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What is a better option: Modem & Router combo or separate network hardware?

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modem router gateway

First of all, let’s explain what is gateway, modem, and what is a router? Whether you’re upgrading or setting up your first network, you have to choose the appropriate network hardware. You should choose between a modem and router setup or a combo device.

Gateway is a network device that offers a straightforward setup that requires fewer cables and takes less space in general. That’s because of the fact that Gateway is actually a modem-router combo. Yes, you got it right. When we have one piece of network hardware, combining modem and router altogether, we call it Gateway.

In general speaking, a traditional modem and router setup gives you more freedom of placement for a better connection. However, setting up the network with separate hardware can be challenging.

The difference between modems, routers, and gateways…

Let’s go explain each network device, and see what are the differences between them.

What is a Modem?

A modem is a network device that brings internet access to your home or office. Most modern modems use a coaxial cable to connect the internet from a service provider to the desired location. Some modems, however, do have different cable connections outside the United States.

Choosing the right modem requires an understanding of how it works and how much broadband/data speed you need. If you’re unsure, you should call your ISP support for help and advice on choosing adequate network equipment.

Your internet service provider (ISP) will tell you what kind of modem works with their network. Furthermore, they can give you advice on choosing the right modem device, or even give you an option to rent their equipment.

Before ending a modem story, it is important to note that Modem devices do not provide wireless internet access. To make a wireless connection you’ll need a router or a modem-router combo for that.

What is a Router?

Before you buy a Wi-Fi system, you need a router. The modem is the server that connects your network to the Internet. A modern router does what a standalone modem can’t do; it wirelessly connects multiple devices to your network. Not only that, with a router, you can connect multiple devices to your network either wireless devices or devices connected using a cable.

Important to note, the router gives you the ability to connect multiple devices on the same network. This way they share an internet connection. Modern routers have additional ethernet ports for wired multiple connections, and above all, they provide a wireless connection.

In conclusion; a router does what a standalone modem can’t do. Router wirelessly, or via cable, connects multiple devices to your network. A router is a network device that connects to the modem using an ethernet cable or connects to it wirelessly, depending on the type of router. In addition, almost every router has additional ethernet ports for wired connections to additional devices.

To sum up, a router is a hardware device that sends data between the home/office network and the Internet. A wireless router connects to your modem and then to your devices (laptops, smart TVs, printers, etc.) wirelessly, using radio frequencies in the 900 MHz and 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands. It is recommended to use a wired connection for gaming consoles for the best experience.

Modem & Router combo equals Gateway

Gateways bring together the functions of a router and a modem. If you have a small living space, small home office, or just don’t want to deal with the challenges that come with setting up both a router and a modem, a gateway offers simple, easy internet access. Understanding the advantages and flaws is an important part of setting up the best possible home network, whether it’s for school or work.

Router & modem combo is called internet Gateway
Internet Gateway

While it sounds good, sometimes is a better choice of using both, separate – Modem and Router.

Connecting a gateway to your network is not difficult, but does require some preparation. First, your gateway will need to be properly configured for your network based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Second, you’ll need to connect it to the coaxial cable, and then use an ethernet cord to connect your computer or router. Finally, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to complete the setup.

Gateways generally offer lower speeds than routers and modems can provide. Because it’s one device, efficient placement is key. In case of low signal strength, or any obstructions, you will need to put a gateway close to any devices that need a dedicated wired connection.

For the end; Is it better to use a separate modem & router?

Overall, the pros typically outweigh the cons when it comes to separating your modem and router. Used separately, you’ll have more customization options and flexibility. On the other hand, if you don’t want much hassle installing and network setup, Internet Gateway is a better option.

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