Spectrum Resource Center

Spectrum Resource Center


What’s the Difference Between a Modem and a Router, and Do I Need Both?

4 Minute Read

If you are in the market for a new modem or router but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. You need to know the difference between a modem and a router before deciding what’s best for your home. Below you’ll find the answers you need to get the right home Internet setup.

Before deciding if you need both a modem and a router, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. 

Modem vs Router

A modem is a device that accesses the Internet, bringing Internet signal from an Internet service provider (ISP) to a location with either a wired or wireless connection. Simply put, modems establish Internet connections in homes. In some cases, as with Spectrum, modems can also support Voice service.

A router is a device that connects the Internet to enabled devices through a WiFi connection. Routers broadcast a WiFi signal to allow WiFi-enabled devices like mobile phones, laptops and Smart TVs like Roku TV to connect to the Internet wirelessly. 

Do I Need A Modem and Router for WiFi?

Many people wonder if they can get WiFi with just a modem. But to use WiFi, you will need both a modem and a router.

Routers also offer benefits beyond WiFi access. You need both a modem and router to connect to the Internet on multiple devices. Because most modems only have a single LAN Ethernet connector, you’ll only be able to connect to one computer at a time with a single cable – which is not ideal for households with multiple people online at once. 

Additionally, routers provide more protection from security threats than standalone modems, so there are plenty of reasons that both a modern and router are needed for safe home Internet connections in modern homes.  

Find the Right Modem and Router for Spectrum Internet®

Spectrum includes a modem with Internet or Voice at no extra cost. Spectrum also provides a compatible router for your service for a low monthly fee.

When you choose Spectrum, there is a range of modems and routers to fit your needs. Spectrum modems and routers possess the latest technology and have passed our full certification testing for optimal, high-speed performance. You are sure to get reliable equipment you can count on with Spectrum.

In the rare event that there is a problem with your Spectrum modem or router, we will provide maintenance or replace them at no charge.

Spectrum Advanced WiFi Router

Spectrum customers may also choose to use or purchase their own router, but you can skip that step by renting a pre-configured WiFi router from Spectrum that delivers speed and security.

Spectrum Advanced WiFi is a state-of-the-art option that provides greater Internet performance and superior security features so you can safely connect with all your devices. It’s a great way to enjoy the fastest wireless speeds while getting the peace of mind that comes with Security Shield – a robust WiFi network protection that includes:

  • User Protection – Security Shield features Secure Browsing that prevents you from visiting potentially harmful websites that spread malware or attempt to steal your data.
  • Device Protection – Security Shield also includes Secure Traffic to block communication between devices and scammers, Smart Device Protection to monitor Internet of Things (IoT) devices for unusual activity and Outbound DoS Prevention to make sure your Internet connection stays strong.


Spectrum Advanced WiFi incorporates the latest WiFi 6 technology, supporting an improved connection to deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps (wireless speeds may vary). With the top-rated My Spectrum App, Advanced WiFi also lets you secure your home network from anywhere, whether you want to limit WiFi usage to certain devices or utilize limit WiFi access to certain devices connected to your router.

Spectrum Advanced WiFi is just $5/mo when bundled with Internet and is included with Spectrum One.

For the fastest Internet and WiFi Speeds in the Nation and a modem and router setup you can depend on, choose Spectrum Internet.


Make the right choice with Spectrum Internet®, delivering speed and reliability you can count on. Shop our best deals now.

Featured Offers