Introduction: What is a Router

Router is a hardware device which is designed to receive, analyze, and route incoming data packets to another network. Routers are also used for managing network interface for managing data switching function. The key router capabilities, functions, and types or routing are discussed below:

Router Capabilities

Routers are much more advanced and capable devices than switch or hubs which only perform basic functions. Switches and hubs are only responsible for transferring of data between devices or networks. They do not have the capabilities to analyze the data being exchanged. Routers on the other hand, are more technologically advanced devices. They can analyze the type of data being transferred between devices and networks and change how the data is being packed. Routers can be wired or wireless and they allow all the connected devices on a network to easily access the internet. Wireless routers are more advanced and allow the flexibility to connect to a network or the internet wirelessly.

Functions

Routers generally perform two different types of functions- forwarding function and filtering function. The forwarding function of routers allows to resolve the route and forward the IP address to the next router. The forwarding function facilitates sending the packets on the same network which is also known as local routing. Filtering function allows to filter the packet and pass it through a router. This function is used for dumping on a particular network.

Types of Routing

Routing methods are subdivided into two classifications- static and dynamic routing. Static routing provides information on a fixed route to another router. Static routes are manually programmed for creating routing table. Under this routing method, all data has to follow a predetermined path which makes it secure.

Dynamic routing creates its own routing table automatically. The routing table under dynamic routing is developed based on the data provided from other routers. Dynamic routing is generally used to overcome unplanned chaos or events on the network.

Range of Routers

The range of a typical router is up to 150 feet when used indoors. It can extend up to 300 feet in outdoor settings. However, the range of routers also depend on the presence of any obstructions in the settings where they are being used. In case of obstructions like walls and other objects, the range can be reduced up to 25%. Hence, to enjoy the best range of routers, they should be installed and used in an obstruction-free environment.