ROUTER

The ultimate internet router guide: everything you need to know

Monday, Sep 06, 2021 · 20 mins

4701

What is an Internet Router and How Does It Work?

Have you ever wished to learn everything there is to know about routers without having to visit a million different websites? We've put up an all-in-one internet router guide to provide you all the information you need. Trust us when we say that once you've finished, you'll want to save this page as your router reference guide for future use.

Learn the fundamentals of internet routers.

First, let's level the playing field and make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to internet router basics. Even if you have a router in your home right now, you might not know what it's for. That's not a problem; I couldn't explain how my hot water heater works either. So let's get started with some router basics.

What exactly is a router?

A router is a piece of equipment that allows you to connect several devices to the internet at the same time. Routers are available in both wired and wireless configurations. A router is not the same as a modem. You can still connect a wired device to the internet if you have a modem without a router. You will not be able to connect to the internet if your router does not have a modem.

What makes a wired router different from a wireless router?

A wired router must be linked to the devices it is powering via a cable. A wireless router, sometimes known as Wi-Fi, does not require a cable. If you have numerous people in your home with multiple devices, you'll want your home to be Wi-Fi enabled.

What is the purpose of a router and how does it work?

The internet signal from your modem is split by a router, allowing multiple devices to connect to the internet at the same time. You could only connect one wired device to the internet at a time without a router, such as a desktop computer.

What is the difference between a Wi-Fi router and a wireless router?

Wireless devices such as cellphones, tablets, laptops, printers, smart speakers, and other devices can connect to a Wi-Fi network at the same time. The signal is sent by radio waves by a Wi-Fi router.

What type of router do I require?

Before you buy an internet router, there are a few things to think about. Knowing the answers to these questions will assist you in the following areas:

  • What is the size of your house?
  • Will you require Wi-Fi throughout your home or only in one location?
  • What is the maximum number of individuals and/or devices that will be connected at the same time?
  • What kinds of activities will the Wi-Fi router have to handle, such as web browsing, gaming, or streaming?

You can choose a router that is compatible with your house size and internet activities once you have the answers to the questions above.

Purchasing a Router

There are a lot of router alternatives out there, so don't become overwhelmed. Continue reading to discover the finest internet router for you.

Which router should I purchase?

When purchasing a router for your home, the following are some common features to check for:

  • Dual-band: broadcasts two wireless signals simultaneously for improved performance.
  • External storage or wireless printers can be connected via the USB connection.
  • Set up your router, run a speed test, and control your Wi-Fi network from anywhere with the compatible app.
  • Mesh network: in larger households, a mesh network combines multiple Wi-Fi access points to improve connectivity.

Router Buying Guide:

Routers are mainly classified into two types. The connection between a modem that brings the internet connectivity to a building and the router is often a wired connection. But it is the connection between the router and the other devices in the local area network that decides whether it is a wired router or wireless.

Wired routers

These are the oldest types of routers. Wired routers are connected to other networking devices or even computers, printers, and more, through cables. Wired routers are mainly preferred in enterprise setups for the reliability in data transmission speeds attainable in the local area network. Connection drops are also avoided with these routers.

Wireless

These are commonly called Wi-Fi routers. Wireless routers have external antennas that help in transmitting data in the form of radiofrequency waves. This could be in the 2.4GHz wireless channel or 5GHz channel. These routers allow multiple devices to be connected to the same router without the hassle of cords. At home, these routers are useful for creating a smart home setup. In offices, common printers, fax machines, and other hardware can be connected to workstations through wireless connections. This reduces the need for having several printers and other redundant hardware and thus saves money and office space.

Router types based on their uses

Based on the actual function that a router does, the different types of routers are –

Edge router

These help in configuring the network and segregating the whole setup into multiple networks. Restricting access and authorization based connections become possible with the help of suitable router configuration.

Edge routers

These lie at the edge of the network. The edge router of one network communicates to the edge router of another network. These are therefore used to create a connection between two or more networks positioned far away from each other. Virtual office applications make use of this concept to create a wide area network for teams from different parts of the country to be able to share files and access data.

Core routers

Core routers lie at the crux of a network. They are used to control priorities for various devices and also restrict access. These connect all the wirelessly connected devices to the edge router in the network.

Virtual routers

Besides the above types of routers, virtual routers are also available. These are software routers created without the use of dedicated hardware. You would not find a physical box-like device in the network. Instead, a computer or a server is configured so as to handle the routing job. Edge and core router functions can all be tackled with the help of virtual router setups.

Where should I place my router?

The first step to router happiness is to locate your router in the best location in your home. Make sure it's in a prominent spot away from other electronic devices. In case your internet speed test came out good but your Wi-Fi is still slow, it might just be placed poorly. Wi-Fi signals get constraints and have trouble penetrating solid and liquid materials. In a nutshell, the best place to put your Wi-Fi router is in a central location, so it can reach the extremities of your home. But if you mostly need it in one part of the house and you're having Wi-Fi trouble, consider moving it closer to where the internet is.

How do I reset my router?

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Your router contains RAM and local storage, both of which can use up space. These temporary files are deleted when you reset the router, allowing it to resume normal operation. You won't have to reset your router very often, but if you do, press and hold the Reset button on the router for about 20 seconds.

How to Keep Your Router Safe

Protecting your internet router will improve the security of your Wi-Fi network and extend the life of your router. Take these basic actions to protect your home's Wi-Fi network.

What are some recommendations for securing my router's security?

Router security is critical since they connect to all of your Wi-Fi devices, making them a tempting target for hackers.

How to tell that your router has been hacked

The connection between your internet-connected gadgets and your home Wi-Fi is managed by your router. Once your router has been successfully hacked, a third-party can do a variety of criminal actions, such as identity theft, malware assaults, and website reroutes. Here are a few signs that your router is infected:

  • Your router password is no longer valid.
  • Your network has a list of foreign IP addresses.
  • You're getting ransomware and bogus antivirus messages in your inbox.
  • Without your permission, software installations are taking place.
  • The ISP (internet service provider) contacts you.

Depending on who is responsible for the hacking of your router, you may discover one of numerous signals that your network has been hacked. If the hacker is just hunting for a free Wi-Fi connection, you may only notice a foreign IP address shown on your network and slower than typical speeds.

What to do if your router has been hacked

If the hacker's intentions are more malicious, you may notice more obvious indicators such as unexpected software installations and inaccessible router settings. These warning indicators indicate that you should take more rapid action to protect your sensitive data before it's too late. Here are some suggestions for repairing a hacked router and permanently removing risks.

Reboot

Resetting your router can help you locate any infected devices on your network and disrupt any active malware. To begin, press and hold the reset button on the router until it turns off. You'll need to reconfigure all of your network's settings once it's back up and running.

Firmware must be updated on the router.

Because most router models do not automatically update firmware like computer software, it's a good idea to make sure you take care of it yourself. Every 90 days, or whenever upgrades become available, update to the most recent version of accessible firmware.

Turn off remote administration.

Your router's "Remote administration" setting allows users to access your computer and internet connection from a remote place. It can be a useful feature for personal usage, but it can also be a serious problem if a hacker acquires access.

Activate your guest network.

Enable the "Guest Network" feature on your router. This feature is intended for visitors to your home, and it effectively separates your gadgets from theirs. This separation can help you protect not only your network connection, but also the connected smart home gadgets.

All the information you gain about the uses of Wi-Fi routers will come in handy to make the most of this networking device at home or in your office.

Read tips and tricks to increase your wifi speed here

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