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What is a Router and How Does It Work?

What is a router
Written by prodigitalweb

What is a Router?

The name “Router” itself defines its functions. It routes the data between the internet and the connected devices. In simple terms, it regulates the traffic between the internet and the computer.

A router is a communication device work between the internet and the connected devices within the network.  Understanding, how routers work will undoubtedly help you handle internet connectivity more efficiently.

The data is transferred between the internet and computer in packets.In addition,  these packets are in several layers or sections. This layer contains the identifying information. The identifying information is the type of the data needed, size of the data, the internet protocol of the sender and the receiver. However, the router reads the layer, the data priority and chooses the best and quickest route for each transmission.

By selecting the right kind of the router, you can enjoy the high-speed internet. The good internet router will protect your system from cyber threats and eliminate the wi-fi dead spots.

Understanding the working of the routers will help you to increase the efficiency of your internet usage.

What is a Router Used For?

The routers connect a modem to your devices and allow them to communicate between them and the internet. Most of the wired and wireless routers have some network ports to connect more number of devices to connect internet all at a time.

A router physically connects with the modem using a network cable using WAN port and gain connected to the wired network devices we are using. Similarly, the wireless router wirelessly connects with your devices in particular wi-fi standard.

Every WAN or an internet connection is assigned an internet protocol address, simply IP address. It is an IP address through which you are going to access the internet; therefore, it is called a public IP address. The IP address assigned to your LAN is private. The private IP address assigned to your router is the default gateway of your connected devices in your network.

Your routers work with multiple connections, and it takes the role of the network switch and allowing those devices to communicate with each other.

The routers are functioning similar to that of a computer, loaded with different software to handle incoming and outgoing data—the router working on network layers of the OSI model to handle the traffic.

What is a router in networking?

The primary function of router in networking is to route the data between the networks, namely Wide Area Network and Local Area Network. In networking, the router works as a network switch. With the use of MAC addresses, it forwards data at the layer 2 of the Open Systems Interconnection model.

What is a router role at home?

In this modern era, every home has a wide range of internet-connected devices such as Smartphones, computers, printers, tablets, Smart TVs and other smart devices. The router your internet-connected devices with the internet. Router regulates incoming and outgoing traffic on your network in a fastest and quickest way with high efficiency. The data transfer between your gadgets and the internet uses varying sizes of bandwidth. The router handles them in a better way based on the priority and the available bandwidth in a better way.

What is a router role in your business?

Every business establishments have multiple computer systems, other gadgets which need internet connectivity. The router connects all the systems in the network to both, the local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) where their day to day activities happens. Without the router, your business network could not communicate, collaborate or do the business successfully.

The router provides the first line of security to your connected gadgets and the computers. The embedded firewall protection and content filtering software protect you, from virus, phishing, malicious websites and other online security threats. Therefore, the router is an indispensable tool for a better online experience. In Local Area Networks, the router helps you to share the data between your connected devices, hard drives, fax machines and the printers. Besides, you can use the file-sharing servers too, in wide area network (WAN)

What are the types of the router?

There are five types of routers. They are:

  1. Core Router
  2. Edge Router
  3. Wireless Router
  4. Virtual Router or VRouter
  5. Distribution Router

What is a Router- Core:

Core routers are generally used by big service providers, cloud network providers and very big enterprises. Core router provides the highest bandwidth to add additional routers and switches. The primary functions of the core router are routing and forwarding the pockets, doing system numbering and cryptographic mechanism for identity, security and physical transmission. Simply the core router connects the core and the edge router to allow traffic between them. The core router establishes a connection between the core and the edge router, whereas the edge router establishes a connection between the core router and the connected devices in the network system. Therefore, we could understand that the core router forward pockets within the network.

What is a Edge Routers:

Modem and Edge routers are more are less similar. An edge router is a specialized router connected at the edge of the network that enables the internal network to connect with the external network. Usually, the edge router is called as a gateway because they are the gateway for establishing a connection between the internal and the external networks like WAN and internet. Edge routers route the pockets between the home network and the external network. In General, these kinds of routers have only Ethernet ports and some output ports to connect additional routers, and they won’t come up with wi-fi options.

What is a Distribution Router

Distribution router is a router that combines the connections from the access router. Usually, these interior routers receive data from the gateway router through a wired connection and send it to the receiving terminals. However, the typical internal routers have wi-fi and some additional ports apart from Ethernet port. However, these kinds of routers usually contain topological information to enable smooth packet forwarding to the backbone router for easy inter-region routing.

What is a Routers- Wireless

A wireless router or a wi-fi router perform the network functions of a router and the wireless access point. Simply they combine the functions of edge routers and the distribution routers at one place. In addition, They are used to provide access to the internet or a private computer system network. It can function in a wired LAN and wireless-only LAN and a mixed environment of both.

What is a Routers Virtual

Virtual Routers are the same physical router bundled together with some software to virtualize in the cloud to deliver some service. These type of routers are best suited for large and multi functional establishments. Moreover, the virtual router has more benefits. In addition, They reduce the management of local network hardware with flexibility.It is possible to connect Multiple networks to a single interface. It uses the virtual router redundancy protocol, and it does not need any routing protocols and routing data.

What is a Router Buying Guide?

How to choose a best Router?

While buying a router, you have to check the following features:

  • Connectivity
    Focus on the types of ports available to connect the necessary gadgets. Try to get number ports available. The unused ports won’t do any harm, and they can be used in future to expand the network.
  • Bandwidth
    If more users are using, you need to allocate sufficient bandwidth to each, so go to a router with higher bandwidth. Before buying, you need to consider the future bandwidth demands.
  • Wireless Connectivity
    Opt for latest wi-fi standard like wi-fi 6. They handle the high transmission of data with multiple access points. Latest wi-fi routers are backwards-compatible with old wi-fi standards.
  • Easy Setup and Management
    Opt for the browser-based interface for easy setup and administration.
  • Security
    The router should have WPA 2 password protection with firewall protection to eliminate the potential threat from malware or virus.
  • Automatic Update
    Opt for automatic update of the software for the updated security. Most of the manufactures do this automatically.
  • Flexibility
    Go with the router with at least one PoE Port. PoE provides both electric power and the data to external devices such as wireless access points to eliminate cabling for additional flexibility.
  • Easy Management of Configuration
    This option allows you to manage network traffic, security settings and parental control easily.
  • QoS controls
    This feature helps you to limit the network usage and control upstream and downstream transmission. It enhances security.
  • Mesh Networks
    It eliminates bandwidth bottlenecks.
  • Guest Networks
    Guest networks provided with some critical layer of security for the network when your guests connected to your network. It limits access to the network by the guests.

Buying a Best Suited Router Based on Your Need:

You have to consider several things while buying a router. They need to support your internet speed and ensure proper transmission of data to the gadgets connected. Here is the list and types of routers to decide

  • Long Range Router
  • Secured Router
  • Router within Budget
  • DD-WRT Router
  • Travel Router
  • Gaming Router
  • VPN Router

The router is more intelligent and efficiently handles the bandwidth allocation between the networks. Besides, in this blog post we have covered What is a Router and How Does It Work? What is router used for? and the best router buying guide.  If I missed anything important you may add that in the comment box below.

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