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What's the difference between a modem and a router? Answered

I wanted to know, what is the difference between a modem and a router, and which specific kind of modem or router(wired, dsl wired, wireless, ect.) to get that will work if i plug it in to a Xbox 360. I don't want to buy the 100 dollar wireless adapter for the 360, so i want it to be wired.



9 years ago

A router makes decisions about where to send packets. A modem converts signals from one form to another (originally, binary bits to audio tones, while a DSL or Cable modem is more complicated.) You don't need either one to connect an xbox360 to your existing ethernet network, if you have an existing ethernet network. You just need a spare ethernet port on your existing router, or (at most) an ethernet "switch" (which is like a router, but not quite) to expand one of the existing ports. (OTOH, if you currently have ONE computer plugged directly into a cable or DSL connection, you probably need a router to do the "address translation" from the one address your service provides you to the two hosts (computer, plus the xbox.) I think there are several instructables on using an existing computer as the network interface for an xbox; you might try that first (most appear to use the ethernet port of a laptop to connect to an existing wireless network, though.)

well, i knew about just using the spare ethernet port, but my mom doesn't want a wire running halfway through our house and into the basement. So, i thought if I got another modem, it would work because there is another dsl cable in my basement(where my 360 is) and then i run the ethernet cord from that modem to the 360.

DSL cable? I think you mean ethernet. Try plugging that into the xbox

A DSL cable is a cable that brings DSL signals into your house. It probably looks like telco wire (cat3), but more importantly the far end is probably outside in a telco box rather than somewhere useful to making a network internal to your house. Unless you're paying for two DSL connections, I'd expect the other end not to even be connected to anything (though it still probably ends outside somewhere.)

There's a slim chance that the cable goes from your basement up to where your current DSL cable terminates, and could be re-purposed to some other technology (like ethernet.)

This is why wireless is so popular. You haven't yet said whether you have wireless already in the house (and just the xbox adapter is an expense issue), or whether you'd have to install both ends of a wireless network. Other possible technology is Power-line Ethernet, which transmits ethernet signals over your house wiring. May work better than wireless if a basement is involved, but you're still looking at about $100 to implement both ends.

Ours just gets plugged into a phone outlet :P Still need to get filters...

Thats what i mean! its like in the wall and there is the "cable" coming out of it that i call a DSL cable because this is how the one modem I have is connected> (The cable from the wall, or"phone cable/DSL cable" goes to the modem then an ethernet cable goes from the modem goes to my desktop pc(or Xbox 360 in this case))

. If the connector has four pins then you have a 2-pr Cat1 cable (POTS/DSL). . If the connector has eight pins, then it is either a 4-pr Cat1 or a Cat3/5 Ethernet cable. . If it is a Cat1 cable, then you will need a DSL modem to connect to the Internet. If it is a Cat3/5 cable and the other end is near the existing DSL modem, then you need a router.

OMG! Thanks this helped A LOT! Its a 4 pin connector, so if I got a wired DSL modem(basically,what i mean is not wireless)then it would work with my Xbox 360?

. It should work, but you'll probably have to pay your DSL supplier for a second acct.

aww, that might suck a little bit. right now I have to pay 45 dollars a month for my one connection!Verizon . . . fast internet, but they're killin me with their prices!(I have to pay for a cell phone too)

. Sounds to me like your best bet is to go wireless. Not sure how to handle it on the Xbox end, but wireless routers are cheap (see prev link). . Or westfw's Power-line Ethernet.

I alredy Have a wireless router but i don't wnat to pay 100 dollars for the wireless adapter that goes onto the xbox 360. I might just run an ugly ethernet cable from my original route to my 360 in my basement.

. You may be able to use the existing Cat1 cable to pull a Cat5 cable through the wall, to keep exposed wiring to a minimum for Mom's sake. Pull a Cat1 and a Cat5 at the same time and you can have tele and Ethernet both.

Get a Wireless Router and then get the Wi-Fi accessorie for the XBox. A little more expensive, but no wires.

yeah, well i would rather not pay 100 dollars for the wi-fi thing, and just but something cheaper, like a router.

No, You'd need a router either way, unless you have a dedicated line for the xBox

. You can find wireless routers for $20. Not sure what it will take on the XBox end.

The DSL line is configured to connect to a single modem. Some DSL modems have a built-in router that authenticates the connection, some use software installed on your PC for PPPoE, and some use the modem's unique MAC number. Regardless, DSL won't let you connect two different modems at once. Unless you've paid for two accounts...