Difference Between Wifi Router and Modem (With Table)

The Internet has an essential part of our life. It is next to impossible to imagine a life without the Internet. Even if for a single day, somehow the Internet stops working, there is chaos. Several work and activities stop working. It has certain advantages and certain disadvantages, and we all are very well aware of them. But the topic that is not discussed or known by many is the ways through which the Internet is connected with the population.

It is not like the Internet is only used in one country or few countries. It is used worldwide. People use various means to connect to wifi or the Internet directly. Example of such is wifi router and modem. This article has all the information related to both devices.

Wifi Router vs Modem

The difference between Wifi Router and Modems is in the way they are used to connect and access the internet connection. Both of them differ in terms of how they are used, they are operated, and how they are placed. The wifi Router is much safer in comparison to a Modem. A modem is a great option if the number of devices keeps changing especially increasing, as in this case router might not work properly.

The wifi Router helps in connoting multiple devices to the several networks providing internet connection. It provides signals within a certain boundary and comes with switches. It has certain disadvantages that include, it slows down the speed if more than 2 computers are connected with the network called connection wait.

The modem is a device for modulating and demodulating the signals. It aims at producing easily transmitted signals. It operated on the data link layer. It is less secure as compared to other internet-connected devices. It has certain disadvantages too that include; it is slower, does not offer any maintenance of traffic, etc.

Comparison Table Between Wifi Router and Modem

Parameters of ComparisonWifi RouterModem
DefinitionNetworking devices allowing several networks to associate with each other.This modulates and demodulates signals.   
Internet accessNo need for a modem for accessing the internet.It connects to the ISP for accessing the internet.
Operates onNetwork Layer, Data Link Layer, and Physical Layer.Datalink layer
SecureMore secureLess secure
Placed betweenComputer network and modemTelephone line and a router

What is Wifi Router?

A wifi router is used for primarily two functions, creating a local area network and managing the entered and outgoing data. It allows you to connect to multiple devices with the networks providing an internet connection.

There are several types of routers such as:

  1. Wireless router: it is a wireless access point combining multiple base stations.
  2. Modem router: it connects multiple computers to a single DSL line.
  3. Bridge router: it works as a bridge allowing interfaces with the Asynchronous Transfer Mode network.
  4. Distribution router: it aggregates traffic from access routers.
  5. Core router: it is a router specialized in acting as the core of the Internet.


  1. Responsible for creating local area network.
  2. Split internet connection.
  3. Connect different devices.
  4. Run a firewall.
  5. Deterring the information as to where to send it from one device to another.
  6. Pocket switching and filtering.
  7. Making sure the information is sent to the right device.
  8. Connecting to a VPN.


  1. It results in increasing productivity as it helps in connecting with multiple devices.
  2. It lowers the data load as it is a more organized way of sending data.
  3. Steady and reliable connection.
  4. Uses the alternative parts if the main parts are unable to send the data.

What is Modem?

It modulates and demodulates analog signals to digital information. There are types of modems such as:

  1. Dial-up Modem: it connects an analog telephone line with two personal computers, offering an interface of a digital and analog system.
  2. DSL Modem: it uses a twisted pair cable and radiates at higher frequencies. Its speed depends on the type and configuration.
  3. Cable Modem: it carries both telephone and radio signals.
  4. Mobile broadband Modems: it uses mobile telephone lines and is also known as a wireless modem.
  5. Half Duplex Modems: it transmits a single signal in one direction only at one time.
  6. Full Duplex Modems: it transmits the single in both the direction at one time and has two carriers on the line.
  7. Four Wire Modem: it has separate pair of wires. It is used for both incoming and outgoing carriers.


At transmitting end:

  1. Data conversion into an analog signal.
  2. Perform line control
  3. Send dialing signal.
  4. Protect it from line overload and related problems.

At receiving end:

  1. Receive analog signal.
  2. Control line signaling and also perform it.
  3. Protect against overload and related problems.


  1. Best for connecting LAN and Internet.
  2. Cost depends upon its speed.
  3. Most used as data communication roadway.

Main Differences Between Wifi Router and Modem

  1. Both Wifi Router and Modem works differently and connects with different networks. The wifi Router helps in accessing the LAN and WAN networks with several other networks.
  2. They both are used for different purposes and in different ways; the modem is used for connecting the computer with ISP, whereas for accessing the Internet through Wifi Router, you don’t require a modem.
  3. Modem and Wifi Router operates on different links. The modem operates on Data Link Layer only while Wifi Router operates on Data Link Layer, Physical Layer, and Network Layer.
  4. Both of them have different security levels. A modem is less secure as it does not examine data packets. The threat is always there due to the same reason. While Wifi Router is more secure as it examines the data before forwarding, it terminates all the threats.
  5. The modem is placed between a computer and telephone line or router while Wifi Router is placed between the modem and computer network.
  6. Last but not least; Modem is used for direct connection with the Internet while Wifi Router is used for connecting with the network for accessing the Internet.


Therefore, everyone should be aware of them and their differences. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. It depends upon the need and preference of the individual which device he wants to have. It is important to have a good connection with the Internet as an interruption in between can cause disturbances as sometimes loss along with the wastage of time. Therefore this decision should be made after utmost discussion and consideration.

There are other ways also to connect with the Internet, for example, mobile data, etc., in short, they are inexpensive, but in the long term, they have proven to be quite expensive.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1496046.1496061
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/0706.3146
  3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/877862/
  4. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1640026/
  5. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4839514/
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