Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Hub and Modem

Hub vs Modem

In most modern homes with two or more computers and an internet connection, we have complimenting devices like hubs and modems that we do not typically interact with but help in keeping the network functioning. The main difference between a hub and a modem is their function. A modem is basically what allows us to connect to the internet and most often, a modem can be used by a single computer as is. When you want to connect two or more computers together, that is where hubs come in. A hub is a device that lets your devices talk to each other and is often the interface between all your computers and a modem because it allows the connected computers to talk to the modem and connect to the internet.

A hub is fairly simple because it only directs traffic and does no transformation on the information being sent or received across the network. It receives digital information and transmits it to the destination as digital information. This is not the case with modems because modems act as an interface between a digital network and an analog medium like your phone line. It modulates the digital information into an analog carrier on the transmitting end and demodulates the digital information from the analog carrier on the receiving end; thus the name modem from “mod”-ulation and “dem”-odulation.

In most cases, hubs are wired devices and you use LAN cable between it and all other connected devices. On the other hand, modems have evolved with technology and there are a lot of wireless modems available today. Even cellular phones can act as modems to connect to the internet via the cellular network.

If you have a DSL connection, you may have noticed that your modem already has multiple ports and you no longer need to purchase a hub. This is because the dropping prices of electronics make it possible to include a 4-port hub into most modems without significantly affecting its price. And since most homes on average have fewer than 4 computers, it lets them put-off buying a hub or a router.


  1. Modems are used to connect to the internet while hubs are used in Local Area Networks
  2. A modem is used as an interface between a digital and analog network while a hub is all digital
  3. Hubs are wired devices while some modems are wireless
  4. Many modems have built-in hubs

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