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What is a Router?

A router is similar to a switch, but it performs a number of useful networking functions:

  • It allows you to create a home network (like a switch), but a router actually separates networks allowing you to share your Internet access without being dependent on one computer's connection (unlike a switch).
  • You can plug a printer directly into some routers, allowing printer access to any computer on the network.
  • It provides built-in firewall capabilities that do not hinder network performance.
  • You can share your broadband connection without purchasing additional IP addresses. (Check to see if your provider allows this.)

You can also get a wireless router. It performs many of the same functions, but allows you to combine a regular network with a wireless network.

rarrow.gifWhat does a Wireless Router do?