What is Router? and How does it Work?

In this article, we will discuss What is router device? How does Router work? Basic Components of the router, and Difference between router and switch. So let’s discuss.


A router is an internetworking device, that receives IP packets from one computer network and forwards it to another computer network.

It is used to establish connections between two or more different computer networks.

It can be a physical or virtual networking device, which is designed to receive the data packets from one network, analyze it, and forward it to another computer network.

router gif

How Router Works?

Internet is the group of networks, means many smaller and bigger networks create the internet, and the router is the only device that can connect to these networks with each other. Router is connected to other routers also, and the data packets are forward to one router to another router until it reaches its destination node.

When a computer sends a message, the message brakes in IP packets which contains sender and receiver network information and the router has the capability to read this information, using this information, It calculates the best route for IP packets to travel on the network.

It is an intelligent device because it maintains a routing table which decides the packet’s next route and also helps to find the best route to transmit the IP packets from source to destination.

A router can be used in LAN and WAN environments. For example, a router can be used in homes and offices for connecting devices, and can also be used to create a connection between different networks.

Basic Features of Router

  • It allows connecting two or more LAN networks.
  • It allows us to connect to the internet because the internet is a group of networks.
  • It forward packets to other routers on the network until the packet reaches its destination node.
  • It determines, which is the best route to forward packets from one network to another.
  • It stores destination IP addresses in its routing table.
  • It comes in 2, 4, or 8 ports.
  • It controls the traffic of the internet and also your private local network.
  • It works on the network layer (Layer-3) of the OSI model.
  • It is an intelligent device because it maintains a routing table, which helps to intelligently send the information on the best possible network route.


What is routing table?

Routing table is an electronic document that stores network information in his table.

The routing table store in the router device. Router uses this table and determines the path on the network. When a packet comes to a router, it checks its routing table, which helps to find the other network router using the IP address and forward it to the other network router and so on.

router gif

Basic internal components of a router?

  • CPU- It is the main processor that stores and executes the instructions of the operating system. It’s a RAM, so when the power shut down, then all stored information is lost.
  • RAM- It is used to load the operating system, routing table, configuration files, caching, and buffering details.
  • ROM- It contains the bootstrap program and is used to start and maintain the router.
  • NVRAM- It is a small amount of non-volatile memory, that stores router startup configuration.
  • Flash Memory- It contains the operating system image file.

Difference between Router and Switch | Router vs Switch

The main use of router is to connect different networks.The main use of switch is to create a network.
It use IP address for sending data.It use MAC address for sending data.
It reads packets for sending data.It reads frames for sending data.
Works on Network layer (layer-3).Works on Data-link layer (layer-2).
It is an intelligent device.It is also an intelligent device.
It maintain routing table, where all networks information is stored.It maintain switching table, where all device information is stored.
It stores IP addresses in its table.It store MAC addresses in its table.
It can use in LAN, MAN, and WAN.It is use only in LAN network.

Frequently Asked Questions about Router

What is the main use of Router?

The main use of the router is to connect two or more networks and forward the data packets between networks.

Is router an intelligent device?

Yes, it is an intelligent device because it has the ability to intelligently forward packets on the best possible network route.

Can router filter the packet?

Yes, it can

What are the basic internal components of a router?

Flash Memory

Router works in which layer of OSI model?

Router works on the network layer (Layer-3) because it works on the basis of IP addresses.

Can a router connect two or more local networks?

Yes, that’s the main purpose of using a router to connect two or more networks with each other.


You can also Read:  

What is Hub in Networking? and How it Works?

What is Switch in Networking?

What is Modem in Computer Network? and How Modem works?

What is NIC (Network Interface Card)? How NIC works?

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