Router Support Team tell that the router is networking equipment that forwards data packets between the computer networks. Routers provide traffic directing functions on the Internet. I send data that is sent by using the Internet like a web mail or page in the form of data packets. 

A packet is typically delivered from one router to another through the networks that create an inter-network until it reaches its destination node. The main purpose of a router is to connect multiple networks and forward packets destined either for its networks or other networks.

We connect the router to two or more data lines from different IP networks. When a data packet comes in one line, the router reads the network address information in the packet header to complete the ultimate destination. Then, using information in its table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey

Types of Routers

There are several types of routers. Core routers-primarily the purview of ISPs-are the fastest and most powerful, sitting at the center of the internet and forwarding information along the main fiber optic backbone. Enterprise routers connect large management networks to these core routers. 

An edge router or access router is a lower-capacity device at the boundary of an LAN-connecting it to a WAN, the Internet, or external LANs. Home & small office routers are considered subscriber edge routers.

Branch routers make a network of an organization’s remote office locations to its WAN that connects it to the primary campus network’s edge routers. Branch routers provide additional features like time-division multiplexing, WAN application acceleration, and wireless LAN management capabilities.

In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, they associate routers with the network layer (Layer 3), as they connect separate networks via the Internet Protocol.

A router examines a packet header’s destination IP address and compares it against a routing table to determine the packet’s best next hop. Routing tables list directions for forwarding data to particular network destinations, sometimes in other variables, like cost. They amount to an algorithmic set of rules that calculate the best way to transmit traffic toward any IP address.

A routing table often specifies a default route, which the router uses whenever it does not find a better forwarding option for a given packet. E.g., the typical home office router directs outbound traffic with a single default route to its Internet service provider (ISP). Dynamic routers naturally update their routing tables based on network activity and exchanging information with other devices by routing protocols.

Many routers also perform network address translation (NAT), shielding the private IP addresses of a local area network (LAN) by readdressing all outgoing traffic with single shared public Internet Protocol address. NAT helps both conserves globally valid IP addresses and improves network security.

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