Router, which facilitates the transfer of data in the form of packets, is a device connecting two or more networks. Routers can be used to send the data either within the same network or to different networks.
The data packets which are sent over a network are directed on basis of their address. Each packet contains a header which can be used to determine the destination address and the source.
When the packet is sent over the network it is transferred from one network to other. When internet is installed in homes, a router routes the information that is received through your broadband Internet via modem, then decodes it and finally delivers it to your desktop.
When the packet arrives at the router, information contained in its header is scrutinized and based on this scrutiny the packet is forwarded to its destination. Routers also use protocols like ICMP (Internet Message control Protocol) to exchange information and try to figure out best possible route for information packet transfer in terms of cost and time.
Routers can even be used at home if a user wants to connect more than one computer with a single network (Internet connection).
Types of Router:
- Cable Router – Cable routers are commonly used where a user has subscribed to high-speed cable Internet. While the modem is plugged into the wall socket from which the user also receives the cable TV signal, cable router is connected to the modem, which sends the signal to home computers.
- Wireless Router – A wireless router can be used to connect to Internet or a personal network. Nowadays many companies manufacturing router provide it with built in devices thus eliminating the needs for extra devices. Routers which use the Wi-Fi methodology also connect with other wireless devices like NIC (Network Interface cards) and wireless repeaters.
- Multicast Router – Multicast routers are brought to use when it is desired that multiple users should receive a single data packet. Depending upon number of users and the bandwidth available, multicast routers, either uses dense mode routing or sparse mode routing. Both the networks make use of multicast datagram’s which are sent to the routers and hence include a larger number of receivers over sources.