What is a Router? And How Does It Work

A network router is a physical device or virtual capability used through a network connection to receive, analyze and send volumes of data between computers. Routers have a very important use in networks, and it can be said that without them, computer communications will fail to function properly.

These devices determine the correct place to send data by considering the destination IP address and protocols. Looking at the network equipment market, you can see famous brands that produce routers, and the most important of them are Cisco, Mikrotik, HP, D-Link, and TP-Link.

Routers receive data packets and send them to the destination through an optimal route; These devices are used in homes, offices, and organizations to communicate, and it is possible to connect network routers; Standard protocols are also used for data transfer; Generally, the price of routers is usually higher than other equipment such as network hubs or network switches.

What is the use of a Router?

As can be seen from the name of these products, router tools receive data from the network through an optimal and determined path and transfer it to the desired destination. These types of equipment work in the third layer of the network OSI model, which is as follows.

It should be noted that the network router is also known as a smart device; because it recognizes the best data transfer location and transfers it between two points; The main uses of the network router are as follows:

  • Fast and optimal transfer of information and connecting hardware to each other
    Use for local or wide area networks for high-speed communication
  • Application to apply data usage restrictions on different users
  • Creating a connection between two or more local networks and connecting them

What is the difference between a router and a modem in the network?

Before pointing out the difference between router and modem, it is better to say that these two devices are offered in one pack for home use. In fact, by buying a modem, you also own a router that receives information from the network and shares it between devices such as a laptop or mobile phone.

Often, users know these two names as modems, but there are many differences between them. A modem receives information from the Internet and the global network, while routers send this information to other devices through optimal routes.

In practice, without having a modem (Modulator / Demodulator), your connection to the Internet will not be possible. This device analyzes analog signals on the phone line and receives Internet information through it; Finally, this information will be sent to the router for you to use on your mobile device or laptop.

After receiving and analyzing the Internet data through the modem, the routers can distribute it to different devices, and even the routers can be linked together multiple times and share the data between them.

With a router, you can network devices together and establish communication, but if you don’t have a modem, it is not possible to connect it to the Internet; With only one modem, you can connect a device to the Internet, but it is not possible to send and distribute information to different devices; But with a modem and router, you can connect to the Internet and share this connection between multiple devices.

How does a router work?

A router acts like an air traffic controller (network traffic and data), where data is like airplanes that have different and unique destinations. Meanwhile, network routers help to transfer data packets to specific destinations using IP addresses.

For this purpose, routers use an internal routing table that lists different destinations in the desired network for optimal transmission. After receiving the data packet, the router reads its header and compares it with the specified table to determine the best transmission path.

What is a routing table?

In general, there are two types of routing tables, which are static and dynamic. The static type is manually configured at once, While the dynamic type is automatically configured and adjusted by network conditions and activity.

Each data packet the network router receives must be forwarded to the intended destination (IP) through an appropriate route. To do this, routers use internal table information, including network IDs, destination addresses, and network interface information.

With this information, a router decides which is the best place to send information, and besides that, there is also an important step. Routers use the subnet mask to match the destination IP and network ID, which is of great importance for the optimal operation of the router.

What are the advantages of a network Router?

Routers are an essential part of computer networks and data distribution, and many advantages can be expressed for them; High security has been determined in routers regarding information transfer, and data is transferred optimally. Also, using optimized protocols and network router rules, information in these tools is transferred quickly and considered the best traffic location.

In case of disruption for part of the network, the routers will continue to work, and this will not lead to a complete disconnection; Also, in the case of cables, we face transmission limitations, but routers have solved this problem; By using the Repeater function, it is possible to increase the performance and power of data transmission.

What are the types of routers?

By visiting an online store, you can see many routers designed and built for different purposes and required conditions; Fortunately, brands also pay attention to this network need, and in this sense, there is a wide variety of products in the market.

Wireless network router (WiFi)

Wireless network routers are used to send data and connect laptops, smartphones, and other devices, and in addition to this wireless capability, they also provide local LAN connections for several devices; The range of these routers reaches an acceptable level, and these types of equipment are a great option for homes and offices that have many users.


This type of equipment combines bridge and router communication and enables bridge communication in a network. These products can route data in a network to a specified path.

Core router

This equipment is used in large organizations and commercial sectors, whose role has been determined in moving a large amount of data.

Edge router

While Core routers are responsible for transferring massive amounts of data, Edge network routers are located at the external point. They communicate with Core routers and external networks such as LAN or WAN.

Broadband routers

This equipment is used when high network speed is required, such as VOIP telephone communication in organizations or large business sectors.

Virtual routers (Vrouter)

Virtual routers are one of the best applications of new software, and with this feature, you can create a secure and high-speed network between your devices. For example, the hotspot network is one of the applications of these routers through which you can share the internet connection between your phone and your laptop.

Types of network routers in terms of connection type

In terms of connection type, you are faced with two types of wireless routers and wired routers in the market. The wireless network router has the power to send information wirelessly and up to a suitable range, and it should be noted that high security is also determined for these products.

Network routers that connect wirelessly have WiFi interfaces in most digital devices today, such as cell phones and tablets. These products have specifications that the number of supported users and their useful range are among the most important.

In addition to the wireless network router, wired routers usually communicate using a LAN network cable. These products are still used in many organizational, office, or store sectors.
A network hub, switch, and router

In general, we have three types of main and basic devices in computer networks that connect one point or computer to another. These three types of devices include hubs, switches, and network routers, all of which can connect to computers; However, some differences can also be stated for them, which are as follows:

Network hub

A hub is a basic device for connecting computers to each other, and this device does not use a routing table to send data. However, a network hub has the power to detect problems and errors, and for various reasons, using it to send large amounts of data to different ports has many security risks. This device is cheaper than the other two types.

Network switch

A switch is a piece of hardware that optimally sends information to a specified point and in a particular state. The hub sends the information to different computers. While using the network switch, it is possible to make more decisions so that the data is sent to its exact point. This leads to more bandwidth efficiency.

Network router

Routers do a particular job compared to the other two devices and provide the ability to connect one network to another. These types of equipment in offices and homes connect an internal network with external networks or the Internet and have many features such as firewall and traffic monitoring.

How to choose a good network router?

To choose a router, you should consider the place of use and your needs. This equipment has many characteristics that you can consider, such as connection type, number of users, and new technologies.
Connection type

The connection of network routers is wired and wireless. It is better to pay attention to the latest technology for wireless equipment to get better security and transmission power.
Technologies used

Routers, like modems, have additional features such as a traffic monitoring system, QoS system, firewall, and security settings.
The presence of external antennas

The presence of an external antenna in wireless routers plays an important role in its signal strength and range. If the range and signal quality in different environments is important to you, it is better to pay attention to this characteristic of routers.

Support for additional interfaces

Routers have interfaces, the most important of which is USB. These links provide the user with the possibility of quick connection in the form of Plug & Play. It should be noted that this feature allows the sharing of communication between different devices such as printers.

What are the security issues related to the network router?

Using routers is better to keep various security issues in mind, especially in corporate and administrative sectors. These network types of equipment are not free from security risks like other cases and may be exposed to attacks and intrusions by profit-seeking people.
Security intrusions with computer malware

All hardware routers have software or firmware that helps them work optimally. These products should always be updated to fix software bugs and problems. Among the most important aspects of computer network security in the router is the intrusion of profit-seeking people and the use of botnets to monitor and steal information.

Denial of service (DDoS) attacks

Large and small sectors are always attacked by malware. Besides this, DDoS attacks or denial of service attacks are among the most important problems in network communication or data transmission.

Password and username of routers

The network equipment comes with a default user name and password; the main point after configuring it is to change these items to a safe and secure password and user name.

Computer networks are one of the specialized fields of computer engineering and, of course, are among the most popular. This specialized department has many points, and various equipment and supplies are used. One of the most important of these items is the network modem and router, which are available in the market in wireless and wired versions. Network routers are responsible for connecting computers to each other, and it is possible to connect one network to another using them. If you wish, you can also share your opinions and knowledge with us in the rest of this article.

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