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Wiki | R | Router


Routers are tiny electronic devices that link together multiple computer networks through wired or wireless connections. The networks generally work on different protocols. People, in general, are used to hearing about routers as a device which the internet service providers offer to connect a computer to a telephone line. But technically speaking, routers play a very important part in the working of internet and IP networks.

Router on a network routes the data packets from that network to the destination based on the IP address of the receiver. When data packets are transmitted from a network they pass through several networks that have different routers before reaching their destination. Each router automatically gets information of the other routers that are available in the same network or in other networks. The information is in the form of IP addresses, time taken to reach, the delay time if any in transmitting and other details if required. The information is recorded on a routing table which is available in all routers.  

Once a data packet reaches a router it considers the destination based on the IP address and determines the closest neighbor router and forwards. This process continues until the packet reaches the final destination. There are different types of routers available to meet the varying needs of users. Broadband routers are used to connect to computers and to the internet via a telephone line. Wireless routers have a Wi-Fi module and come with an antenna that connects to the devices. This type of router is secured with a user ID and password. Edge routers that are placed at the edge of ISP network and configured from a Border gateway protocol (BGP) to another BGP or ISP. There are still other types like core router, Subscriber Edge router, and Inter-provider border router etc. Routers also act as a hardware firewall and it is widely believed they offer strong protection against hacker activities. 

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