A router is used to connect two or more packet-switched networks or subnetworks. Its principal functions are to manage traffic between these networks by forwarding data packets to their intended IP addresses and to allow numerous devices to use the same Internet connection.
What is routing?
The process of choosing a path between two or more networks is known as network routing. The fundamentals of routing can be applied to any type of network, from telephone networks to public transit. In packet-switching networks like the Internet, routing specifies the paths that Internet Protocol (IP) packets travel from their origin to their destination. These Internet routing decisions are made by routers, which are specialised pieces of network gear.
How does a Router Works?
Routers connect a modem, such as a fiber, cable, or DSL modem, to other devices, allowing them to communicate with the internet. Most routers, particularly wireless routers, provide several network ports for connecting multiple devices to the internet at the same time.
A router often connects physically to the modem via the internet or WAN port, and then physically to the network interface card in whatever wired network devices you have, again via a network cable. A wireless router can connect to devices that support the specific wireless standard being used by employing several wireless standards.
The WAN or internet connection’s IP address is a public IP address. The local network connection receives a private IP address. The private IP address allocated to a router is often the default gateway for all network devices.
Wireless routers, as well as wired routers with numerous connections, function as simple network switches that allow devices to communicate with one another. For example, many PCs connected to a router can be set up to share files and printers.
Routers are small computers that have a CPU and memory to handle incoming and outgoing data. Like an operating system on a computer, different software, such as DD-WRT, can be loaded on the router.
A router runs on the OSI model’s Network layer (layer 3) and uses routing tables to determine where traffic is originating from and where it should go.
What are the different types of routers?
A router must first talk with a modem in order to connect a LAN to the Internet. There are two main techniques to set up this.
- Wireless Router
- Wired Router
Wireless Router: A wireless router link to a modem by using an Ethernet connection. It distributes data by transforming binary code packets into radio waves, which are then wirelessly broadcasted using antennae. Wireless routers do not construct LANs; instead, they create WLANs (wireless local area networks), which use wireless communication to connect many devices.
Wired Router: A wired router, like a wireless router, connects to a modem via an Ethernet connection. It then connects to one or more network devices through separate connections, forming a LAN and connecting those devices to the Internet.
There are numerous specialized types of routers that perform specific roles in addition to wireless and wired routers for small LANs:
- Core Router
- Edge Router
- Virtual Router
A core Router, as opposed to a router used in a home or small business LAN, is used by large enterprises and businesses that send a huge volume of data packets via their network. Core routers operate at the network’s “core” and do not connect with other networks.
An edge router connects with both core routers and external networks, whereas a core router primarily regulates data flow within a large-scale network. Edge routers are placed at the"edge" of the network and they use Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) to transfer and receive data from other LANs and WANs.
A virtual router is a software application that serves the same function as a traditional hardware router. It may employ the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) to create primary and backup virtual routers in the event that one fails.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Router
Advantages of Router
- Router provides advanced routing, flow control, and traffic isolation.
- Create collision domains to reduce network traffic.
- Create broadcast domains to reduce network load.
- Can connect various network architectures, including Ethernet and token ring
- They are adjustable, allowing the network administrator to create policies based on routing decisions.
- Using dynamic routing techniques, it may select the optimum way across the internetwork.
- It helps to minimize network traffic by providing collision domains and broadcast domains.
- Allow for looping so that redundant paths are available.
Disadvantages of Router
- A router costs more than a bridge or repeater.
- Routers can only use rotatable network protocols; not all protocols are routable.
- Because routers must examine data transit from the physical to the network layers, they are slower than bridges or repeaters.
- Additional network traffic is generated by dynamic router communication.
- Devices that are relatively sophisticated
- Can necessitate a significant amount of initial configuration
- They are protocol-dependent devices that must grasp the protocol they are transmitting.