What Is A Router and How Does It Work?

If your home has an internet provider, you probably have a router hiding somewhere. A router allows you to connect to and communicate over the internet. It works by establishing a connection between the devices in your home and the net. Routers also help protect your family from cyberthreats while speeding up your internet service.

Why Do You Need a Router?

Today’s households have an array of internet-capable devices like phones, tablets, computers, laptops, printers, smart TVs, thermostats, and much more. And your router helps create a network that all of these devices can connect it. It is designed to direct incoming and outgoing internet traffic as efficiently as possible.

Difference Between Modems And Routers

It is essential to note that your home network doesn’t consist only of devices and a router. You also need a modem. Without the modem, your local network won’t have access to the internet.

Your modem brings internet service to your home and grants access to the router. The router then provides connectivity to the network that the devices in your home connect to.

Types of Routers

There are various types of routers and even some that double as modems. The primary options are wired and wireless.

Wired routers are the older choice. They link directly to computers through wired connections, and they’re not that common these days. They feature ports through which they connect to the modem and let other devices connect to them.

A wireless router, on the other hand, can connect to the modem directly through a cable. This cable is necessary to receive and transmit information. Wireless routers then communicate with the devices on your network through built-in antennas.

Basic Features

The basic features that all routers should provide include coverage, performance, and security. If you’re buying a new router, keep all three in mind.

Coverage

Coverage refers to the Wi-Fi signal and how well it covers your home. The router transmits your Wi-Fi signal across a set range, and the amount of coverage you need depends on the size of your home. The further away from the router you are, the weaker the signal. And if you’re too far away, you won’t be able to connect at all. Obstacles like thick walls, mirrors, and fireplaces can block Wi-Fi signals, also.

Look for a powerful enough router to transmit strong enough signals for your home size.

Performance

For the best performance, look for a router that’s based on the latest technology, MU-MIMO. It stands for multi-user, multiple-input, and multiple output. This technology allows the router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously with an increased number of antennas.

Security

Security is crucial because your router can act as an easy gateway to your home network. Ensure that your router uses robust encryption protocols and comes equipped with the latest security features like automatic updates and signed firmware updates.

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