12/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. Data sent through the internet, such as a web page or email, is in the form of data packets. A packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute an internetwork (e.g. the Internet) until it reaches its destination node.

A router is connected to two or more data lines from different IP networks. When a data packet comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the network address information in the packet header to determine the ultimate destination. Then, using information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey.

The most familiar type of IP routers are home and small office routers that simply forward IP packets between the home computers and the Internet. An example of a router would be the owner’s cable or DSL router, which connects to the Internet through an Internet service provider (ISP). More sophisticated routers, such as enterprise routers, connect large business or ISP networks up to the powerful core routers that forward data at high speed along the optical fiber lines of the Internet backbone.

A router is the first line of security from intrusion into a network. Enabling the highest level of security on the router turns on things like the firewall, and is the best way to keep your computer system and information safe from attack.

How Routers Work?

Routers connect a modem like a fiber, cable, or DSL modem to other devices to allow communication between those devices and the internet. Most routers, including wireless routers, usually feature several network ports to connect numerous devices to the internet simultaneously.

A router typically connects physically, using a network cable, to the modem via the internet or WAN port and then physically, again through a network cable, to the network interface card in whatever wired network devices you have. A wireless router can connect using various wireless standards to devices that also support the particular standard used.

The IP address assigned to the WAN or internet connection is a public IP address. The IP address assigned to the local network connection is a private IP address. The private IP address assigned to a router is usually the default gateway for the various devices on the network.

Wireless routers, and wired routers with multiple connections, also act as simple network switches allowing the devices to communicate with each other. For example, several computers connected to a router can be configured to share files and printers among each other.

Routers are like small computers, with a CPU and memory to deal with incoming and outgoing data. Different software, such as DD-WRT, can be loaded on the router, much like an operating system on a computer.

A router operates on the Network layer (layer 3) of the OSI model and uses routing tables to understand where traffic is coming from and where it should go.

Managing a Router

There will most likely come a time where you need to make changes to how your network works. This is done by accessing the software on the router.

A few reasons you need to log in to your router is if you want to change the router’s login password, encrypt the network, set up port forwarding rules, change the Wi-Fi password, pick a different wireless network name, or update the firmware on the router.

Some other common tasks related to managing a router involve rebooting the router and completely resetting the router’s software.

Buying a Router

There are several things to consider before buying a router, such as how fast it needs to be to support your internet speed and devices, as well as its power to ensure that all your devices can receive internet access.

For example, maybe you’re buying a Wi-Fi router to serve lots of devices, like gaming consoles, computers, tablets, and phones. If your house is small, you might be able to get away with one router, whereas larger homes or businesses with several rooms might be better off with a mesh network or a Wi-Fi extender.

See these lists if you’re having trouble deciding on a new router:

  • Long-Range Routers
  • Secure Routers
  • Routers for Under $50
  • Budget Routers
  • DD-WRT Routers
  • Gaming Routers
  • Travel Routers
  • Parental Control Routers
  • VPN Routers

Mobile Wi-Fi hotspots are similar to routers because they connect multiple devices to the same internet connection.

Types of Routers

Core routers used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the fastest and most powerful, sitting at the center of the internet and forwarding information along the main fiber optic backbone. Enterprise routers connect large organizations’ networks to these core routers.

An edge router, also known as an access router, is a lower-capacity device that resides at the boundary of a LAN and connects it to a the public internet or a private wide area network (WAN) and/or external  local area network (LAN). Home and small office routers are considered subscriber edge routers.

Branch routers link an organization’s remote office locations to its WAN, connecting to the primary campus network’s edge routers. Branch routers often provide additional features, like time-division multiplexing, wireless LAN management capabilities and WAN application acceleration.

A logical router is a configured partition of a traditional network hardware, or physical, router. It replicates the hardware’s functionality, creating multiple routing domains within a single router. Logical routers perform a subset of the tasks that can be handled by the physical router, and each can contain multiple routing instances and routing tables.

A wireless router works in the same way as the router in a hard-wired home or business local area network (LAN), but allows greater mobility for notebook or portable computers. Wireless routers use the 802.11g specification, a standard that offers transmission over short distances.