Router or modem?


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
Hey guys!
I was setting my iMac up and was wondering if i should have it plugged into my apple extreme or directly to my modem?
Which will be better?



macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
Typically you can only plug one device into a modem, and most people make that one device a router, so that they can share the Internet connection with other devices.

Unless you have a specific reason to plug your iMac straight into the modem, I'd plug your Airport Extreme into the modem, and your iMac into the AE.

Personally, the only time I bypass a router and plug directly into the modem is when troubleshooting connectivity problems with my Internet provider.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2010
Suggest surfing your ISP (Internet Service Provider) Web site and look for support / install instructions. Whether wireless or "wired" connectivity, many ISPs have their recommended configurations for both Win7 and MacOS systems. And, they often show nice pictures of different connection methods with each pros/cons as well.

If wondering, my ISP provided DSL modem is a combo box. re: Its a DSL modem, Router with wired ports (for up to 6 devices) and also does wireless Router connectivity as well. Perhaps your ISP provided you a combo box as well?

Hope this helps…


macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
well iv been thinking about that too! but it seems that a wired is more stable and faster or am i wrong?
You are right. It is math so it isn't up for debate. Wired GigE is faster, has less noise, and has better response times.


macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
I dunno who gave you the modem, but I agree you should do this:


With ATT and some other providers I've used, it's best to then setup the modem, as far as possible, to do nothing but pass traffic on to the router. No firewalls, port forwarding, routing (except to the router) or wifi. Let the Extreme do all that. I have my 2Wire set to do just the minimum, and then use 10.0.x.x addresses from the Extreme. I can then avoid double NAT problems and everything is happier with unicorns and rainbows.

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