WiFi Router

Arguably the most important aspect of seamless wireless connectivity, no wireless connection can ever be complete without a WiFi router. Going by the popular description of the device, the hardware and software of this device is instrumental in routing and forwarding of information, and pertaining to our understanding need, this information can be understood as the internet connectivity.

In order to understand this revolutionary device a little better, we need to get a little more technical. What actually happens in a router is that two subnets are connected together, though not physically. The Ethernet LAN optimised interfaces are the most widely used. Broadly the router can be divided into two parts: a control plane which receives the information and a forwarding plane, which, as the name suggests, forwards the information forward into the connection. In a Wi-Fi setup, the connection is broadcasted as signals using the antenna that comes with the Wi-Fi router. These signals are then received by the wireless cards installed in your laptops, desktops, gaming consoles, mobile phones and other devices.

The Wi-Fi router is simply a router which can perform additional functions of a wireless access point. The characteristics of a typical Wi-Fi router are:-

a) Multiple LAN ports – This the part that functions just like other standard switches, by distributing the information over a series of interconnected devices with the helps of LAN cables.

b) WAN – Or wider area networking. This is the place where redundant and dormant functions of router are bypassed.

c) Antenna – Well, this is really the part that actually makes it wireless. This part, as explained above, transmits the information for devices to receive wirelessly.

As no user today likes any form of restrictions, let alone connectivity and mobility restrictions, there are many big names which have established themselves in the market of Wi-Fi routers. The major players include Buffalo Technology, the very popular Netgear, pioneers in the field of connectivity devices D-Link and others like Linksys and 3-COM These companies are all are tapping into the potential of this ever growing market. In many developing countries, the trend of using Wi-Fi has just recently caught on and thus, the markets there have a sudden surge in demand, often fulfilled by smaller manufacturers.

More than price, one parameter that often companies try to bank on is the range of the wireless connectivity provided by their Wi-Fi router. Quite often, an intelligent buyer doesn’t mind spending a little more money on a Wi-Fi router that promises wider and better connectivity over one that is a little cheaper but puts the user in a handicap when it comes to the distance covered.

Highly popular in homes today, routers which incorporate a DSL or cable modem and a Wi-Fi access point are providing access to the internet through networking all the computing devices within the home. This not only provides networking multiple computers, it also provides access in non-traditionally wired areas of the residence. Vic Hayes, commonly called the “father of Wi-Fi” said that being able to access the internet while answering the call of nature was “one of life’s most liberating experiences”.

Wi-Fi capability is also very convenient for travelers as the technology is used around the globe. However, spectrum assignments and operational limitations are not consistent worldwide. Most of Europe has two additional channels in the 2.4 Ghz band that are not available in the US and Japan actually has a third. This inconsistency shouldn’t cause more than a minor inconvenience to travelers, though, as there is still a wide spread of channels allowed everywhere.

This WiFi Router Review is Written/Updated on Oct 28th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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