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Put simply, a modem is the device that connects you to your internet service. People often get
modems and routers mixed up as a modem alone will not provide you WiFi.
A modem receives information from your internet service provider through a phone line, optical
fibre or coaxial cable in your home and converts it into a digital signal. It is from here that
the router pushes the signal out to your connected devices to provide them with internet access.
There are also devices called Modem Routers, a single device which can handle both tasks for
you. These devices are often favoured by internet service providers, though you may need to
check the best device for your connection.
A modem provides a connection to the internet, whereas a router provides network management and
WiFi for your devices to connect to.
The first consideration when choosing a modem should be your type of internet connection. If you
have ADSL, or the NBN (FTTN, FTTC or HFC), then you will need a modem to provide an internet
connection. Most modems now will have the routing potential built-in, but you may want to
consider some other factors before choosing your device.