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How Does a Wireless Router Work

Stephen Rampur Sep 30, 2018
Wireless routers forward data packets from the source to the destination via radio waves! Not only this, these routers also perform the function of wireless access points (WAP).

First Wireless

Campus Drexel University is United States' first major university to have wireless Internet access on its entire campus.
Wireless access points connect wireless devices in one network to a fixed network via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or radio waves. Wireless routers work along the lines of WAP. They are used to connect devices to the Internet or a computer network. Their function mimics the job of traffic cops. They keep a track of the incoming data and direct it to its destination. 
Wireless routers use the 802.11 standard which is an IEEE standard for wireless local area network communication.
Wireless routers use either the 802.11b standard that supports data rate of 11 Mbps or the 802.11g standard that gives data rate of 54 Mbps. The normal range of the 802.11b or 802.11g is 32 m (indoors) and 95 m (outdoors).

Working of the Router

  • Start
  • You type the Google URL in the toolbar. This URL-based information is known as data packet.
  • This data packet is sent to the router.
  • Router reads this data packet by decoding it.
  • The router then, searches for the destination address mentioned in the data packet by looking in the routing table*.
  • It forwards the data packet to the mentioned destination IP via a wired connection.
  • Upon receiving this data packet, the destination IP sends another data packet for the requested information/data.
  • This packet is received by the router in an encoded form.
  • The router decodes the information and gets your computer's IP address (this is the new destination) and forwards this data packet to your IP.
  • The Google homepage will now be displayed at your end.
*Routing table has IP address and hop associations of the network.

Types of Wireless Communication

Wireless routers are classified into two types, namely single-band and dual-band routers, depending on the operating frequency band. There are two frequencies available for wireless communication, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The routers working on only 2.4 GHz frequency are called single-band routers. 
This frequency, however, has low speed. The interference in this frequency is high because cordless phones, Bluetooth devices and ovens also work on it. On the other hand, the 5 GHz frequency is known to have a faster speed. The routers that work on both these frequencies are known as dual-band frequencies.
For better performance, it's best to use the router along with the products from the same company. This would prevent compatibility issues from cropping up, and also help you in getting the best possible after-sales service.