Internet Equipment Basics
A router is a small, single-purpose computer that receives information from a modem. The router then deciphers that information and delivers it to your computer. A router can also take information from multiple networks – via the modem – and deliver that information to multiple computers. This is done over a single cable by using different bandwidth channels1.
There are multiple type of routers, but they all perform the same basic function. Two of these types are broadband routers and wireless routers. Each is used for a specific task, but both are intended to decipher and deliver Internet information2.
Modem is the shortened word for modulator-demodulator. A modem is a piece of equipment that is hooked up to a computer, and its purpose is to relay information. This information is transmitted with the use of a telephone or cable line. Computers hold digital information, and telephones send information with analog waves. The modem’s job is to convert the information between digital and analog waves. Modems can be attached to computers either externally or placed internally.3
When using DSL services, a filter is needed to separate data and voice signals so they don’t interfere with each other. A DSL filter allows you to use the Internet without tying up the phone line.4