Most home computer users now have a router in their houses but have no idea how they actually work? In fact people take their routers for granted and do not even know a thing about them until something goes wrong.
What Exactly is a Router?
If you are familiar with computer networking you will know that routers play a major part in this process of forwarding data packets between multiple computers. A router is the device that will receive the data from the modem via a broadband connection and then forward it to your target computer.
Broadband Routers and Wireless Routers. What is the Difference?
A simple broadband router is a router that connects multiple computers to the internet via cables known as Ethernet cables. This method of connection is said to gain faster internet connection speeds because it is giving a direct connection between the modem, router and computer.
A Wireless router picks up the internet connect from wireless signals which is not as stable as a wired connection, although improving everyday as innovation develops. Wifi routers can also gain interference from other devices close by that also use a wireless signal to transfer data.
How Does a Router Work?
Most people are aware that a router will allow them to connect more than one computer to the internet at the same time. Gone are the days of having a hassle trying to connect two computers to one modem, a router takes care of all this.
A router can take the data packets from the modem and transfer to your target computer and tries to do this as fast as possible. A Packet is a piece of information sent over the network and its routing information. Like an envelope, a packet holds the addresses of the source and destination of the information, plus some other information like Quality of Service (QoS) flags that help routers efficiently get the information to its destination. See more router networking terms.
The Router then tries to use the least amount of ‘hops’ possible to get the data to its destination. Most data packets need to go through a number of routers to reach their target, and each time a packet is forwarded a hop occurs. The more hops used, the longer the data takes to reach its destination. Any packet that hops more than sixteen times is abandoned.
This is only the basics of how a router works and we could get far more technical explaining how the router decides the path for your information and so on. It is really an amazing device that we all are guilty of taking for granted.