What is router?

A router is a networking device, commonly
specialized hardware, that forwards data packets
between computer networks . This creates an
overlay internetwork, as a router is connected
to two or more data lines from different
networks. When a data packet comes in one of
the lines, the router reads the address
information in the packet to determine its
ultimate destination. Then, using information in
its routing table or routing policy , it directs the
packet to the next network on its journey.
Routers perform the “traffic directing” functions
on the Internet . A data packet is typically
forwarded from one router to another through
the networks that constitute the internetwork
until it reaches its destination node. [1]
The most familiar type of routers are home and
small office routers that simply pass data, such
as web pages, email, IM, and videos between
the home computers and the Internet. An
example of a router would be the owner’s cable
or DSL router, which connects to the Internet
through an ISP . More sophisticated routers,
such as enterprise routers, connect large
business or ISP networks up to the powerful
core routers that forward data at high speed
along the optical fiber lines of the Internet
backbone . Though routers are typically
dedicated hardware devices, use of software-
based routers has grown increasingly common.
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