A router is quite well known as a more sophisticated tool than either a hub or a switch. Network routers are found in small box-shaped equipments that are used to connect several computers.
There are several ports in the back or front of the equipment available with the routers, which provide the connection points for the computers, a connection for electric power as well as different LED lights that tell about the status of the device. Switches, hubs and routers have somewhat similar sort of appearance, but the inner workings of the routers is significantly different.
Routers, which are frequently used these days, have a specific design that allows them to join different area networks. On some significantly large corporate network as well as on the internet, these routers play the role of transitional destinations for traffic. The routers receive IP/TCP packets and they also identify the source by looking inside each packet, and then these packets are forwarded, as it is required to make sure that the data has reached its ultimate destination.
Routers, which are used in home networks, are known as broadband routers. These routers can join several networks. This type of routers are specially designed to connect the home (LAN) with the Internet (WAN) for Internet sharing, but contrary to this, neither switches nor hubs have the ability to join several networks or share some internet connection.
A home network that only has switches and hubs is needed to assign one computer as an entrance to the Internet connection. For sharing purpose, two network adapters are required for the home and the Internet i.e. for LAN and WAN. A router connects all the computers at home equally, and it offers the same entrance functions to all. For this reason, a router is considered a better option than a switch or a hub.
Furthermore, there are many other remarkable features in the broadband routers, which can’t be seen in the traditional routers, as broadband routers are available with proxy support and DHCP server. Integrated firewalls are also available in many of these broadband routers. Similarly, broadband routers with wired Ethernet feature an integrated Ethernet switch.
With these routers, one can connect many different switches and hubs. Therefore, the local area network can be expanded by accommodating several Ethernet devices. In the networking that is usually done at home, switches and hubs exist just for wired networks. There is an integrated access point in Wi-Fi wireless routers, but it is not equivalent to wired switch.
Considering these qualities of routers, they appear as a better option for home networking as they are especially designed to offer better sharing and internet connectivity. Routers’ specific designs and durability are two other factors, which make them a preferable device for home networking and internet sharing. Therefore, these are some factors, which indicate that router is a better option for networking and internet sharing, as they seem to perform well, in this kind of networking.
Jeremy Sandcastle is a technology consultant. You can see wide range of Cisco Switches on his recommended website.