A network router, also referred to as a switch or a hub, is a hardware device that forwards data packets between different computer networks usually via a physical connection. Routers perform the actual “traffic sending” functions on the Internet. Once a data packet has been transmitted from one router to the other through the networks which constitute the network, it will then be forwarded to the final destination where it is decoded and converted into information that is used by devices for communication. It is a very important part of any computer network and everyone has to have some form of the network router in order to make online communication possible.
Networking switches or routers have become a very important part of networking since they have enabled faster and better sharing of information. Networking switches have the ability to manage several independent connections at the same time. They are called multi-ports because they can handle two or more connections at the same time.
Multi-ports or unmanaged routers are actually combinations of hardware that are classified as routers but do not function like one. They are sold as complete devices that contain both the hardware and the software required to configure them. Usually, these routers come with some additional features such as web, email, and FTP ports. Some models however are sold with only two ports while others can carry up to four.
A network hub or switch is often included in home-based routers or mixers. These devices provide added functionality to existing switches. Hubs allow multiple input and output (I/O) ports to be connected to a single port. The advantage of having more input ports enables multi-tasking and other tasks to be carried out. But they also have certain limitations such as slow speed, lesser portability, and interference from other switches. On the contrary, a multi-port switch has only one I/O port and can perform all functions of a hub including forwarding and encapsulation of traffic.
In order for a network to function, there must be a path through which data packets can be passed between computers. This is usually accomplished by utilizing routers. Routers serve as the mode of communication between the input and output devices. There are two types of network routing devices. Switched and packet routing are the two types that are used in business and personal computers.
A network router has the job to forward packets of information between end-users and servers. It creates a routing table. The routing table contains a list of the different subnet masks as well as the source addresses of the Ethernet packets. The normal default route is the first address in the routing table.
Different kinds of routers are designed for different purposes. Some are built for small local area networks and so are called LSR or little network routers. Routers of larger size like ISSI Registered Interconnect Devices or ISSI-Ethernet Express Routers are generally used for large nationwide networks. In order to increase the network speed, a bigger number of smaller routers are connected together to increase the bandwidth of the whole system.
As you can see from the above, a router is more than just a machine used to forward or send information between computers. A good router needs to have some other special features to ensure optimal performance and as well as to reduce problems. Make sure to check out this article for more networking basics regarding a router.
A single computer can connect to several different networks without using a router. This happens by having each computer create a broadcast address that broadcasts its own unique address on the network. If the router used for the broadcast address receives enough broadcasts, it will know that a connection to all the computers on the network has been established. Routers can be configured to allow packets based on the destination IP and the source IP to be forwarded or routed.
On most common network setups, each computer sends a request to the router that is acting as a gateway. The router then calculates the shortest path between the source and destination and sends the request to the next node on the network. The response time to the last router before the next one on the network is determined by the routing table. The route that has the fastest response time is chosen as the route that will be used for outgoing packets. A packet is sent to the destination in the form of an IP packet, this packet then enters the network over the shortest path possible to reach all the computers on the network.
To make it short, a router is basically a machine that allows a network to be accessed by multiple computers. There are different types of routers that are used depending on how the network needs to be accessed. Some basic networking hardware such as PC networks has routers as well. In more complex computer networks the use of routers gets more involved. If you are unsure of how things work behind the scenes, hire a professional to show you how to set up your network and make it run smoothly.