A router is used to exchange information between two or more computing devices. It is a physical or virtual device that connects PCs, mobiles, and other devices to the internet. When you want to exchange information from one path to another, the router works as a dispatcher. It finds multiple routes to reach the destination and selects the best route to travel that information.
A router is a brilliant device as it connects us to the world, decides the priorities of devices, and protects data against security threats. A router is a type of gateway that connects two or more networks. When we send a packet toward a destination, it moves from hundreds of routers to its final destination.
Why do you need a router?
Without a router, you won’t connect your network devices to the internet. You can create a local network of devices using routers to share software tools and transfer data files within the network.
In business, the router plays an essential part in getting and using the business data. For example, if there is a need to print a document, then a router will help to get that document, and after that, you can print it.
How routers route data? Working of a router
The ability to forward IP data packets from one network to another is called routing. With the help of a router, you can connect with many networks and manage the data flow within these networks. Generally, a router comes with two network interface cards NICs through which you connect with other networks.
2.Finding the best route across networks
Routers select the fastest route for traveling the data across the network. For getting the right path, a router uses a preference number or metric value. If a router has to select the best path from the two paths, the router will go with the lowest metric value path.
3.Creating a routing table
A routing table contains a list of all the possible paths in your network. When a router gets an IP packet to forward it to a specific destination in the network, the router checks the IP address of the destination from the packet’s header. After getting the destination IP, the router searches in the routing table to get the routing information.
How to manage a router and why we need to manage a router?
If you want to make some changes in the network’s working, you need to access the router’s software. There can be many circumstances when you need to log in to your router, such as rebooting the router, resetting the router, updating the firmware on the router, setting up port forwarding rules, changing Wi-Fi passwords, or encrypting the network.
How do modems differ from routers?
Modern modems come with a built-in router that blurred the difference between routers and modems. But in the early days of the internet, both have their functions.
A modem converts analog signal to digital signal. When the data is traveling, it is in the form of an analog signal. When the data enters the network, the modem converts these analog signals into digital that makes it understandable for network devices. On the other hand, a router manages data flow within and outside the network. A router can connect different modems and devices in a network. Modems and devices can exchange data with one another using router.
Types of routers:
There are two types of router, i.e., wired router and wireless router.
Wireless routers allow devices to connect without any wires. You can connect with wireless routers using the Wi-Fi feature. A wireless router can send and receive data from the internet.
Wired routers are directly connected to the modems that connect with a network such as a wide area network (WAN). Wired routers have ports through which you can connect modems to exchange information on the internet.
Routing protocols help the router to keep a record of all the possible routes and destinations in a network and make a decision on where to send a message. We are discussing some popular protocols:
- Open Shortest Path First is used to find the shortest path between sender and receiver.
- Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol: It is an enhanced version of IGRP. If a router does not get any route towards the destination, then it sends a query to its neighbor router to check the destination in its routing table, and this process keeps on running until it does not get the route. When a change occurs in the routing table of a specific router, then it notifies about the change to its neighbor instead of sending the entire routing table.
- Routing Information Protocol (RIP): RIP protocol is a dynamic routing protocol used in small networks as it allows 15 hops in a network.
The router is the key to connect with the internet. It allows different networks to share resources on the internet. In this article, we talk about what is a router? How does a router work? Types of routers and popular protocols in routers.