Routers are one of the most important components of the today computer networks and the internet. Actually, most of the computer networks are connected to the internet in different ways and techniques. The computer network and internet connection are established by the devices named routers.
What Is Routing?
Routing is the act of deciding to the direction of a package or stream. In computer network especially TCP/IP or internet routing is important to create stable, fast transmission channel between client and server. When a network packet is created it should be sent to the default gateway which is generally the first device for routing. Then this default gateway should decide what is the next hop to delivering the network packet to its destination. These actions are iterated for all intermediate devices up to the network packet is delivered to its destination.
Internet and computer networks consist of a lot of connections which are in a mesh structure. The clients try to access to the servers by using this mesh structure. The connection and routing between these mesh nodes are done with the routers. Routing can be done by ISP, enterprise, home user, etc. There is a different type of routing protocols used to share and regulate routing information. Different type of networks uses different routing protocols. LAN routers generally use simple routing protocols like static and RIP, MAN and WAN networks use more complete and complex routing protocols like OSPF, BGP, EIGRP.
Routers main duty is routing network packets. But this is not enough today computer networks where extra features should be provided by the routers. Here are some of the important of them. By the way, these features available can be changed according to the Router Type which is defined below.
- `DHCP Service` is used to assign IP addresses and other network configuration to the hosts.
- `Security` is used to protect hosts from the attacks
- `Firewall` is used to protect, regulate the network access between hosts, servers, and internet
- `DNS` is used to translate IP address and host/domain names
- `Load Balancing` is used to share the workload between multiple systems
- `Switching` is used to switch network traffic between hosts in the same network.
- `VPN` is used to create a private and secure connection between remote systems/networks
Routers can provide previously defined extra services. Routers are used in different environments and in different cases with these extra services. Here we will list some router types which are purposefully used for a specific area.
Home Router/Wifi Router
Home router/Wifi router is the most popular router type where all home and SMB internet users use in their locations. Home Router generally a multipurpose device which also provides different services like DHCP Service, Security, Firewall, DNS, Switching, Modem, Wireless, etc. Home Router/Wifi Router generally connect to the internet with technologies like Metro Ethernet, DSL, Ethernet, WiMax, Docsis etc.
We can see that this Home/Wifi router has the following ports.
- VDSL/ADSL port the gray one
- Gigabit LAN yellow ports
- Cable/DSL modem port blue
- USB port
Edge routers are generall entry-level routers were used in less crowded branches in the same building or remote offices. These routers ensure to connect internet or main network in the LAN or over MAN or WAN. Edge routers are used in enterprise environments.
Core routers are used in the center of an enterprise network which works with edge routers and backbone routers. Core routers generally used to ensure the autonomy of the given LAN/MAN/WAN. Core routers provide features like VPN, DHCP, DNS, etc. Core routers generally use routing protocols like BGP, OSPF, EIGRP.
Backbone routers are specialized routers used by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to provide services like routing, internet access, VPN. They provide high performance and dedicated to routing services. BGP is the most used routing protocol where EIGRP and OSPF are also used.
Virtual routers are a new type of routers where they run on a virtualized environment. The virtual router provides the same services for Core and Backbone routers in an easy to manage and cheaper manner. Virtual routers mainly run as software with virtualization