What Is a Router

What is a router? In the past, users needed to connect wires directly to their modems when they wanted to use the Internet. Routers have made it possible for several computers in a home or office to connect to the same modem signal. Wireless routers do regular routers one better and take the wires out of the equation, although they may be lacking in the security department. Whether wired or wireless, routers are devices that allow many computers to share the data signal from a single modem or network source.

Routers Versus Modems
It's easy to mix up routers and modems. In some cases, you might have both in your home network, or you might have a combination router modem. To clarify, routers look just like modems, but they are not actually responsible for creating new connections. Rather, they route existing signals. These signals are interpreted and forwarded by routers in the form of data packets, which contain language the receiving computer can interpret.

Why Is A Router Necessary?
Without a router, it would be necessary to establish an individual network connection for each computer in a home or office. This would raise monthly Internet fees to astronomical heights, and the connections would be inefficient. While it may seem that using a router could slow down connections on individual computers by putting a middleman between the modem and your computer, a router can actually make the process faster by avoiding network tangling.

Wired Versus Wireless
Not all routers are wireless. Broadband wired routers require direct connections among multiple computers, and they can be used to create phone connections. A main advantage of wired routers is that their signal cannot be hacked easily. The signals from wireless routers are often picked up by freeloaders who can tap into your connection. Wired routers also eliminate the problems caused by using a computer positioned far from a router, perhaps on another floor, and they guarantee that a user will always get a signal. Wireless routers are widely touted as the modern champions, as they allow for connected users to roam freely. The debate will likely continue for some time.

Related Life123 Articles

This helpful Linksys router setup guide shows how to set up a wireless home or office network that is still secure.

How does a router work? A router sorts through information sent over a network, using its hardware and software to prioritize the information and pass it along to your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

To configure a Linksys router, you'll need to know not only how to access the router settings but also how to keep your router protected from hackers.

These Netgear router setup tips simplify the process of securing your home network and making it even more efficient.

How do you set up a Linksys router? If you can keep the inputs straight, you'll be ready to start Web surfing in no time.

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company