Routers and modems are two of the most common computer plug-ins, but many people don't know the function of each one.
While the two devices may look similar, they each serve a different purpose. Fortunately, the functions of the two devices are pretty easy to understand.
A router is a small box that allows multiple computers to join the same network .
A modem is a device that provides access to the internet.
While connecting to a router provides access to a local network (LAN), it does not necessarily provide access to the internet.
In order for devices on your network to connect to the Internet, the router must be connected to a modem. Because of this, most routers have a specific Ethernet port that is designed to connect to the Ethernet port of a cable or DSL modem.
The modem connects to your ISP (Internet Service Provider), which typically provides either cable or DSL Internet service. Cable modems have a coaxial (or "coax") connection, which is the same type of connector found on a TV or cable box. This connects to a cable port on the wall. DSL modems have a telephone connector, also called an RJ-11 jack, which connects to a telephone socket on the wall. If you are uncertain which type of modem you have, please reach out to your ISP.
By connecting your modem to your router (instead of directly to a computer), all devices connected to the router can access the modem, and therefore, the internet. The router provides a local IP address to each connected device, but they will all have the same external IP address, which is assigned by your ISP.
Why is this important to your CAKE POS?
Your CAKE POS came with a router. It's the item called a Cradlepoint (pictured below).
Your POS must be connected to the Cradlepoint router provided by CAKE (and/or through an additional network switch if you have multiple terminals also provided by CAKE) in order to properly connect to the internet. Without the Cradlepoint, you won't be able to install properly because ISP routers sometimes block outside devices (like the CAKE POS) due to proxy settings.
What this means is that you should not plug your terminal directly into your ISP provided modem even if you have a combo modem/router provided by your ISP. You should still follow the CAKE Installation Guide and connect your CAKE provided router to your ISP provided modem and complete the rest of the installation process per our instructions.
This ensures you will be properly connected to your network and to the internet and can receive all the benefits of your CAKE POS.