A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers represents “traffic cops” for your small business network. They keep data moving efficiently among multiple network sites as well as to your Internet service provider (ISP), and “translate” different media types and protocols.
Use of Router
To keep networks up and running, routers connect computers and other devices such as printers, allowing them to “talk” to each other. They analyze the data that’s sent over networks, change how it’s packaged, and then send it to another network or over a different type of network.
Features of Routers
- Works on the network layer of the OSI reference model and communicate with neighbor devices on the concept of IP addressing and sub netting.
- The main components of routers are the central processing unit (CPU), flash memory, non-volatile RAM, RAM, network interface card, and console.
- Routers have a different kind of multiple ports like fast-Ethernet port, gigabit, and STM link port. All ports support high-speed network connectivity.
- Depending upon the type of port needed in the network the user can configure them accordingly.
- Routers carry out the data encapsulation and decapsulation process to filter out the unwanted interference.
- Routers have the inbuilt intelligence to route traffic in a big networking system by treating the sub-networks as an intact network. They have the capability to analyze the type of next link and hop connected with it which makes them superior to other layer-3 devices such as switch and bridges.
- Routers always work in master and slave mode thus provides redundancy. Both routers will have the same configurations at the software and hardware level if the master fails then the slave will act as Master and perform its entire tasks. Thus saves the complete network failure.
Types of routers
There are three types of routers in the market. These types are the main categories.
Broadband routers can do different types of things. Broadband routers can be used to connect computers or to connect to the Internet.
If you connect to the internet through phone and using Voice over IP technology (VOIP) then you need broadband router. These are often a special type of modem (ADSL) that will have both Ethernet and phone jacks.
Subscriber Edge Routers
This type of router belongs to an end user (enterprise) organization. It’s configured to broadcast external BGP to its provider’s AS(s).
Inter-provider Border Routers
This type of router is for Interconnecting ISPs. This is a BGP speaking router that maintains BGP sessions with other BGP speaking routers in other providers’ ASes.
Wired and wireless routers
These routers are mostly used in homes and small offices. Wired routers share data over cables and create wired local area networks (LANs), while wireless routers use antennas to share data and create wireless local area networks (WLANs).
This is a wired or wireless router that distributes data packets between one or more networks but not within a network. As their name indicates, edge routers are placed at the edge or boundary of networks, and typically connect to Internet service providers (ISPs) or other organizations’ networks. Their job is to keep your network communicating smoothly with other networks.
These wired or wireless routers distribute data packets within networks, but not between multiple networks. They’re designed to become the backbone of your network and do the heavy lifting of data transfer, which is why they’re usually high-performance.
Unlike physical routers, virtual routers are pieces of software that allow computers and servers to operate like routers. They’ll share data packets just as physical routers do. They can offer more flexibility than physical devices since they can be scaled as the business grows; they can also help get remote offices up and running on your network more quickly.
How do businesses use routers?
Routers manage all kinds of business communications, from data and voice to video and Wi-Fi access. How routers can help:
Sharing business applications – Routers can help you share business applications with workers, even those in different locations, so that everyone has equal access to critical tools and can improve their productivity. Routers can also provide access to advanced applications and enable useful business services, such as IP voice and videoconferencing.
Improving access to information – Workers need fast access to information so they can make better decisions. Routers help provide access, so workers have visibility into business data.
Enhancing customer service – Today’s customers expect fast responses to their questions as well as personalized service. To meet these demands, businesses need responsive and reliable networks, which routers can provide.
Reducing operating costs – Routing technology can positively impact your business’s bottom line–for example, saving money by using shared printers and servers that can be accessed by everyone on the network. With routers and a reliable network, you can grow your small business infrastructure without constantly replacing technology.