What Is a Router Used For?

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What is a Router?

  • A router is a type of computer peripheral that is used to direct data transmissions from one computer system to another. The size and capabilities of any given router can vary greatly from one router to another. Also, the level of complexity of each router can vary immensely. For instance, some computer systems can act as their own router, while there are other types of routers, massive in scale, that are actually extremely complex computer systems in and of themselves.

Are There Different Types of Routers?

  • There are many different types of routers, but only two main categories. The two major types of routers are wired routers and wireless routers. Wired routers, which have been around longer, use data-transmitting cable of some kind to transmit data along the network. Common examples of cable types used by wired routers include USB cable and ethernet cable. Wireless routers, on the other hand, use wireless technology to transmit the data across the network. Wireless routers can use WiFi technology or Bluetooth technology to transmit the data.

What are Routers Used For?

  • In order to establish a computer network including several different computer systems, a router needs to be used. The router acts almost like a traffic light at a busy intersection. All of the data that is being passed along the network, from computer system to computer system, is directed into the router, then transmitted along to its eventual destination. Routers also allow the signal from one source to be passed along to many different computer systems. For example, a router connected to a broadband internet connection can connect many different computers to the internet. Without a router, however, the broadband connection would only be capable of connecting one computer.

  • Photo Credit Sergio Sanchez Lopez, Wikimedia Commons
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