what is a router?

@erl212 (303)
Philippines
February 7, 2007 1:44am CST
can anyone give me the definite meaning of router?what its purpose?why we use it?
3 people like this
10 responses
@lameran (1148)
• Indonesia
8 Feb 07
maybe this way is more clear, A router is a computer networking device that forwards data packets across an internetwork toward their destinations, through a process known as routing. Routing occurs at layer 3 (the Network layer e.g. IP) of the OSI seven-layer protocol stack. Function Routers are like intersections whereas switches are like streets Routers are like intersections whereas switches are like streets A router acts as a junction between two or more networks to transfer data packets among them. A router is different from a switch. A switch connects devices to form a Local area network (LAN) (which might, in turn, be connected to another network via a router). One easy illustration for the different functions of routers and switches is to think of switches as neighborhood streets, and the router as the intersections with the street signs. Each house on the street has an address within a range on the block. In the same way, a switch connects various devices each with their own IP address(es) on a LAN. However, the switch knows nothing about IP addresses except its own management address. Routers connect networks together the way that on-ramps or major intersections connect streets to both highways and freeways, etc. The street signs at the intersection (routing table) show which way the packets need to flow. So for example, a router at home connects the Internet Service Provider's (ISP) network (usually on an Internet address) together with the LAN in the home (typically using a range of private IP addresses, see network address translation) and a single broadcast domain. The switch connects devices together to form the LAN. Sometimes the switch and the router are combined together in one single package sold as a multiple port router. In order to route packets, a router communicates with other routers using routing protocols and using this information creates and maintains a routing table. The routing table stores the best routes to certain network destinations, the "routing metrics" associated with those routes, and the path to the next hop router. See the routing article for a more detailed discussion of how this works. Routing is most commonly associated with the Internet Protocol, although other less-popular routed protocols are in use.
• India
8 Feb 07
Very nice description.. thanks..
@josemyms (31)
• United States
7 Feb 07
Also we use a router when we are hooked up to a broadband internet connection. (I'm guessing DSL is similar) I have one cable coming into the house, hooked to a cable modem, then hooked to a router, I can then run both of my computers at the same time off from that. My router will let me run up 4 computers.
@erl212 (303)
• Philippines
7 Feb 07
thanks for the idea,it really helps.
@solodog (89)
• Australia
7 Feb 07
A router is like a internet splitter. You feed your modem into a router & then you can connect many computers into the router. Also a router makes it easier to network all the computers connected to it.
@erl212 (303)
• Philippines
7 Feb 07
how fast does it works?
@huanghaozi (1474)
• Egypt
10 Feb 07
A router is a device that forwards data packets along networks. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP's network. Routers are located at gateways, the places where two or more networks connect, and are the critical device that keeps data flowing between networks and keeps the networks connected to the Internet. When data is sent between locations on one network or from one network to a second network the data is always seen and directed to the correct location by the router. They accomplish his by using headers and forwarding tables to determine the best path for forwarding the data packets, and they use protocols such as ICMP to communicate with each other and configure the best route between any two hosts. The Internet itself is a global network connecting millions of computers and smaller networks — so you can see how crucial the role of a router is to our way of communicating and computing. Why Would I Need a Router? For most home users, they may want to set-up a LAN (local Area Network) or WLAN (wireless LAN) and connect all computers to the Internet without having to pay a full broadband subscription service to their ISP for each computer on the network. In many instances, an ISP will allow you to use a router and connect multiple computers to a single Internet connection and pay a nominal fee for each additional computer sharing the connection. This is when home users will want to look at smaller routers, often called broadband routers that enable two or more computers to share an Internet connection. Within a business or organization, you may need to connect multiple computers to the Internet, but also want to connect multiple private networks — and these are the types of functions a router is designed for. Routers for Home & Small Business Not all routers are created equal since their job will differ slightly from network to network. Additionally, you may look at a piece of hardware and not even realize it is a router. What defines a router is not its shape, color, size or manufacturer, but its job function of routing data packets between computers. A cable modem which routes data between your PC and your ISP can be considered a router. In its most basic form, a router could simply be one of two computers running the Windows 98 (or higher) operating system connected together using ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). In this scenario, the computer that is connected to the Internet is acting as the router for the second computer to obtain its Internet connection. Going a step up from ICS, we have a category of hardware routers that are used to perform the same basic task as ICS, albeit with more features and functions. Often called broadband or Internet connection sharing routers, these routers allow you to share one Internet connection between multiple computers.
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
9 Feb 07
i am not into technical stuffs. i just love to surf the internet! but upon reading your discussion, i got curious, too about what router really is. i am using it now with my two computers. so, i got to this search on the internet. might help you, too: A router acts as a junction between two or more networks to transfer data packets among them. A router is different from a switch. A switch connects devices to form a Local area network (LAN) (which might, in turn, be connected to another network via a router). source link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Router A network device that forwards packets from one network to another. Based on internal routing tables, routers read each incoming packet and decide how to forward it. The destination address in the packets determines which interface on the router outgoing packets are directed to. In large-scale enterprise routers, the current traffic load, congestion, line costs and other factors determine which outgoing line to forward to. source link: http://www.answers.com/topic/router i hope i helped somehow. atleast, i got a little understanding about what routers really are now!
@merkava (1225)
• Philippines
8 Feb 07
A router is a networking device in which you can connect all computers to the net at once. Some people mistake routers for switches. In routers any of the computers can connect unlike a switch where you have to use one "main" computer to connect to the net so that the others can share it's connection. If the "main" computer isn't connected the others can't connect as well.
• India
8 Feb 07
Router is an splitter, which split the bandwidth to all the computer without any bandwidth loss.Its mostly used in Internet Hub.
• India
7 Feb 07
When there are two networks and you want to join it, a router is needed. Those two different networks would have their range of IP(Internet Protocol) addresses with a given subnet. So, in order to route packets from one network to another a router is needed which typically stores a list of forward address in a table. This table gets updated dynamically as the number of network grows. An example of interconnecting networks is the Internet. When you there is a public IP, you can directly ping to that system or IP address. Ping is a network utility which checks network connectivity.
@datir1 (503)
• India
7 Feb 07
router is two network joiner
• India
7 Feb 07
lsitten router is basically a kinda....substation to make it easy for u..the main bandwithd for diff places or entities are been amde from here,,thro this...u must be ahvng modem at ur house..this modem is the next level in the hiarchary.....the router basically splits or manages the line that comes in at an higher frequecny and gives out line at an ower frquencies or bandwidht..