Hi, Leo. I have a very bad internet connection especially during peak or
business hours. My work requires me to be on my PC 6 to 8 hours a day and I’m
using a modem. Someone advised me to use a router. Will it be useful or what
advantage does it make and will it require me to change my modem?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #91 I look at the extra security that can be added to a computer
system with a router, but don’t go looking for speed.
Router improving internet connection
Well, first of all, I want to be very clear; using a router is not going to improve your internet connection. Period. It just isn’t.
Your internet connection, especially if it’s during peak or business hours, is probably more a function of the quality of your ISP than it is anything that you have in your control. So, the short answer is: don’t look for a router to solve this particular problem.
A router for protection
Now, why might you want to use a router?
Now, first of all, you shouldn’t need a new modem. Since the modem is already producing an internet output for you, what you would end up doing is connecting the router into the modem and then your computer into the router.
Since you have only one computer that is still a scenario where I recommend a router. A router usually is used as a way to share a single internet connection among multiple computers. If you had two computers, or more, then the answer would be get a router; connect it up to your modem and you can use those two computers on that single internet connection.
Router as firewall
Now the reason I say that you may still want a router if you’ve got a single computer is because a router also acts as a firewall.
A firewall is an important security prevention measure to prevent threats that are internet based. In other words, threats that are literally out on the internet poking around trying to infiltrate or get access to your machine – just because it’s connected to the internet. A router stops those cold.
Software firewalls can do that too, but a router doesn’t impact your machine at all. All of that “badness” that might be trying to get at your machine from the internet, never even reaches your machine; never even bothers your software firewall (if the software firewall is even enabled.)
I typically do recommend a router as a safety precaution, as a security tool, even for a single computer. It’s not something that should require you to replace your modem.
Modem may be a router
And… by the way. Make sure that your modem is not, itself, already acting as a router. Because at that point the router might be redundant.
It should not require that you replace your modem – and it’s not going to improve the quality of your internet connection.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
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