What is a Router and Does it Work at Home?


The router is one of the most crucial pieces of broadband technology. This small but mighty piece of tech helps you stay connected and gives you the gift of internet access all over your home. In this article, we’ll be breaking down all things routers, from what they are to how they work and all the benefits they bring to your home.


What is a router used for?

A router isn’t the direct source of your internet connection, but it does make it easier for you to maintain access on multiple devices. Connecting to the internet via a modem means you’re straddled with an annoying ethernet cable and limited on the number of devices you can use – often modems only have one ethernet port. A router on the other hand allows you to connect multiple devices.


How does a router work?

A router is a relatively simple piece of tech your devices use to connect to the internet wirelessly. They also combine the functions of other network devices such as modems and hubs, as well as provide an extra layer of security to your internet browsing.


What are the 5 different types of routers?

There are five different types of routers, with each designed for many different environments due to their differences in connectivity, bandwidth, wireless capability, security and more. The five types of routers include: wired, wireless, core, edge and VPN.


Wired routers

Wired routers are primarily for small office spaces and homes. They are great for stationary devices such as personal computers, smart TVs and other non-mobile devices. The wired connection between your router and a device gives you more reliable broadband than wireless connections.


Wireless routers

Wireless routers are the most common routers and tend to be used in homes. These allow devices to have access to high-speed broadband without the need of connecting directly to the router with a cable. With a wireless router, you are not limited by ethernet ports and can connect as many devices as you like.


Core routers

Core routers tend to be used in large enterprises. They provide maximum bandwidth for high-intensity requirements and you can connect multiple sub-routers. A core router is one of the most powerful types of routers it can be used by many devices across multiple buildings.


Edge routers

Edge routers are made for bandwidth as their sole purpose is to connect to other routers and distribute the data to users. However, edge routers don’t usually offer Wi-Fi and usually connect to various routers through ethernet ports.


VPN routers

VPN routers are routers that already have VPN software installed within them. VPN routers automatically connect to VPN servers and when connected, encrypt the user’s data. It is one of the more secure types of routers and helps to keep all your devices connected and all your data secure.


How fast are routers?

Due to the array of different routers out there, the internet speed between them can vary due to their different capabilities. Routers showcase internet speed in a reading of Mbps (Megabits per second). Core routers are the most powerful due to them being best suited for big offices, whereas standard wireless routers are the most convenient for homes.

When it comes to how fast of a connection a router has, the speeds can be anywhere between 100mbps and 1000mbps and there are many factors that can reduce or improve internet speed, including:

  • Location: Make sure to find an open space so there are no obstructions to your signal and you can make the most of your internet speed. Also, the further away your device is from the router, the worse the connection becomes.
  • Number of devices: The more devices connected to the router the slower the connection could be.
  • Internet Service Provider: How much connection your router gets in an area depends on how much your ISP can distribute. For example, certain ISPs will be stronger in some areas than others, therefore it is important to check which ISP is best before choosing your router.


What is the IP address for my router?

The IP address for your router can be located in the network settings of your device. There, you can view your network properties which should present the code under “Default Gateway”.


What is a mesh-enabled router?

Whole-home Wi-Fi expands the capabilities of your internet and finally gives a connection that is strong throughout your home. Whole-home Wi-Fi uses extra routers around your home to generate a more consistent connection in your home and remove the possibility of obstructions.

For the best connection and bandwidth, if using multiple routers, it is best to place them in corner rooms of your home rather than having them all in a central location. This is so that the signal reaches every part of the home.


At Broadway Broadband we exclusively use Nokia routers, but while we all have a router, do we really know what it is?

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FAQs: What is a Router and Does it Work at Home?

No – a router is a device that forwards an internet connection to multiple devices. Whereas Wi-Fi combines the function of a router and a wireless access point.
No – a router doesn’t stop you from using Wi-Fi, however, you can’t share the internet connection across multiple devices without a router.
Yes – you will need both a router and modem if you want to connect to Wi-Fi and spread that connection across multiple devices.
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