Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)

LOOK UP ANOTHER TERM


router vs. modem

See modem vs. router.



modem vs. router

The two major components in a small computer network are a modem (cable or DSL) and a wireless router. The router is wired to the modem, and the modem is wired to the cable company's coaxial cable or the telephone company's DSL phone line. For Internet access via satellite, the router is wired to a satellite modem.

Modem - Establish and Convert
The modem establishes and maintains the connection with the Internet provider's service and converts the signals from and to the router appropriately.

Router - Route and Keep Track
The router forwards traffic destined for the Internet to the modem, while keeping internal traffic (computer to computer, computer to printer, etc.) from leaving the network. Using assigned numbers, the router keeps track of which computer made a request to the Internet in order to send responses back to that computer only. For details on the assignment process, see TCP/IP port.

A wireless router is commonly used in the home and small business, which adds other functions. For more details, see wireless router and wireless LAN.



Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
BeforeAfter
route tablerouter vs. switch
routerroutine
router cacherouting
router clusterrouting bridge
router droppingsRouting Information Protocol
router firmwarerouting loop
router OSrouting protocol
router protocolrouting switch
router softwarerouting table
router tablerow

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
Audio/VideoGraphics
MainframesSecurity
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design