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What Is The Difference Between A Router And A Modem? - A Basic Guide To Networking

Updated on January 8, 2014

Networking can be a very tough subject to understand if you are new to this sort of thing, so I bothered to put up a guide to the basics and hopefully provide some sort of assistance to you. If you have further questions after this guide feel free to post a comment, and I will respond either with a comment or an article depending upon the question. So the most common question I recieve is what is the difference between a router and a modem. This guide will show you exactly what it is.

In europe and asia, there used to be messenger systems to quickly and efficiently deliver messages to important people places. The people delivering these messages were known as a page. They had a network of people to deliver messages. Thats exactly what you should think of a network as, a courier service! The sole purpose of an entire network is to deliver you information also known as data in the computer world. This data can be sent through the commonly known thing as the WI-FI. This data then goes through a series of tubes, as you should imagine it, and all of these tubes combined together should be known as the internet *gasp*!

OK, so what I just talked about was the cloud or an external network. Now, we are going to learn what an internal network is! Internal networks are the ones you run inside your household. Inside your household a normal network will have in this order computer, firewall, hub (or router), then modem. First, there's the computer you are using thats either sending or requesting data. Then, you have a firewall to make sure nothing suspicious gets into your network. After that, you will have your router that connects all the computers together and sorts out the data where it needs to go. It then sends the data to your router. Your router sends and requests information from your service provider. This is how you access the internet and it preforms many of these operations every single time you use your computer!

Way Of Transferring Data
This is a cable that you can plug into your computer from you router
This is a wireless connection that can communicate
Manual Hardware
This is like a thumbdrive that you have to put information into and transfer it manually

If you take a look at the picture above, you will see a perfect example of an internal network. This is only what goes on in your household. You can't even imagine what your service provider has to do to give you your data. All of this in a matter of seconds! So much information packed into such little time! It doesn't surprise me why everyone is so impatient now! To think we have upgraded from a person on foot delivering a message to a packet of data sent throughout many servers and back to another computer in just a matter of milliseconds. Keep this in mind, with every single operation preformed on your computer that involves internet explorer, google chrome, or firefox; it preforms all of these operations many times over and over again. I find that to be pretty impressive.

Here is a simple video guide to networking in case you needed a moving picture to explain it. I understand that not everything you could need to lean can be written in an article so I try to include a video for you. After reading this article you should know the difference between an external and internal network, what a firewall is, what is the difference between a router and a modem and what they do, and scratched the surface on what a network is. Hopefully it provided some useful information to you as I have studied this subject for a long time, and I decided to try to make it as simple as I possibly could and put it into one article just for you! Networking really isn't too hard of a subject if you just want to learn the basic idea of what it is. Now if you want to be a computer network repair and fix guy you are going to want to study a whole lot more of the details. It's not just that simple to be able and go out and fix networks every day. Why do you think they hire professionals? That shouldn't discourage you from trying of course! Just make sure you know what you are doing before you try to make your microwave magnify Wi-Fi. Thanks for reading all of you, and if you have some interesting enough questions that could have a lengthy answer I might decide to write an article based around your questions. Feel free to comment!


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