A router is a networking device that forwards data and the packets between computer networks. The router gives traffic direction functions on the internet. To know more about the “What is Router in Networking” keep reading this article till the end.

It is a (Network Layer) Device and it is particularly identified as layer three device of the OSI Model. They analyze and process logical addressing information in the network header of each packet such as IP (Internet Protocol) Addresses. A router allows connecting larger networks by complex traffic routing. It has the ability to connects different Local Area Networks on the same protocol. It has also the ability to control the flow of broadcasts in the network.

How Does Router Works

Router transfers the data packets in the whole network by analyzing and determining the paths of the networks. When a router receives the data, it determines the destination address by reading the header of the packet. when the address is determined then it searches in the routing table to get to know how it can reach the destination and then sends the packets to the higher hop on the route. Hop is can be another router or the final destination.

The Best route is selected based on the AD (Administrative Distance) Value and the various cost metrics like Congestion, Bandwidth, and speed of the cable, etc.

There are mainly three routes used in the networking for the routing the data and the packets in the network. These are:

  • Default Route
  • Static Route
  • Dynamic Route

Default Route

A default route is a type of route when an IP packet does not find any routes in the routing table to reach its destination address then the default routes are used.

All packets whose destination IP address is established in the routing table uses the default route and forwarded to the next router. The next router determines the packets if the routing address is not available in the routing table then again default routes will be used to forward the packets to the destination.

The device to which the default route points are often called the default gateway, and it often carries out other functions such as packet filtering, firewalling, or proxy server operations.

Static Route

The Static Routes are manually configured by the administrator. In this route, the administrator enters the routes manually on each router and all the routes entered by the administrator are stored into the routing table of the router.

It needs to update the routing table on each router manually in the case of any changes in the network. If not updated the router forwards the packets according to the previously configured routing table.

Static routes are normally configured in those situations when you have only a few devices for route configuration and there is no need for a route change in the future.

Static routing is easy to configure on a small network.

The main disadvantages of static routing are difficult to configure and manage the large network by using static routes for the network. In the case of any topology changes, the administrator has to manually update all the routers.

Dynamic Route

The dynamic route is the method where algorithm and the protocols are used to automatically propagate routing information and it is also called adaptive routing. In this process of routing the router forwards the data or the packets via a different route of given destination based on condition given in the routing table.

Dynamic routing uses multiple algorithms and protocols. Some of the routes that come in dynamic routes are RIP (Routing Information Protocol), RIPv2 (Routing Information Protocol Version-2), OSPF(Open Shortest Path First) and the BGP (Border Gateway Routing Protocol), etc.

The most popular routing protocols are RIP (Routing Information Protocol), RIPv2 (Routing Information Protocol Version-2) and the OSPF(Open Shortest Path First).

Advantages of Routers

  • A router can choose the best path across an internetwork using dynamic routing techniques
  • It can reduce network traffic by creating collision domains and also by creating broadcast domains.
  • Routers are configurable that allows the network administrator to make policy based on routing decisions.
  • Placing a wireless router in the center of your home will enable you to work anywhere you want to in your home including your lawn and swimming pool.
  • The wireless routers establish a communication link between devices and networks without the use of wires.
  • If we compare the bridges with network routers, we would end up saying bridges are passive transfer devices which are not able to determine the network path. Hence routers can be used as an adaptable device.

Disadvantages of Router

  • It operates based on the routable network protocols and all the protocols are not routable.
  • They are expensive compared to bridges and repeaters.
  • Dynamic router communications (Inter router communication) can cause additional network traffic. This results in less bandwidth for user data.
  • Routers are slower as they need to analyze the transmission from the Physical layer to the Network layer.
  • They require a considerable amount of initial configurations.
  • They are protocol-dependent devices that must understand the protocol they are forwarding.

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