Thursday, June 2, 2011


Definition: Routers are physical devices that join multiple wired or wireless networks together. Technically, a wired or wireless router is a Layer 3 gateway, meaning that the wired/wireless router connects networks (as gateways do), and that the router operates at the network layer of the OSI model.

Home networkers often use an Internet Protocol (IP) wired or wireless router, IP being the most common OSI network layer protocol. An IP router such as a DSL or cable modem broadband router joins the home's local area network (LAN) to the wide-area network (WAN) of the Internet.

By maintaining configuration information in a piece of storage called the routing table, wired or wireless routers also have the ability to filter traffic, either incoming or outgoing, based on the IP addresses of senders and receivers. Some routers allow the home networker to update the routing table from a Web browser interface. Broadband routers combine the functions of a router with those of a network switch and a firewall in a single unit.

A network router is a small electronic device that allows you build a home network simply. The home router serves as the core or "centerpiece" of the network to which computers, printers and other devices can be connected. Networking with a router helps you to (for example):

•share files between computers

•share an Internet connection between computers

•share a printer

•connect your game console or other home entertainment equipment to the Internet

Routers are not necessarily required to build a network. For example, you can connect two computers directly to each other with just a cable (or without wires in some cases). Home routers offer convenience and easier maintenance as your network grows.

Choosing a Network Router

You can choose from among several different types of home network router products. The two most common types in popular usage are the 802.11b and 802.11g WiFi models. 802.11g is the newer technology, but 802.11b routers often can do the job for an even lower cost.

•More - Choosing a Wireless Router

•Gear - Top 802.11g Wireless Routers

•Gear - Top 802.11b Wireless Routers

Installing a Network Router

Network routers receive their power from an ordinary home electrical socket. When powered on, lights (LEDs) signify the unit is operating.

Network routers must be carefully configured when they are first installed. Like computers and other devices on the home network, routers must be set up with IP addresses. Routers also offer optional (but strongly recommended) security features.

Routers contain built-in software to enable setup. You access this software through your Web browser on any computer connected to the router.