At the heart of every broadband Internet connection is a modem. But outside the home, this little box can be overshadowed by another necessary piece of hardware: the wireless router. So how do they work together? And why are there so many routers to choose from? However, now we have the best modem router combo which doesn’t need these devices to be separate, and you get everything in a single package called gateway.

What is a Modem?

Before you can understand what a modem does it’s important to know that all Internet data ever was transmitted over regular old telephone lines until 1995 . I know — you mean I kept paying ridiculous monthly fees for dial-up service all those years after everyone else had moved on? Yep. But it was all we had, so we made do.

When the Internet took off in 1995, so did broadband technology. In fact, there isn’t a huge difference between regular old dial-up service and broadband other than the speed factor — both types of connections use modems to transmit data over telephone lines. Because you can send more data at a time through a broadband connection, your downloads and uploads will usually be faster than they would on a dial-up modem.

What is a Router?

In addition to sending voice calls from one phone line to another, phones also connected us to the Internet before broadband became popular. Eventually, though, instead of having a phone cable going from our computers to the wall, we wanted to be able to connect wirelessly.

So like many other things that were first built for voice calls, this technology was quickly repurposed to solve an Internet problem. Even though wireless routers are now used primarily to enable Wi-Fi connections, they still resemble their original telephone counterparts in that they route signals between two or more points. The only difference is that instead of connecting calls between people, these boxes transmit data packets back and forth through your Internet connection.

What Does a Modem Do?

While modems don’t come with wires attached out of the box, they do require one plugged into the back of them to work. A modem works like the original telephone infrastructure to turn binary data into audio tones which can be carried over a phone line. While no one likes hearing dial-up modems, the good news is that broadband modems are far faster and quieter than their predecessors.

What Does a Router Do?

If you’re still confused about how these two pieces of equipment are different, think of your router as the king on his throne, receiving all Internet traffic at his fingertips so he can decide how best to send it along to another location. And just like the king has an entourage of advisors, routers have antennas called “detachable media modules” or DMs for short that help them route packets information throughout your home.

How Do They Work Together?

If you’ve ever seen your wireless router, you know that it probably has several lights on the front of it. One light may show whether or not there is a wired connection to the Internet, and other lights indicate  whether or not there are wireless connections to other devices.

In order for all of this to happen, the modem must first connect to the Internet service provider (ISP) over a phone line or cable and then transmit that signal into your home through your router. Then connected to your mobile, computer or laptop with either Wifi or ethernet cable to connect you to the internet world.

What are Mobile Router Combo?


Mobile Router Combo devices are the best modem router combo packages which includes both Modem and Router in same box to get rid of the hassles of buying two separate devices.

Most common types of mobile router combos that you can find in market or online stores are:

– Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem, Wireless N Router Combo

– Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem, Docsis 1.1 Wireless G Router Combo

– Docsis 2.0 Cable Modem, Wireless N Dual Band Router Combo

Usually 4×4 vs 4×3 refers to how many transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) radio chains there are (dimension wise). More Tx/Rx chains correspond to improved spectral efficiency, as is the case with most modern cellular standards.

However, 4×4 doesn’t necessarily mean ‘faster’ or better performance than 4×3 for a modem. This is because it currently depends on what type of modulation scheme is being used by the ISP and how much modulations schemes are supported by a given router.

Wrapping Up

There it is! Now you’ll never forget the difference between a router and modem. How many times have you called your ISP because you thought you had a problem with your internet and then they tell that there was nothing wrong on their end? It happens all the time, and now that we understand what each of these pieces do it becomes pretty clear why. If you want to know more about choosing the best modem or best router for your needs check out this article .


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