Technical or not most of the people know the router word. Those who know the router can understand a different thing from the word. In this tutorial, we will try to explain what is a router in a technical and non-technical way with router functions, router types and router security.
What is a Router For?
A router is a device which will connect different networks and the internet together. Typical router consists of some software, firmware, and hardware. As stated router main function is routing communication data between networks in order to deliver to the destination.
In this part, we will list router functions which are generally provided by most of the router.
- Routing is the main function of the routers. Routing function will route and deliver IP packets from the source to the destination. For example, If we want to surf the www.poftut.com the router will route our HTTP request to the www.poftut.com server from our current local home or work network.
- Switching is used to switch IP packets from the current point or hop to the next hop. Switching will generally useful if we want to communicate PC, Laptop, Phone, TV in the local network.
- DNS Server function provides the name to IP resolutions. As human beings, we use web sites domain names like www.poftut.com but interwork on IP addresses like 188.8.131.52 and DNS is used to convert domain names to the IP addresses.
- DHCP Server is another crucial function provided by the router. DHCP is used to provide an IP address to the hosts like PC, Laptop, Phone, TV etc automatically. When we connect to a router network via cable or wireless DHCP will provide us an IP automatically.
There are different types of routers used in different environments. They may have same or different hardware components.
Mainboards the base part of the router hardware. Every other component is connected to the mainboard. Mainboard runs the operating system and most of the function logic.
LAN Ethernet/RJ45 Port
LAN/Ethernet/RJ 45 port is used to connect devices to the mainboard. These ports are used to plug cable where other side of the cable is connected to the hosts like PC, Laptop, TV etc.
WAN Ethernet/RJ45 Port
WAN Ethernet port is almost the same with the LAN ethernet port where WAN is used to connect to the remote like ISP, Internet or other locations.
The serial port is used to configure and manage the router device. Generally, RS4XX protocols are used to connect the router.
In-home routers antenna is directly connected to the router where WiFi or Wireless is broadcasted. In general 2 antennas are used but to make WiFi speed and coverage higher more than 2 antennas can be used.
As stated in the previous part there are different type of routers. We can use a router in our home or hotel but also in the enterprise. The features, performance, price and hardware component of the router changes according to the usage requirements.
- Home Routers are designed the simples type of router. It just used to connect users to the internet. They are a single board where 3-5 LAN, WAN ports with multiple antennae exist
- Small and Medium Enterprise Routers are designed to the similar Home routers where they can provide some security functions and features to protect users
- Enterprise Routers are designed to provide performance and reliability. They cost a lot more than another type of routers. They also do not provide integrated wireless antennas. They are reliable to work the whole day for years without interruption.
When Buying Router Consider Following Issues
- User/Device Count
- Performance Requirements
- LAN/WAN Speed
- WAN Connection Type