What Is A Modem?

Modem or router, which is it?

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A modem is a network device that converts data to a signal that anyone can send and receive. Likewise, this network device modulates and demodulates analog carrier signals sent across phone lines, coaxial cables, or satellite connections.

How does it work?

What exactly does a modem do? It encodes and decodes data in real-time between analog and digital formats. The term “modem” is short for the “modulator-demodulator” network device. However, modern connections are much simpler and do not require conversion. As a result, newer high-speed devices do not convert analog signals to digital.

Users usually get their modems from their ISPs (Internet Service Providers) for their internet connections. Moreover, they convert your inbound connection into an ethernet connection, which a Wi-Fi router can use to connect to the internet.

Modem vs. Router: Know the difference

Differentiating between a modem and a router is a common mistake most users make. While most modems and routers share the same functionality, there’s a slight difference. Modems handle your connection to the internet coming from phone lines or coaxial cables, and a router allows multiple device connectivity. You can connect many devices to the internet and communicate between the devices even if internet connectivity is absent.

Cable, DSL, and Fiber

Three types of modems operate via different cable mediums depending on your ISP. The three types include:

  • Cable
  • DSL
  • FIber

The world has been using cable modems for quite a while now. Moreover, you won’t find fiber-related devices in your regular stores as these fiber services are ISP-specific, and it’s best you use a router that your ISP gave you. However, you should always buy and use your router. For people with larger homes or spaces to get an aftermarket router compatible with your ISP’s connection to have better signal strength across your place.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth Dudeja

An engineering student with a keen interest in most aspects of technology. Likes to write about Microsoft, Apple, Laptops, Gaming, etc.
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