is a device
that forwards data packets
. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs
or a LAN and its ISP's
network. Routers are located at gateways
, the places where two or more networks connect, and are the critical device that keeps data flowing between networks and keeps the networks connected to the Internet. When data is sent between locations on one network or from one network to a second network the data is always seen and directed to the correct location by the router. They accomplish his by using headers
and forwarding tables to determine the best path for forwarding the data packets, and they use protocols
such as ICMP
to communicate with each other and configure the best route between any two hosts.
Why Would I Need a Router?
For most home users, they may want to set-up a LAN (local Area Network) and connect all computers to the Internet without having to pay a full broadband subscription service to their ISP for each computer on the network. In many instances, an ISP will allow you to use a router and connect multiple computers to a single Internet connection and pay a nominal fee for each additional computer sharing the connection. This is when home users will want to look at smaller routers, often called broadband routers that enable two or more computers to share an Internet connection. Within a business or organization,
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