What Is A Router? The Wireless Internet Device Explained!

I bet, everyone has at least one Router in their home allowing them to connect multiple electronic devices to the internet. It’s no surprise that it’s the age of long-range and hyper-fast Routers that provide better coverage. These hyper-fast Routers are already outperforming and outrunning the super-slow Routers for one or another reason.

what is a router
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In the last few years, the Router’s status has jumped from a critical hardware component to a must-have electronic device for internet connection. There are many things to talk about the Router ranging from its importance in networking to its main types.

Besides that, it’s also important to know about some of the best Router brands before getting your hands on one. Therefore, I have covered all the aspects of the Router in this content to help you be confusion-free.

What Is A Router?

In the simplest definition, a Router is a device that connects to the Modem to give wireless internet access to your home devices. What happens is that a Router receives the internet data from the Modem and broadcasts it to your home devices. The broadcast allows your multiple home devices to connect to the internet. In other words, a Router provides Wi-Fi to your home devices using a connection to the Modem.

What Does A Router Do?

Let’s skip the rocket science here and make it simple to learn what a Router does in a detailed manner. As discussed a couple of sentences ago, a Router connects with a Modem to provide a wireless internet connection to the home devices. However, this requires a lot of work from a Router’s end. 

A Router, as the name suggests, routes the receiving data packets from the Modem to the desired destinations in your home network. These desired destinations are multiple home devices that make up your home network. The Router ensures the traffic of data packets flows to the right destinations aka right home devices. 

Besides routing the receiving data packets from the Modem, a Router also routes the data packets sent by the home devices back to the Internet. So, the management of incoming and outgoing traffic of data packets between the internet and the home devices is the responsibility of a Router.

History Of Routers

It has been more than 50 years since the earliest type of Router was invented. The predecessor to the modern Router, Interface Message Processor aka IMP was a bit different in terms of functionality. However, its objective was the same as the Routers these days. The IMP was invented to interconnect multiple networks in ARPANET for packet switching. 

First popularized by Donald Davies and later on by Wesley Clark, the idea to interconnect multiple networks to switch data packets was very well received by the-then networking researchers of the International Networking Working Group. 

While the invention of IMP was limited, for the time being, it allowed the members of (INWG) to dig more into the idea and work on the development of the modern Routers. 

Thanks to the program led by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the world got a bit closer to getting the modern Routers in 1976. Developed by Ginny Strazisar at Raytheon BBN, it was a major development in the field of networking. However, it wasn’t until 1981 that Stanford’s router program allowed the world to get its first modern Router. 

Invented by William Yeager, the first router was meant to connect the multiple departments of Stanford University. Yeager’s router was the first multiprotocol device that was capable of connecting multiple devices for networking purposes. 

Although modern networking is based on the standard Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), it relied on the multiprotocol routers throughout the 80s. So, the Routers used today, whether based on TCP/IP or multiprotocol systems, are a result of decades of networking research that transformed both the field of networking and the internet. 

Types Of Routers

There are five types of modern Routers available in the international market. These Routers are listed with a short summary for each in the table below.

Wireless RouterA Wireless Router connects multiple home devices to the internet using secure signal broadcasting
Wired RouterThis type of Router connects with a Modem using a cable to provide internet access to a computer 
Edge RouterAn Edge Router connects with a Network set up by an Internet Service Provider to share the data with multiple other networks
Core RouterA Core Router is the total opposite of an Edge Router. It shares the data within the single network system and is often used for heavy data transfer
Virtual RouterIt is a software-based router used for the routing of multiple servers

Components And Parts Of A Router

Since a Router is a complex electronic device, it requires a union of several components to make it workable. All these components combine their features for the standard use of a Router. Let me tell you this, these components are not just three or four in numbers. In fact, it is an entire team of hardware working together to keep a Router operational. So, what are these Router components? Let’s check them out in the content below.

Input Port

The input port allows the incoming data to transfer to the Router. The Router transfer the data to the Switching Fabric which delivers it to the output port.

Switching Fabric

It is a bridge between the input and output ports and is often called a system within a networking system.

Output Ports

The job of an Output Port is to store the data sent to it through Switching Fabric and transmit it out of the Router. In short, Output Port enables the data transfer in reverse mode.

Routing Processor

It’s the brain of a Router responsible for the task of managing the routing protocols. A Routing Processor takes care of the routing tables and ensures the network system runs smoothly.

Interfaces / Ports

These Interfaces or Ports are used to connect the Router access internet connection using a wire. So, if you want to set up a wired internet connection, you can plug the wire into one of the Interfaces/Ports.


Installed in every other computer, a Read-Only Memory can also be found in modern Routers. The job of a ROM in a Router is the same as in the computer. It Is to start up the Router’s program and hand over the control of the Router to the CPU.


The Random Access Memory performs the task of temporarily storing the data in the Router and allows it to run multiple operations at the same time.


The Central Processing Unit of a Router maintains the data transfer and runs the major operations. A Router relies on the CPU more than any other component of it. Without a CPU, a Router is nothing but a piece of junk.


NVRAM is pretty helpful for the Router to load the configuration file after every power breakdown. What NVRAM does is that it creates a backup copy of the configuration file and allows the Router to use it after every power breakdown.

Flash Memory

This component of a Router is the default location of its Operating System and is non-editable.

All Router Brands

These are some of the best Router brands in the world with a huge customer base in their respective regions.

ASUSSpecializes in delivering long-range Routers
ASRockWorld-class Router brand provider based in Taiwan  
AppleServes a great number of Router users in the United States
Amped WirelessDevelops high-speed Routing devices
BUFFALOA major wireless networking solutions provider
D-LinkIt’s the pride of the Taiwanese Router industry
BelkinOffers tons of Router models for a great experience
DrayTekIt’s a household name in Taiwan in terms of Routing devices
AVMBuilts hyper-speed Routers to connect multiple devices
EnGeniusDelivering quality Routers for years
HooTooSells affordable wireless Routers  
EDIMAXA router brand that is known for customer-friendly policies  
LINKSYSManufacturers high-performance Routers
MEDIALINKDeals in wireless Routing devices
MIKROTIKOffering superior Routing solutions for years
NETGEARIt is a world-class Router brand from the United States
NetisIt is a renowned Router manufacturer
SECURIFIDelivers excellent Routers at a medium price tag
SITECOMA major Routing device manufacturing company
SMCThe company develops ultra-fast routers for all types of users
SynologyIt is a Routers selling company operating in Taiwan
TendaA reputable Router brand based in the United States
TOTOLINKOwns some of the fastest Routing devices
TP-LINKThe Chinese tech-giant produces next-generation Routers
TRENDnetOperating from California, it offers highly efficient routers
ZyXELMaking networking easier by delivering up-to-date Routers
UBIQUITIFounded in 2003, it is an American routing device brand

How Much Is A Router?

A budget-priced Router will cost you $40-$70 offering a smooth speed of excellent features a good routing device usually comes with. In case your pocket is a little heavier and you can afford to spend more bucks for super-fast 5GHz speed, the price could go up to $100-$150.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

So, what else do you want to know about Routers besides whatever has been covered above? Before you come up with anything, let me tell you that the provided information is enough for you to have an idea about the Routers. While concluding the content, I am hopeful that you would no longer confuse Routers with Modems and that you have gained valuable information about the undisputed role of Routers in networking.

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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