explain to a novice these issues about routers plz

My isp recently changed my old router because it became defective. Now when they gave me my old router I made sure to ask the technician if it was a router and if it had a built-in firewall. He answered yes for both and also told me he had already configured my firewall for me.

Now I have this new modem/router. Honestly I don’t even know if I have a modem or a router because it was just given to me and I was told I can just plug it in and go online. See I can’t tell the difference between a router and a direct connect modem as they all look the same to me. This particular one said it was both??? How will I know if I am in router mode? So far I have it connected to my pc via my ethernet card does that mean I am using it in router mode?

Also I looked at the firewall and as far as I can see it was not configured. All it says is by default it will allow all incoming and outgoing traffic. So if I am router mode will I be better protected? If so can someone please explain this to me in a simple way?

I ask this question because many times I keep hearing people say it is better to have a router than a direct connect modem.

that’s easy :slight_smile:
what’s the brand name and model number :-TU

also, do you have dial-up, dsl, cable or not sure

brand name: zhone (i think that’s the name)
model number: 6211

i have dsl connection

Zhone 6211 is both a modem and router, and has, in this last regard, classic router abilities (port forwarding, NAT, DMZ, firewall…)

RTFM: http://www.zhone.com/support/manuals/docs/62/6211-A2-ZB21-40.pdf (advanced setup)

You of course only need “real router mode” only if you have a LAN; if not, you have no use of specific NAT rules, but could want to set its firewall.

To check you would need to know both LAN and WAN IPs. For example with the help of this tiny program. If LAN and WAN match then modem is in “bridge” mode. If they don’t match then modem is in “router” mode.

you can do a download test


if you can download more then 56k per second then you have dsl . Dial-up has a 56k limit

if you can download more then 56k per second then you have dsl . Dial-up has a 56k limit


i have dsl connection

And, anyhow, looking at the zhone documentation clearly shows it is a dsl modem.

Speaking of ip tests, online tests always show the WAN ip whereas, with classic windows tools or resident online tools like dns redirectors, ftp servers and soforth, you shall retrieve only your LAN ip.

WAN? I know of LAN but WAN? Does that stand for wireless network or something? Also what exactly is bridge mode?

I read through the part you specified. Well as far as I know my isp had already configured the modem/router as I am connected through it while I had started the topic. “Real router mode”??? Again I am lost at this as I skimmed through the configurations and I saw nothing that could switch me to such a mode?

Just to be safe that I know what the hell I am even saying, if I am connected to the modem/router only through my ethernet card (i.e. I do not use the usb connection) then that means I am on a LAN right?

One question I don’t think anyone addressed to me was what exactly is so special of connection to the net via a router as opposed to a direct connect modem?

LAN – “inner” address which is assigned to NIC (Network Interface Card).

WAN – “public” address which is seen from the Internet. Whatismyipaddress and similar services report WAN address.

OH!!! Well this much I know is that they do not match. So I guess I am in router-mode then.

If something like this:

…then yes, you are in router-mode and protected by NAT :wink:


I ran the IP2 program and found that both my LAN and WAN are same…that means Im in the bridge mode,

So, is it safe to use that one are do I need to lookup for a more secure one ?(mine is a rukus wireless MM2211 model Modem provided by the ISP agent)…