What Is A Wireless Router?
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Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
Wireless routers are great investments for heavy internet users. We are concerned with showing you the benefits of wireless routers.
What Is A Router?
A router is a device that communicates between the internet and the devices in your home that connects to the internet. As its name implies, it “routes” traffic between the devices and the internet.
With the right kind of router in your home, you may be able to enjoy faster internet service, help protect your family from cyber threats, and avoid those maddening Wi-Fi dead spots.
You don’t have to be a computer genius to know what a good router has to offer. All it takes is to know what you need it for. Understanding how routers work will help you choose the right equipment for your home.
How do routers work?
A typical home has a range of internet-connected devices — personal computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, thermostats, smart TVs, and more. With your router, these devices form a network. A router directs incoming and outgoing internet traffic on that network in the fastest and most efficient way.
The information traveling on your home network could be an email, a movie, or a live feed from your baby cam, each of which takes up varying amounts of bandwidth. Making sure that information is delivered quickly and correctly is a big task — and getting bigger. As you add more and more devices — think Internet of Things — you ask your router to do more.
How modems differ from routers
A router and your devices aren’t the only components on your home network. There’s also the modem. In fact, without the modem, all you’d have is your local network with no access to the internet.
The modem’s job is to bring the internet service from your provider into your home. It then connects to your router, delivering that internet connectivity to your home network.
When most internet services were delivered over telephone lines, modems enabled communication between the digital devices in your home and the analog signals used on telephone lines. With today’s internet connections, including cable and satellite, modems play a similar but different role.
What are the different types of routers?
When it comes to routers, there are only two types you’ll need to consider:
- Wired routers. A wired router connects directly to computers through wired connections. They usually have a port that connects to the modem to communicate with the internet. Another port — or ports — allows the wired router to connect to computers and other devices to distribute information.
- Wireless routers. A wireless router connects directly to a modem by a cable. This allows it to receive information from — and transmit information to — the internet. The router then creates and communicates with your home Wi-Fi network using built-in antennas. As a result, all of the devices on your home network have internet access.
Wireless routers are commonly found in homes — they’re the hardware devices that Internet service providers use to connect you to their cable or xDSL Internet network. A wireless router, also called a Wi-Fi router, combines the networking functions of a wireless access point and a router.
Wireless router types
- Wi-Fi router?
The most common way for users to connect to the Internet wirelessly is with a desktop wireless (Wi-Fi) router. Usually, these routers look like small boxes with several short antennas to help broadcast signals throughout a home or an office. The farther a user is from the Wi-Fi router, the weaker the signal is. So there are usually multiple wireless routers placed throughout the workspace, in an array allowing for extended Internet coverage.
- mobile hotspot?
Mobile hotspot is a common feature on smartphones with both tethered and untethered connections. When you make your phone a mobile hotspot, you share your wireless network connection with other devices so that they can access the Internet too.
- portable Wi-Fi?
A portable Wi-Fi hotspot is a type of mobile hotspot. It’s a small device supported by cellular carriers that broadcast a 3G or 4G signal that multiple devices can share wirelessly. Similar to a cell phone, the portable hotspot’s monthly cost is based on the data plan you select. A portable Wi-Fi hotspot is a more reliable way to access the Internet than public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Easily Shared Internet
One of the biggest reasons for using a router is to connect multiple users to the Internet. Connecting to the Internet requires a publicly unique IP address. As such, Internet providers typically only offer a single IP address or charge fees for large amounts of publicly routable addresses. The solution is to add a router with network address translation enabled.
Connecting to the Internet through a router with NAT allows the router to use a single public IP address and a series of UDP ports to share the connection. Without NAT, connecting a large organization’s computers to the Internet becomes virtually impossible.
Regardless of their location, the staff of a company can accomplish their assigned tasks with a wireless router. Users who connect to a Wifi network can experience different ranges of speed as they move from one location to another. And also there are least chances of experiencing technical glitches with the Wireless LAN. As a result, staff can be more engaged and be able to deliver their timely targets and works, enhancing the overall productivity of the company.
- Security and Adaptability
Connecting an Internet modem directly to a PC exposes that PC to a host of security issues. Furthermore, expanding a direct-connection network becomes complicated without the addition of switches or a router and communicating between the individual PCs becomes difficult.
Using a router as an intermediary between the “outside” network of the Internet and the “inside” network of your organization provides a scalable environment that is also, to a degree, easier to secure. A router is not a replacement for a firewall or anti-malware measures, but it’s an important first step towards a largely secure network environment.
Compared to a Wired network connection, Wireless networks offer significant advantages in terms of cost and labor. Especially when installing a new Wifi network, you can cut down the expenses in wiring and maintenance. Out of these, the bigger expense comes under the wiring part. Since a very less number of wires are used here, it can save a bigger amount in companies overall budget.
- Complicated Setup
The aforementioned router requires NAT to be set up. In addition, each computer must be assigned a private IP address that is typically organized by a DHCP server. This is required for the simplest connections.
Connecting to additional IP-based networks adds additional complication in the form of routing tables — a table that describes the best route for reaching the desired network.
If IP telephony or video services are to be running on the IP network, you’ll also need to consider the quality of service configurations. QoS helps prioritize one type of traffic, such as voice, over others when bandwidth is limited. As additional services are added, more configuration becomes required of the router.
- Data Overhead
Unlike a point-to-point “layer 2” link, routers add additional IP-based headers. These headers include information such as source and destination addresses, UDP information, and checksums. These headers are attached to every payload of data.
Large pieces of data are typically broken into thousands of smaller headers, making this header data consume a percentage of the total available bandwidth. Additionally, the routers communicate updates on the network to maintain routing tables. When possible, eliminating the routed network environment will offer a nominal speed gain.
The range offered by a Wifi network is limited, typically around 100-150 feet. While it is sufficient for normal home, it can actually be a problem for building structures. The strength of a Wifi network will be reduced as you move away from the access point. Since the building is multi-storeyed, the strength of the Wifi network can be varying on different floors. This cloud weakens the company’s workflow. The only way to overcome this is by purchasing additional access points.
The speed of a Wifi connection is far slower than a wired connection (around 1-54 Mbps). That is to just one device connected to the dedicated servers. This may look fine as long as there are few devices connected to the network. The moment when there are more devices connected, you could experience a drastic reduction in speed.
A Wifi network works in the frequency of 2.4Ghz. This frequency has a high chance of getting hindered due to the electromagnetic waves and other forms of obstacles. As a result, you may frequently experience connectivity issues and weak signal strengths. Especially during large file transfers, the signal can get interfered with.
Many routers only allow 30 maximum devices to be connected. The bandwidth of the Wifi network gets weaker as you add more devices. It is solely reserved for a single user. Most often when the bandwidth gets limited users can experience slow speeds.
- Health issues
There are certain conspiracy theories about Wifi that it causes health issues in human. Some of them are cancer, insomnia, and apoptosis. It same as the effects caused by the Microwave frequencies (EMF). And also it is advised for pregnant women, not to get exposed to the Wifi signals as it releases Electromagnetic radiation.
Routers have become a very important part of the connected home. Make sure you buy a router that you can control easily. The latest routers are easy to install and use. Some come with user-friendly apps that help you with guest networks, parental controls, user time limits, and network management.