DSL Modem Vs. Wireless Cable Router

By Gissimee Doe

Wireless routers transmit broadband signals to multiple devices.
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A wireless router is a device that allows you to share your Internet or broadband connection with a number of devices within a limited range, without the use of wires. Wireless routers can be used with digital subscriber line --- commonly abbreviated DSL --- or cable modems. A wireless cable router refers to a wireless router that is attached to a cable modem-based Internet connection. Cable broadband is broadband supplied over cables by a cable company. DSL is broadband supplied over telephone wires by a telephone company.


A modem is a device that translates signals into a form a computer can understand and also translates the signals from the computer into a form that the receiver can understand. The word "modem" is a combination of the words "modulator" and "demodulator." Typically, a modem would modulate digital signals from the computer into analog signals for transmission over copper telephone wires. It would also demodulate the analog signals from the telephone company into digital signals for the computer. With DSL, the signals being received and sent are digital, which means that a different type of modem is required to handle DSL broadband than for dial-up Internet.


A router is a device that allows an Internet connection to be shared among many different devices. A router needs to be connected to a modem and have an Internet connection. Combined modems and routers are becoming increasingly common, as they cut down on clutter. Wireless routers transmit signals wirelessly to the devices on the network, within a limited range. The receiving devices need to be equipped with wireless network cards.


Digital subscriber line Internet service is supplied over existing telephone lines. DSL uses a different channel than regular telephone signals, so you can talk on your phone and use the Internet at the same time. DSL connections are always on, with no need to log on or off. DSL modems can be stand-alone modems, or combined modems and routers. Wireless routers can supply Internet connectivity speeds comparable to what you would get with a wireless cable router.


Cable Internet service is supplied over fiber-optic or coaxial cables by your cable television company. Cable signals require a special cable modem for modulation and demodulation between your computer and the cable network. Wireless cable routers can be connected to the cable modem and Internet connection or can combine the function of a cable modem and wireless router into a single device. They supply high-speed Internet service to multiple devices over a wireless network.