When you switch over to the NBN, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy a modem or a router. What’s the difference? And which do you need?

In this article, we will break it down for you and help you decide what’s best for your needs. Do you need an NBN modem or a router?

But first, let’s discuss NBN further. What exactly is NBN?

The National Broadband Network is Australia’s new high-speed broadband network. Designed to give all Australians access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband, the NBN will eventually replace Australia’s existing copper network with a new fibre optic network. This will provide speeds of up to 100Mbps for most homes and businesses—that’s around 10 times faster than what most people can get today.

There are four main technologies used in the NBN rollout: Fibre to the premises (FTTP), Fibre to the node (FTTN), Fibre to the basement (FTTB) and Hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC). The type of technology used in your area will determine the maximum speed you can get on the NBN.

Now that we have a better understanding of what NBN is, let’s talk about routers and modems.

Modems vs. routers

A modem is a device that connects you to the internet. It does this by taking the data from your internet service provider (ISP) and translating it into a form that your computer can understand. A router is a device that takes the data from your modem and sends it to your devices, like your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Most people will need both a modem and a router when they switch to the NBN, but there are some exceptions. If you’re only using one device like a laptop, then you may only need a modem. But if you’re using multiple devices—let’s say a laptop, desktop, smartphone and tablet—then you’ll need a modem and a router.

What type of modem do you need for NBN?

The type of modem you need will depend on the NBN technology used in your area. If you’re on FTTP, FTTN or FTTB, then you’ll need a VDSL Modem. But if you’re on HFC, then you’ll need a DOCSIS Modem. Note that there are providers that offer NBN-ready modems, so you might want to look into those.

If you’re not sure whether you need a modem or a router, the best thing to do is talk to your ISP. They will be able to advise you on what’s best for your needs.

A word on finding the right ISP

Not all ISPs are created equal. We probably hear that often, and it’s true. When you’re looking for an ISP, make sure to do your research and find one that’s right for you. Consider factors like customer service, pricing, data limits and speed.

The bottom line

When you switch to the NBN, you’ll need to decide whether you need a modem or a router, or both. The type of modem you need will depend on the NBN technology used in your area. 


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