A router is a hardware component that allows computers to connect with each other and other computer hardware. It is used in business setups, commercial places and homes as a connecting tool to share information. So, how do routers work? The job of a router is to direct data or packets of information to specific locations from one network to the other. When a data packet is sent from a network, the router directs it to the required location via the best route for transferring that particular data. The router determines the best route by the help of forwarding tables, headers and protocols like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP).
A broadband connection also requires a router to deliver information to your computer. It collects the data coming through a broadband signal and sends to the computer via the best possible route so that minimum time is required for data transfer. Now that you know the role routers play in connecting various networks in one loop, let's have a look at the types of routers available for use.
Depending on User
Router for Consumer Use
This type is used at homes or small business setups and is easily available at any local electronic store. Routers for consumer use should serve as wireless access points in order to connect to the Internet and other computers in the local setup. A wireless access point with a network switch would provide faster speed of transfer and even distribution of bandwidth among all ports.
Router for Commercial Use
A commercial router is much faster and powerful than the consumer type, and is used at commercial setups like hotels offering Wi-Fi Internet access, chain of supermarkets, hospitals, etc. It is generally a part of Wide Area Network (WAN) providing connectivity to computers at different locations. Due to their commercial utility, such devices are expensive than routers for consumer use.
Depending on Network
This type is used to build connectivity within a small geographic area. Such a router builds up a connection to DSL or other networks.
An enterprise router is further classified as distribution router, core router and access router. A distribution router assembles the data coming from several routers and sends it to a main location. Core routers are used for connecting routers dispersed at different locations so as to obtain a higher bandwidth. The third type of enterprise router is the access router which is used to serve routine branch operations.
Also known as Internet connectivity router, it is used to share information via Border Gateway Protocol.
Depending on Connectivity
A wired router is cheap as compared to the wireless type, but involves the use of cables for connectivity to various computers thereby restricting mobility. It has an advantage over wireless router in terms of security. To combat this problem, wireless devices are now equipped with improved security settings.
A wireless router generally comes with an antenna to maintain connectivity within a particular range. As the name suggests, it is devoid of the complications associated with cabling. It ensures security via Wi-Fi Protected Access and wireless MAC address filtering. It is essential to gather all the information pertaining to security before going for a wireless setup.
A router, be it any type, is a very useful connecting device for computer networks. Its uses include delivery of information in a quick and organized way, reducing the data load, developing steady connection between host computers, and ensuring data transfer by the help of alternative parts in case main parts of the router fail to perform.
Before investing in a router, it is best to analyze whether you need a wired or wireless one, the number of ports required, and the type of Internet connection you have. It is always good to have some extra ports in the router to connect additional computers to the network in the future.
Hope this article has served its purpose and helped you in identifying the most suitable router for your use.