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Question Do we have a modem?

Qu9ke

Honorable
Dec 21, 2013
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Okay. Here’s my silly question for the day. I’ve been reading about routers vs modems, how modems provide the internet while routers emit the wifi signal. I have been confused about our situation regarding a modem for years. Now I finally decided to try to figure it out. Do we even have a modem? Is what I am even looking at (refer to picture) count as a modem? Do we simply have a cable that provides the internet completely bypassing the need for a modem? I don’t understand this setup.
For what it is worth we have an AC1900 Netgear Nighthawk, and the cable providing internet to the router is connected to this little white box that has this cable fed through the floor to who knows where. I ask my dad if we have a modem, and he just says that the cable is “connected to EPB”. I find that answer a little vague. We have EPB fiber optics service.

https://ibb.co/hMhGPWj
 

Math Geek

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Ambassador
the epb is what converts the light signal from the fiber into a regular electrical signal ethernet uses.

a modem does something similar for a cable type signal. in your home network they are roughly equivalent and which you have is based on the kind of service you have. so you have a modem of sorts but it's the epb kind since you have fiber.

a router on the other hand is what handles moving traffic between networks. it is needed to send traffic out of your home network to your isp's network you pay for.

a switch moves traffic around within your home network

and access point is what creates and maintains the wifi signal.

these are all separate devices. however many devices tend to combine all these into one or at least a couple of them. your netgear router is actually many separate things. a router, switch and an access point. it is actually also other items as well that you don't even know are there. it handles many things at once inside one box.

enterprise level gear often is separate. you'd have separate routers, switches, access points, firewall devices and so on. hope this helps. obviously there is a lot more to know but that's the basics of what is inside your "router" :)
 
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Pinhedd

Champion
Moderator
Okay. Here’s my silly question for the day. I’ve been reading about routers vs modems, how modems provide the internet while routers emit the wifi signal. I have been confused about our situation regarding a modem for years. Now I finally decided to try to figure it out. Do we even have a modem? Is what I am even looking at (refer to picture) count as a modem? Do we simply have a cable that provides the internet completely bypassing the need for a modem? I don’t understand this setup.
For what it is worth we have an AC1900 Netgear Nighthawk, and the cable providing internet to the router is connected to this little white box that has this cable fed through the floor to who knows where. I ask my dad if we have a modem, and he just says that the cable is “connected to EPB”. I find that answer a little vague. We have EPB fiber optics service.

https://ibb.co/hMhGPWj
Modem is short for Modulator/Demodulator. Modems convert a signal from one format to another format, such as from IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) to DOCSIS (Cable)

If you have a residential internet service, then you have a modem of one form or another. You may have a cable modem (coaxial connector), a DSL modem (telephone connector) , a dial-up modem (also a telephone connector), or a fiber-optic modem. Which you have depends entirely on your service provider. In your case, you should have a fiber optic modem somewhere in your house.

A router is a network device that connects two or more networks and routes network traffic between them. A residential router routes traffic between a customer's home network and their internet service provider's network. The modem sits upstream of the router and translates signals into a format that's appropriate for the media that's carrying them across the ISP's network.

For ease of use, many ISPs provide customers with devices that are a combination of a router and wireless access point. Some even provide a combination of a router, wireless access point, and a modem all in one.

That little white box that you're referring to is just a jack. The wire coming out is just another Ethernet cable, the box has connectors which couple the electrical contacts on both sets of wires. Follow the wire, and you'll find your modem.
 

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