- If you have cable (or DSL) internet, you have a modem, but, this is where things can get a little more complex. You can have a gateway device, which is a modem and router in one device, one box. Either way, gateway or stand alone modem, you have one.
- Cable modems usually only have a few wires in the back, one (with cable internet) will be a coaxial cable, the round one that screws in the back of the modem, and an ethernet cable, probably plugged into a yellow connector, and, looks like a bigger telephone cord.
- If you have 2 boxes, then you probably have your own router hooked up to the cable modem. Most modern routers will have an antennae to provide you with wifi. Though it is possible that you have a cable provider router, you probably have your own router that you have bought yourself.
- A router generally has many port (cable connector openings) in the back. There will be no round coaxial in a router, just ethernet connections, the oversized telephone cord type of connectors. Most routers will have a yellow colored connector for ethernet in from the modem, and may have several others coming out, to your probably desktop computer, or maybe laptops.
- A gateway is one box, probably nowadays, with at least one antennae for wifi. If you only have one box and you have your own wifi, you probably have a gateway.
- A gateway will have a coaxial connector coming in, the big round kind, like on the back of an older tv, and possibly a connector , ethennet – like the oversized phone cord, if you have a probably desktop hard wired for internet access.
- If you have your own wifi, you have a router, but, as previous, if you only have one box, you have a modem and you have a router, in the case where you only have one combination box, this will be a gateway.
- Cable providers routinely monitor the connectivity of your first device (closet to the cable provider) such as modem or gateway. These are a simple monitoring to confirm connectivity, not logging in or seeing anything else, basically there is software that only shows connectivity. This enables the provider to monitor for technical issues or outages.
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