What is a Router?

A router is a small device that forwards data to the appropriate parts of a computer network. For example, routers can connect multiple devices to one network. A router is typically a small box and may have visible or hidden antennas.

These router antennas are used to connect computers and Wi-Fi enabled devices to the same network. Routers include Ethernet ports that connect your computer to a local area network (LAN) connection. Or, they can connect to a cable or DSL modem for Internet access.

How does a router work?

Routers are used in homes and businesses to access the Internet and filter users’ IP addresses. This means that only specified users can access the network through the router.

Routers typically allow for multiple computers and devices to connect to the Internet. They can connect to each device through cables, or they can wirelessly transmit data over the air.

Wireless routers

If you’ve visited an airport, coffee shop or library recently, there’s a chance you’ve been among wireless Internet signals. A wireless router transmits signals through antennas that reach Wi-Fi enabled devices. This is a simple and effective way for users get online without needing to be physically tethered via an Ethernet cord.

Most Internet users would agree that a wireless router is the most convenient way to connect many devices on one home network. In fact, some Internet providers—such as Frontier—include a wireless Internet router with their service.

It’s safe to say that wireless Internet has become the norm for most Internet users.

IP routers

In addition to wireless routers, home networks can also use a wired IP router. The IP router connects to a DSL or cable modem. From there, the router joins the local area network (LAN) and the wide-area network (WAN) of the Internet. This is a convenient way to get online if you have just one computer that you use to access the Web.

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