Routers are devices found in nearly every home these days, they work by connecting your home to the internet. They are responsible for allowing us to connect to the internet by creating a network. A router works by directing incoming and outgoing internet traffic in the most efficient way possible.
A router makes communication between the internet and your home possible. The mere name suggests that it routes traffic between the two destinations. Using the right router can make a huge difference, improving your internet speed, protecting your household from cyber threats, and making Wi-Fi dead spots a thing of the past. If you are interested in knowing exactly how a router works, then read on to find out.
How a Router Works and its Purpose
You may have found yourself wondering what the purpose of a router is since your phone can connect to the internet without the need for one. The truth is that a router essentially acts as a gateway between two networks. Routers have two primary purposes, the first of which involves ensuring that data is sent to the correct destination. An example of a router doing this is making sure that an email you send reaches the right person.
The second purpose of a router is to prevent data from going where it is not permitted. It prevents large files from being sent to every device that is connected to a network. If it failed to do this, the network performance would take a serious hit.
To simply state how a router works, it connects devices in a network by sending data packets between them. These data packets can be transmitted between devices on the same network or to the internet. The router is able to do this as it assigns a unique IP address to each device on the network. This makes sure that the data packets go to the correct destination rather than getting lost in the network.
Can a Router Increase Internet Speed?
Yes, a good router can increase your internet speed; however, even the best router available cannot make your internet faster than the maximum speed provided by your service provider. For example, if you have a 100 Mbps internet plan, and the router you currently have is only capable of speeds up to 10 Mbps, then a new router should make a world of difference. On the other hand, if your current router is capable of speeds of 100 Mbps, then even a new router capable of up to 200 Mbps is not going to make a difference to your internet speed.
What Are the Two Main Functions of a Router?
The two main functions of a router can be split into two areas, namely, building a map of the network through static and dynamic protocols. Other than allowing the router to create a map of the network, dynamic routing protocols also allow the router to be aware of changes to the network.
Static routing does not allow the router to adapt to network changes but does still allow it to build a map of the network. Creating a map of the network is crucial as it enables the router to be aware of where it is sending data packets. It is important to notice that routing is done based on destination addresses.
Being able to adapt to network changes is also important as networks are continually undergoing changes in modern times. A router being able to adapt to these changes means that it is constantly aware of what is going on and prevents it from making any errors relating to the forwarding of data packets.
Why Do I Need a Router?
Should you need an internet connection in your home, then a router is essential. Routers allow your connected devices to share a common internet connection that has been provided by your internet service provider. Without a router, this would not be possible without connecting your device directly to your internet service provider’s cable connection, which brings us to the second reason.
A computer or device that is directly connected to the cable connection is vulnerable to a cyber-attack. A router improves your security as the internet connection is filtered rather than just being directed directly into one of your devices. Being the victim of a cyber-attack is something you do not wish to experience, as these attacks can result in your data being stolen and used against your ‘will.’
Routers are also able to connect multiple devices at once. This becomes very useful when you have a lot of devices in your home. For example, without a router, you would not be able to have your phone, computer, smart TV, and tablet connected all at once.
Your router is also able to give you alerts when there is abnormal activity taking place on your network.
The Bottom Line
A router is a crucial part of any modern home. Without it, tasks that have been deemed normal in the modern era would not be possible.