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Modem vs Router vs Modem Router Combo (Finest for Gaming?)


Residence > Gaming Routers -> Modems vs Routers


Final Up to date: July 9, 2019

A standard query requested by players constructing or upgrading a brand new pc is what’s the most suitable choice for on-line gaming: shopping for a modem, shopping for a modem and a router, or getting a modem router combo. Wait, what? Might sound complicated, however it’s actually not. On this layman-friendly information we’ll lower via any of the difficult stuff and clarify what you have to find out about this little dilemma so you possibly can simply select the suitable gaming networking setup on your wants and get again to gaming sooner somewhat than later. We’ll cowl the distinction between modems vs routers vs modem routers, and the professionals and cons of every.

Are Modems and Routers the Similar?

Let’s begin with absolutely the fundamentals of fundamentals for anybody who has maybe lived beneath a rock for the previous decade and is simply connecting to this factor known as the web for the primary time. No, modems and routers are completely different units altogether. A modem connects on to your ISP (Web Service Supplier) and a router connects to a modem to increase the web connection to a number of units and/or to allow a wi-fi sign all through your private home/workplace/gaming dungeon. 

Nonetheless, modems and routers can be mixed right into a handy (but not with out its downsides) 2-in-1 system known as, shock shock, a modem router (or modem router combo). Whether or not you get only a modem, a modem AND a router, or a modem router (combo) will rely in your scenario and both possibility has its professionals and cons. Talking of which, let’s discuss a bit about them.

What’s a Modem and What Does It Do Precisely?

A modem is a tool that communicates together with your ISP and plugs into whichever kind of web infrastructure you’ve got at your location resembling cable, phone, satellite tv for pc, or fiber. It has a normal Ethernet (wired) connection which you’ll be able to both plug immediately within the single pc, or right into a router to unfold the connection wirelessly throughout your home or to separate up the connection over a number of units.

In the event you’re solely connecting your web to the one pc and also you desire a wired connection (ie an Ethernet cable) for the quickest and most dependable on-line gaming connection – a (hopefully first rate) modem is all you want. Though because the modem communicates together with your chosen ISP, you need to be certain that any explicit modem you purchase is absolutely suitable together with your chosen ISP.

ISPs will give you their very own modem to make use of with their service, and typically it’s going to be ok to get most speeds, however different instances you might wish to purchase your personal modem for those who need the quickest, most dependable on-line gaming expertise. Plus, getting your personal modem can also be a approach to save cash in your web invoice over the lengthy haul as you possibly can keep away from paying any month-to-month rental charges for leasing it. You may then additionally maintain your modem for those who swap to a different ISP later, as a result of modem expertise does not actually change over time (wired is wired is wired).

A typical modem. Technically all you want for those who simply want wired, however most will want a router too

What’s a Router and What Does It Do Precisely?

As talked about, a router is a tool that plugs right into a modem and “routes” the web connection to different units, and allows wi-fi connections if it is a wi-fi router. A router mainly sits in-between your units and your modem, however a router does not join on to the web/ISP so you will be needing a modem as nicely (except you get an all-in-one modem router combo). Most routers are wi-fi routers, however there may be such a factor as a wired-only router. However wi-fi routers just about all have wired (Ethernet) ports as nicely (normally 4 or extra), in order that they’re appropriate whether or not you are connecting a number of units wirelessly or through a wired connection.

Additionally, routers provide some safety on your units, that means they don’t seem to be immediately uncovered to the large unhealthy world huge internet. To the web, all of the exercise in your house appears prefer it’s coming all from the one single system, so all of the details about what site visitors goes to what system stays inside your router. Among the higher routers on the market additionally include extra superior security measures. Like with modems, typically your ISP will give you a router (or a modem router combo) so that you can use however chances are high it will not be the most suitable choice to make use of if you’d like the most effective community pace and reliability as a gamer.

If it appears like one thing that is simply landed from a faraway Alien planet – it is a router

What’s a Modem Router Combo?

Some ISPs will provide a modem router which is each a modem and router in a single 2-in-1 system, which is one thing you can additionally purchase your self too. The upside of utilizing a modem router is comfort, and normally decrease total price, however the draw back is much less flexibility. Utilizing a separate modem and router means that you can choose the most effective units with the suitable options on your wants, as an alternative of being caught with no matter modem router your ISP provides you. Though for those who purchase your personal modem router, there are many nice ones to select from that will not actually have any downsides.

Simply take into account that you need to usually keep away from renting your ISP’s modem router, as a result of similar to with shopping for your personal modem vs utilizing an ISP’s modem, it can save you cash on month-to-month charges, but in addition as a result of utilizing a default-provided modem router could cause different points. For instance, in case your ISP mechanically does a firmware replace on the modem router, it will possibly reset your personalized router settings with out you even understanding about it.

A modem router (combo) means you solely want one system total, however at a price of much less flexibility

Ought to You Get a Modem, Modem and Router, or a Modem Router?

In the event you solely want to attach the one desktop pc with a wired connection, a very good modem that’s suitable together with your ISP and that provides you the quickest pace attainable is all you want. Nonetheless, it is 2019 in any case and you may most likely be wanting wi-fi on your residence as nicely to attach your different units resembling a laptop computer, cellphone, pill, or different sensible units, even for those who’ll be connecting your desktop with a wired connection for the quickest, most dependable on-line gaming expertise (good selection, pal).

In order that leaves you with the selection of both getting a separate router to hook up with your modem, or getting a modem router. Usually talking, as a gamer or different pretty demanding pc person (sure, you can say modern-day gaming is taken into account pretty demanding in comparison with the common pc person) who desires the best high quality, most dependable, and quickest connections attainable, you will wish to keep away from modem routers and hand-pick a very good router.

Why? A devoted router, while maybe a bit of costlier within the short-term as it’s important to purchase a router and a modem (though a very good modem router might price about the identical) goes provide the most flexibility. 

As an alternative of being caught with no matter modem router your ISP dishes out, or being restricted to selecting your personal modem router (there are far more high quality choices for devoted routers in comparison with modem routers), you possibly can select the right router that’ll present the quickest speeds, very best quality and reliability/stability, and different helpful options resembling putting community precedence together with your on-line gaming classes (correctly, proper?) ‘trigger each millisecond counts in battle.

You will even have extra management with your personal separate router, and might apply any settings to it you need with out your ISP getting in the best way or with out them updating your router and eradicating your customized settings with computerized updates with you even understanding (which may occur with modem routers ‘trigger it is tied to your ISP0.

With a modem router, for those who’re ever dissatisfied with the routing side, want to improve to higher wi-fi options, wish to transfer service suppliers, or your modem is compromised for some motive…you need to substitute the entire thing. With your personal router you possibly can seemingly reuse it with a brand new supplier, and also you most significantly you possibly can choose one with the most recent and biggest wi-fi requirements and options from the get-go.

Plus, one other profit to purchasing a stand alone router over utilizing a modem router combo is extra flexibility with the position of your router. If you wish to transfer a stand alone router to a greater location for the most effective sign, you possibly can simply do that utilizing Ethernet cable extensions versus attempting to maneuver a modem router with its annoying cable/Coaxial/cellphone connection.

Abstract. Avid Gamer = Separate Units. Common Consumer? Would not Matter.

So yeah, for the most effective on-line gaming expertise, for those who’re deciding to attach with a wi-fi connection then a very good router is a should – particularly for those who’re a hardcore/severe gamer or energy person. Nonetheless, for those who’re connecting with wired Ethernet solely, otherwise you’re utilizing wi-fi aswell however do not want the best possible of the most effective and do not care about the most effective options/flexibility/vary that high routers present, the entire debate of modem routers vs a separate modem and router is not as essential.

You would merely plug right into a primary modem (if simply wired and simply utilizing one PC), or a modem router (for each wired and wi-fi and/or a number of wired) and be simply advantageous and dandy – even when it is the fundamental tools supplied to you by your ISP. As at all times, everyone seems to be completely different, however as an avid gamer the winner is most positively at all times going to be getting your personal setup.

See Additionally: WiFi vs Ethernet for On-line Gaming



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Cybersecurity is changing into an more and more essential subject within the digital age, and putting in a VPN is one simple approach to enhance the safety and privateness of your PC. VPNs may assist for gaming. NordVPN is the one I take advantage of and might suggest. For extra on VPNs see my gaming PC software program information.

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About Me

Indie sport dev at present engaged on my first public launch, a narrative pushed VR FPS journey constructed with Unreal Engine and designed from the bottom up for digital actuality (to be introduced right here). Additionally likes writing about tech.

My favorites of all time are OOT, Excellent Darkish, MGS1, MGS2, GE007, DKC2, THPS3, HL1, HL2, WC3, GTA3, and KOTOR, with the latest addition to my checklist of immortals being the VR masterpiece Half Life Alyx. – Julz









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