Network Router

Back in the days when a single home computer was a luxury, a device like a network router was not needed. People were happy just to crowd around a single computer, and they were still marveling at the wonders of dial up internet. But fast forward a couple decades and you have homes with five or more computers and offices with thousands. Suddenly a good way to link those computers together is necessary. Enter the network router.

A network router is a device that does just exactly what’s it name says it does, its software and hardware routes and forwards information. To be more specific, network routers connect to two or more logical subnets and then, from there, send and receive information from the internet or another computer. Also, a network router is different from a network hub. While a network router directs packets of information to and fro, a network hub does not route at all. Instead, a network hub simply forwards every pack it receives along its predetermined network lines.

One of the most popular network router manufacturers is the company Linksys. Linksys was started by a Taiwanese couple, and went from being a business run out of a Irvine, California garage to a well respected electronics manufacturer in just a few years. Linksys produced its first network first router in 2000. This 8-port router came with SNMP and QoS. By 2001, the company had shipped its millionth Linksys router. Network routers allow multiple computers on a network to connect to the internet and/or each other through one centralized piece of electronic equipment. They work with cable and DSL internet connections.

Linksys network routers are marketed as simple do it yourself routers, and for the most part, they are simple to set up in the home. Cisco even advertises Linksys routers on their web page with the slogan, “Go Wireless. It’s easier than you think.” That isn’t to say that myriad websites and online video tutorials have not sprung up around the phrase, “How do I set up my Linksys router?” The popularity of such sites though, can actually be seen as a testament to Linksys routers’ popularity. Linksys routers are also relatively inexpensive in comparison to other routers on the market.

Another term for a network router used in the home is “residential gateway,” so if you ever see that term, don’t be confused, they are talking about the small box like devices made by Linksys and their competitors. This type of network router is less powerful than routers that would be used in the workplace, for example, the Cisco line of routers. Home network routers also often have a built in network switch. Sometimes, DSL and/or Cable modems have all these features built in, meaning that they serve as residential network routers and network switches. This essentially means that they can be three devices in one.

The term “residential gateway” was originally used to distinguish the inexpensive home networking devices from much more powerful corporate networking devices. For example, the corporate networking devices would be used in LAN environments and would generally offer much more in the way of functionality and capability. In recent times, though, the network routers known as “residential gateways” have gained far more power and functionality. Truth be told, it has become much harder to distinguish a residential network router from a business corporate router. This may have been facilitated by the fact that Cisco bought Linksys, and now the computing network giant develops of both residential and commercial routers. No matter if you are using a router for business use in an office or personal use at home, it is a handy and convenient way to connect your computers.

This Network Router Review is Written/Updated on Apr 7th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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