Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between WIFI modem and WIFI router


It has been a long time that digital communication has advanced to a point where a physical connection is not anymore a requirement. Computer networks are now possible without the awkward cables and wires. We are now in the wireless age of digital communications ,connecting to a network is now done with radio signals.

With wireless systems, you can connect on a Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN), and the Internet without the physical connection of wires like UTP cables for instance.

Because of this new technology, new kinds of hardware emerged. It is very common nowadays to hear a “wifi” prefix in various hardware. “Wifi” meaning “wireless fidelity” basically means that the piece of equipment is compatible with the technology.

There are now wireless ready LAN cards and USB devices that receive and transmit radio waves and perhaps the most commonly known wireless devices are wifi modems and wifi routers.

A wireless modem is a device that is able to connect to a wireless network as provided by an ISP. When you connect your computer to a wireless modem, you can now have access to internet when a signal from your ISP is present. You can actually have internet connectivity anywhere a signal is present.

Since it is, in essence, a modem, it functions similar to its wired counterpart. It modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. Modem stands for ìModulator/Demodulatorî and thatís the primary role of the device but only wireless.

Wifi routers are devices that perform the same functions of a normal router only wirelessly. They forward data packets along networks and they connect different networks and act as a gateway. Wifi routers can connect two LANS or WANs, LAN and WAN, or LAN and the internet.

Routers are smart devices that determine the best path for forwarding the data packets. When data is sent from one network to another, routers oversee this activity and direct the data packets to the correct location using the best path possible. With the wireless features, wifi routers can carry out it basic function through radio signals alone.

Some wifi modems are equipped with routing capabilities which can be wireless or wired or both. In the future, there will be no practical need for cables anymore and all wifi modems will also have wifi router functions.

1. Wifi modems essentially play the role of modulating and demodulating wireless signals. Wifi routers are devices that let you connect to a wireless network, usually LAN, without any signal modulating and demodulating features
2. Wifi routers have the capability to determine the best path to take and direct data packets to the correct nodes. Wifi modems, on the other hand, do not care about routing functions; they are just there to make signals readable.
3. Wifi routers help your wireless compatible device to connect to an existing network which is usually LAN. Wifi modems enable your device (e.g. laptop) to accept a radio signal which is provided by your ISP to connect to the internet.

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  1. I have paid for WIFI, but the installer has hard wired it to my laptop. I want to hook up my tower also. Do I use a router for that? He says that I can only have my laptop wired, and have no router or password.
    he is the only supplier in town, so I can’t get on his wrong side.
    Can you help? He is also the only computer guy around.

  2. where part of the world are you in?

  3. I know you explained this very well but could you tell me which one would I need for traveling or if I have a card in my computer would I need either of them at all.
    Thank you

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