What is a Router and How Does it Work?

What is a router?

A router is a networking device that receives the data packets from a network and analyzes them and then forwards them to another computer network. It connects two or more packet-switched networks or subnetworks. Using the router you can use the same internet connection on different devices at the same time. There are many types of routers but most of the routers pass data between LANs (local area networks) and WANs (wide area networks). Usually, LAN requires only one router but WAN requires multiple routers and switches. Routers have multiple ports so that users can connect multiple devices and use the same internet connection at the same time.

How does a router work?

To understand how routers work here does we are going to take an example. Suppose you have a computer that you have connected to your router. Now suppose you have opened Google on your computer and search something. Your query will go in the form of data packets and these data packets contain their destination IP address. Now your router will decide which path is better for your data packet and forward the data packet using the same path. When a router receives data packets it searches its routing table for a network address that matches the destination IP address of the packet.

Types of routers

There are various types of routers, here we are going to discuss them.

Wireless router: Wireless routers are those types of routers that use Wi-Fi to connect devices. These types of routers allow you to connect desktops, laptops, smartphones, and other devices. It generates the WiFi signal and allows you to connect any device within a range. In this type of routers, users need to secure their Wifi connection by setting a password on their router’s network connection.

Brouter: A brouter is a combination of bridge and router that work as a bridge and a router. It sends the data packets from one network to another network and also routes the data packets. It works on a network layer and data link layer.

Core router: A core router is a type of router that routes the data within a network. This type of router cannot route the data between the networks. Core routers are used by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and provide many types of powerful data communication interfaces. It is the backbone of networks because it helps to connect networking devices.

Edge router: The edge router placed on the edge of the network and works as a gateway. It enables the connectivity between internal networks and external networks. Edge router usually used in the WAN (Wide Area Network) or the internet.

Edge routers have two types which are Subscriber edge router and Label edge router.

Subscriber edge router: Subscriber edge router used in organizations and work on border devices. It is also known as a customer edge router.

Label edge router: Label edge router used in the boundary of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks and work as a gateway between LAN and WAN.

Broadband router: Broadband routers are used for accessing high-internet speed. To connect the internet on your phone and to use the VOIP (voice over IP technology) broadband routers are needed. If you are looking for a router that can give you high internet speed then you can go for 5g routers. Broadband routers are also known as broadband modem and digital subscriber line (DSL) modem. The broadband routers are provided by the internet service provider (ISP).

Why choosing router

If you are wondering why you would choose a router over any other networking devices then you should know that a router is more powerful in comparison to any other networking devices like the hub, switch, etc. Other networking devices like hubs and switches are only able to perform basic functions of the network but a router can do more way more than that. Like hub is a networking device that can only forward the data between connected devices but it is unable to analyze and make any changes in the data packets. But a router has the ability to analyze the data packets and make any changes to them if needed. A router can also send the data packets to other networks. Routers only allow a single network connection in multiple devices.

Features of router

  • A router functions on the third layer of OSI model which is network layer. It communicates with its adjacent networking devices.
  • Routers can route the traffic in large networks by treating sub-network as an intact network.
  • With the help of router the routers users can connect multiple LAN (local area network) and WAN (wide area network).
  • Router can provide high speed internet connectivity with different types of ports like gigabit, fast-Ethernet, and STM link port.
  • It can also create varicose path to forward the data packets.
  • Routers can filter the unwanted interruption and it also implement the data encapsulation and decapsulation process.
  • Routers allow you to configure the port if needed.
  • It always works in master and slave mode which provides you the redundancy.

Benefits of routers


The main advantage of routers is that it allows you to connect multiple devices at the same time and access the internet. With multiple connecting devices feature and using the internet at the same time can increase productivity. Apart from that it also helpful to connect different network architectures and Medias.


Routers provide the stability because when one network causes a problem due to server issues the routers service doesn’t get affected. Router prevents the affecting it service by separating the affected network and keep connected other networks.


Routers provide security because with the router the data packets transmit over the network and traverse the whole cable system. Because LAN works in a broadcast mode it provides the best security to its users. The data is available on each station but every station can not read the data. The data can be only read by the specifically addressed station.

Packet filtering

Routers also perform packet switching and packet filtering. It filters the network by using its filtering rules. With its filtering rules it either allows the data packets or let them pass through.

Networking range

In networking, a cable is needed to connect the devices and its length has 1000 meters which can not be exceeded. Routers perform the function of a repeater which helps to overcome this issue. The physical range can be exceeded as per the requirement if a router is installed before the maximum cable range exceeds.

Things to consider before buying the router

Here are some points that you should keep in mind while purchasing a router:

  • Before purchasing a router you should always consider the type of connection you have. You should buy the router according to the type of connection you have. For example, if you are using the connection from telephone services providers like BSNL or MTNL, then you should go for the ADSL router.
  • The second thing you should consider while purchasing a router is the standard of the router. Routers with 802.11ac standard are capable of transferring the data packets faster than 802.11n.
  • While purchasing a router you should look for the antennas. Multiple antennas will increase the coverage area of the router.
  • Most of the n standard router functions on the 2.4GHz frequency but the dual-band router can be a better option because it supports the 5GHz band.
  • You should look at how much USB port the router has. The more USB port your router has, the more you will be able to connect the devices.