by the same company that provides you with cable television such as Comcast, which is the largest provider in the US.
And DSL modem are connected using a typical phone line. DSL is provided by companies such as AT&T which is also the largest provider in the US.
After the modem comes the router. There are different types of routers. Some are used in business and large organizations. Some are small routers that are used in home and small businesses, but they basically do the same thing.
Router is what that route or passes your internet connection to all of your devices in your home or business. It directs it to all of your computers, phones, tablets. So that those devices can access internet. A typical small home/office router will have a built in switch and multiple ports so, one can connect multiple devices using an Ethernet cable.
It also function as wireless access point to provide internet access to wireless devices such as tablets and laptops. If you only need single device to access internet then there is no need of having a router. Just directly plug the device in the modem to have internet connection. But if you have multiple devices at your home or office you need to have a router to access internet in those devices.
In DSL connections for home and offices. When they sent you a modem or if you buy it from store the modem might be a modem and router combination. It can be a modem with a built-in wireless router in one physical device.
Now if you are wondering how hubs and switches are related to routers? Most routers have built in switch inside of them. T=here is no need to have a switch if you already have a router that has a switch built into it.