Routers, Types and Functions of Routers

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 25th July, 2019 @ 14:40

Topics in ICT

Routers, Types and Functions of Routers Computer scheme of work, SS1, First Term Computer scheme of work, SS1, Second Term Computer scheme of work, SS1, Third Term Computer Networks and Types of Computer Network Domain Name System: How DNS works and Types of DNS Servers Internet of Things (IoT), How IoT works, its advantages and challenges How to consume less data on your android phone Best Programming Languages to learn Internet and World Wide Web - Notable Dates and Events on Internet Evolution Computer Hardware, Parts and Functions of Computer Hardware

Academic Questions in ICT

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The term SOHO is best represented as a _____.

  • A. LAN
  • B. WAN
  • C. CAN
  • D. PAN
  • E. MAN
  • F. SAN

Which of the following is NOT a function of the router?

  • A.To ensure that packets make it to their destination networks
  • B. To separate networks
  • C. To move traffic to the end devices within a LAN
  • D. To ensure some form of data security
  • E. To connect networks
  • F. To assist in connecting a home network to the internet

An example of a network that spans the entire globe is the _____.

  • A. LAN
  • B. PAN
  • C. MAN
  • D. CAN
  • E. NAN

A specialized router residing at the boundary of a company's network is called a/an _____.

  • A. Wired Router
  • B. Wireless Router
  • C. Core Router
  • D. Edge Router
  • E. Virtual Router
  • F. LAN Router
  • G. WAN Router

Which of the following is NOT a type of computer network?

  • A. NAN
  • B. MAN
  • C. CAN
  • D. LAN
  • E. WAN
  • F. PAN

Personal Area Network - Len Academy

The above diagram best illustrate a _____.

  • A. LAN
  • B. WAN
  • C. CAN
  • D. MAN
  • E. PAN
  • F. NAN

The layer 3 device that move packets between devices, allowing Network communication is called a _____.

  • A. Switch
  • B. Router
  • C. Firewall
  • D. Computer
  • E. Smart phone
  • F. Central Procession Unit



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What are Routers?

You are able to get to this website because some networking devices have been strategically positioned somewhere around the world. These devices helps to move or route data from one computer (termed client) to another computer (called the server) where the information is stored.

It is important to state that the networking devices (routers) must be properly configured so that the sent data (generally referred to as packets) can arrive at their proper destinations.

Note: Inside the packets are all the Layers 2 - 7 details of the OSI Model of Networking.

You will need some knowledge on Computer Networks and the OSI Model in order to better comprehend the routers.

Please read on the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Model of Networking here.

The hardware (networking) device that moves data (in the form of packets) between different devices (clients and servers); thus allowing network communication are called Routers.

Routers are also called Layer 3 devices. The is because they are found at Layer 3 of the OSI Model of Networking.

Below is an image of the Cisco RV325 Dual Gigabit WAN VPN Router:

Cisco Router - Len Academy

We find routers in places where connections to networks are required. For instance; they can be found in banks, campuses, corporate offices, governmental institutions, IT centers and so on.

Please read on the Internet of Things here.

QUESTION: Now, take a moment to imagine what happens behind the scenes (how data is transferred) when you visit a bank’s branch in order to check your account statement?

Below is the summary to the answer pertaining the above paragraph:

Behind the scenes, the bank’s branch is connected to its Head Quarters (HQ) through some routers.

These routers must have been properly configured by a networking specialist so that communication can happen between the bank’s branch and HQ. For now, think of a network specialist as one who's trained and certified to manage, configure and trouble networks. CCNA for instance; is one of the network certifications from Cisco.

Now, the accountant enters your account details on his or her computer (called the client computer) and hits the enter key.

Note: Your account details becomes a part of the data as contained in the packet. The client computer actually generated this packet from what was entered (input) by the accountant.

The client computer speedily relays the packet (containing the account details and other data) to a router which receives and analyzes it.

If the information in the packets are in sync with the router's configuration, the router forwards it to another router and this process continues until the packets get to its destination (that is: the server computer located in the bank’s HQ).

The server sends the reply; an a reverse process is followed; thanks to the router.

Please read on the Domain Name Service to further understand the process of Networking.

The image below shows a Network Communication System between LANs via the Wide Area Network (WAN):

Wide Area Network - Len Academy

It's important you understand the concept behind Computer Networks.

Please read on Computer Network and Types of Computer Networks here.

Note the following on Routers:

1. It is the function of the router to receive, analyze and route incoming packets to the desired or destination network.

2. The router can drop packets when some configurations are not properly met by the incoming packets. This is probably why you can't  access the internet from your service provider when you are yet to subscribe for a data package.

3. The router receives, analyzes and routes incoming packets from it's ingress interface to another network through it' egress interface.

Ingress interface is the port on which packets enters the router.

Egress interface is the port on which packets exit the router.

4. The router can also drop packets according to it's Quality of Service (QoS) configuration.

Note: Cisco made it's first Router in 1978.

Please read on the Notable Dates of Internet Evolution here

Functions of a Router

Routers generally perform the followiing functions:

  1. They ensure that information, data or packets make it to the intended destination network.
  2. They separate networks: When the Local Area Network (LAN) becomes too big, congestion occurs across the network and packets may be lost in the process. The router comes to the rescue by separating such large networks; giving rise to internetworks. Infact, the word Internet was actually coined from the term internetwork.
  3. They connect networks: You are connected to the internet via the routing action of various routers across the globe. As an instance, your service provider’s network is able to connect you to the internet through their various routers.
  4. They ensure the security of data: Routers have basic network firewalls within them to carry out their security function.
  5. A Router can connect multiple home devices to the internet through a single IP Address. (This is a function of Network Address Translation or NAT.

Routers carry out their routing functions by creating a Routing Table in its memory. Also, Logical Addressing are associated with routers.

Please read on Computer Hardware, Types and Functions here


Types of Router

Below is a summary of the types of router:

1. Wired Routers

A wired router connects directly to end devices (e.g computers and VoIP phones) or intermediary devices (switches and other routers) through cables at one end. On the other end, it is connected via a cable to a modem for receiving internet data packets.

Wired routers typically supports Network Address Translation (NAT).

Network Address Translation is a concept that allows multiple end devices to connect to the internet through a shared single Internet Protocol Address (IP Address).

Lastly, wired routers have firewalls built within them to filter traffic (packets) coming from or going to malicious network destinations.

Note: The previous image (Cisco RV325 router) is a wired router.


2. Wireless Routers

Unlike the wired router, a wireless router connects to end devices without any form of cables. To achieve this, it has antennae which broadcast wirelessly; while also receiving signals from end devices.

Wireless routers are used for establishing a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). They also support NAT and have firewalls within them.


3. Virtual Routers

These are standby routers that commence their function when the active router fails.

Virtual routers utilizes a protocol called “Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol” (VRRP).

In Cisco routers, this virtual routing protocol is called the "Hot Standby Router Protocol" (HSRP)

In an attempt to achieve 100% uptime, virtual routers are recommended; especially in institutions that push critical data; for instance, financial and medical data.


4. Edge Router or Gateway Router

They can be wired or wireless. They are located at the edge of networks. This implies that an edge or gateway router is the last router that connects a company to the internet.


5. Core Routers

They can also be wired or wireless.

The core routers are present within the Local Area Network (LAN), distributing data packet within it.

As an instance, the core routers are responsible for routing traffic between two departments (let’s say human resources and sales departments) within the same organization and building.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in ICT

Smoking near a Mac device - Len Academy

Smoking near an Apple (Mac) computer voids the warranty.

When you add /4 to the end of Facebook's URL, it will take you to Mark Zuckerberg.

You can try it on you own; or better still, try the link below:


Apple iPad retina - Len Academy

Apple iPad retina display is actually manufactured by Samsung

The big five tech companies are GOOGLE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK, APPLE and MICROSOFT

Please read on Notable dates on internet evolution here.


Computer Network is a group of computers that are linked to each other such that they can share resources.

Generally, these groups of computers that form a network are called nodes.

Some of these nodes will function to store information which will be served to other computers. The nodes that function to store and serve such information are known as servers.

Some of the computers (nodes) will request information from the server. The computers that functions to request information from the server are known as clients.

Please read on Computer Networks here

The internet and the World Wide Web (www) IS NOT the same thing.

The internet is formed from the joining or linking of different networks.

For instance, Google's network, Facebook's network and Yahoo's network are among the many other networks that make up the internet.

World Wide Web on the other hand is a collection of linked pages (for instance, this page you're on).

There are actually billions of linked pages in various servers around the world.

You require the internet and a web browser to get to access the World Wide Web

Please read more on the internet here

Types of Networks based on Geographical size

  1. Personal Area Network (PAN): An instance is a Bluetooth connection between two devices.

  2. Local Area Network (LAN): This is the network under a single administrative control and usually within a building.

  3. Campus Area Network (CAN): This network connects various devices within a campus or college

  4. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): This network connects two offices or companies within a city.

  5. Wide Area Network (WAN): This network connects devices throughout the globe. The internet is a typical example of a WAN.

You can read more on the types of network based on Geographical Size here

Functions of a Router

  1. They ensure that data (preferably called packets) make it to their intended destination.
  2. They ensure the security of data to some extent.
  3. When a network becomes too big within a Local Area Network (LAN), routers are used to separate such networks.
  4. They connect different networks. This is the very reason why you are able to access the internet. (The internet's network and your service provider's network are different; but thanks to the router for connecting them).
  5. Multiple devices in the home or office can access the internet through the internet (and with a single IP Address). The term associated with this process is referred to a Network Address Translation (NAT)

Please read on Types and Functions of Router here