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Modem vs Router vs Modem Router Combo

Modem vs router vs modem router combo

Even if you are slightly tech-savvy, you would know the basic difference between a modem and a router. A modem connects to the internet and the router connects various devices to a Wi-Fi. That is basic!

For a layman though, even this info is hard to comprehend. Someone who only knows how to pick the best of all the TV plans, this process would seem like a task. But being a regular user of the internet, we need to know some details to keep it smooth and functional. And that’s true for every contemporary internet user today.

Mixing some of these terms is easy. Let’s discuss the relevant details to know the difference.

What is the Difference between Modem and Router?

First things first. Modems and routers are completely different devices. A modem is directly connected to the Internet service provider. While the router is connected to the modem and makes the extension of the internet connection possible to multiple devices. It enables wireless signals to be sent throughout the homes, offices, and so on.

Modem vs Router

As mentioned already, these terms are tricky. Especially when most of the Internet plans have rental options for both these devices. Let’s not complicate things and keep them crisp and simple. Check out the following facts:

Modem Router
Modem brings the Internet to homes, offices, restaurants, and so on. Router brings the Internet to the devices.
It has a public IP address. Assigns local IP addresses
Makes use of a WAN network It creates a Local Area Network (LAN)

What does a Modem Do?

The device that plugs into an internet infrastructure type and communicates with the ISP is the modem. A modem is essential whether your internet type is cable, satellite, telephone, or fiber.

Modems come with a standard wired Ethernet connection that you are free to plug in a single computer. Or, you can plug it in a router that will then spread this connection wirelessly all across the house or a given space.

If you just need the internet to be running on one system or device, you only need a modem. Just make sure it is compatible with your ISP. You can lease modems from your ISPs on a monthly rental fee just like you can rent Spectrum Digital Receiver. Or, you can purchase a modem and take it as a one-time investment to save in the long haul.
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What does a Router Do?

A router plugs into the modem (wired) and then wirelessly transmits internet signals all over the place for multiple gadgets and devices to be able to use the internet. A router routes your internet connection to multiple devices. It cannot be plugged in directly to the internet. You will essentially need a modem to let the router work.

Most routers are wireless but there are wired routers too. However, wired routers are not used much. Routers offer protection for the devices, which connect to them. They allow controlled exposure to the World Wide Web. If you go for high-end routers, the security features are more refined. To program a router is not as easy as you program TV remote. You may need some professional help.

Don’t miss: What is Spectrum Home WiFi?

Modem Router Combo

You may have browsed through the list of Spectrum compatible modems and routers, knowing that only modems and routers are needed in the functioning of the internet. ISPs also offer a modem-router combo. Yes, that right! It is a 2-in-1 device that has both, a modem and a router. You can also buy them on your own.

Since they are connected they do the job more conveniently for you. It is also a more economical option. However, it has its downsides such as less flexibility. Buying a router and a modem separately allows you to get your hands on the best devices and features, which fit your needs aptly. While with a modem-router combo, you are stuck with whatever it offers.

Again, buying one would help you save better instead of renting it from your ISP.

How does Mesh Network Work?

In many instances, one wireless router is not enough to provide internet coverage to an entire big space. For instance, one router cannot cover a workplace with multiple floors, a complicated layout, impenetrable walls, and a vast space. That’s where investing in a mesh network becomes a viable and sensible option.

A mesh network consists of a primary router and many nodes or satellites to relay the wireless internet signals from on to the other. Just like a chain! The mesh network doesn’t use extenders, which is a good thing because they affect the speeds and can only communicate with the router. The nodes of a mesh network are capable of communicating with one another. And there’s no loss or lag in the bandwidth. The signals are as strong as are relayed by the primary router.

Also, there is no limit to the number of nodes you can add. And it is all manageable with a smartphone. You can call the current ISP to know about whether they provide a mesh network because it’s a lucrative investment.

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