How to Use a Router Without a Modem

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Updated August 9, 2022

If you are experimenting with some wild wireless network configurations, you may wonder how to use a router without a modem. The best routers are certainly capable, but are they capable enough to be useful even without the associated modems? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You will need a modem, an Ethernet cable, and an active Internet subscription if you want your router to connect to the Internet port.
  • However, you can still use a router without a modem to complete some tasks, such as streaming content between two connected devices.
  • You can use wireless routers to conduct wireless print jobs and access files between two devices, even without a cable modem.

Routers Without Modems

If you wonder what does a router plug into, the answer is (most of the time) a modem. Routers and modems go together like peanut butter and jelly, as the modem provides the actual Internet signal that is wirelessly transmitted by the router. In other words, a modem is absolutely crucial if you want to use the router to allow wireless devices to access the Internet. The modem doesn’t work the same as a router and a gateway, which have some differences.

Insider Tip

You can also use a router to conduct simple DIY projects, such as controlling external devices and the like.

That doesn’t mean a router on its own is useless. There are some nifty things you can do with a router, even if you don’t have a modem.

Stream Content Between Devices

Just because the Internet itself is cut off without a modem, you can still use a router to stream content between connected wireless devices. In other words, if you have a movie on your computer and want to stream it to your phone, you can use a router to do that, even without an active Internet connection. You should be able to do this wirelessly or via a wired connection if you are wondering how to add more Ethernet ports to a router.

Wireless Printing

Another great use of a router on its own is wireless printing. If you have a wireless printer and a router, you won’t need Internet access or a modem to complete wireless print jobs. Just connect the printer and whatever device you are printing from to the same wireless network and follow the on-screen prompts to print just as you would if you were connected to the Internet. You may run into some hiccups along the way, but you should get it to work eventually.

Access Files

You won’t need a modem if you want to access files on one wireless device while using another wireless device, so long as they are connected to the same router and wireless network. The process here is similar to when you stream content without the use of a modem.

F.A.Q.S

Can I use a wi-fi router and modem without an ISP?

No matter how much fiddling with your router settings and IP address, you will need a contract with an ISP to use a modem to connect to the Internet, no matter the Internet connection type.


Does any router work with any Internet service provider?

In most cases, any Wi-Fi router will work with any ISP, though the setup process may differ and it may require a factory reset.


Is Wi-Fi (Internet) free with a router?

No. You’ll have to pay for the Internet, though not for separate devices. This is the case no matter what kind of Wi-Fi router you have.



STAT: To put it simply, the modem connects your home to the Internet, while a router creates the network inside your house. (source)

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