How Does Router Work?

Routers are common devices found in homes as well as offices alike. Without routers, it will not be possible to use the Wi-Fi internet. But have you ever wondered how does router work?

The following article deals with this question and will help you understand a routers working in simple terms.

Working of a Router

Routers are devices that help in connecting networks together as well as routing traffic between networks. The process where IP packets are forwarded from one network to another is called as routing.

There is a minimum of two network cards (NICs) in a router. One card is physically connected to a network and other physically connected to the other network. You can connect your router to any number of networks as it has a dedicated NIC for each network.

Components of a Router

Let us learn what comprises of a router. The components of a router include:

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Flash memory
  • Non-volatile RAM
  • Network Interfaces
  • Console
  • RAM

The Process of Working in a Router

When you connect your router to an Internet provider’s network, it starts to work as follows:

  • Your router will power on and will load its OS using flash
  • It will start loading the configuration file saved to NVRAM and will set up the network interface and routing protocol to run.
  • It will add the network address and subnet for every interface as well as the name of the interface itself.
  • The router follows a simple static default route and transfers all non-local data out of the Internet providers network port.
  • When any web page request is placed, the router will check the destination IP address against the routing table.
  • The bits formed from the destination IP address in the IP packet are used as a hash key which helps direct to the correct route. This turns points to the correct network interface to which the packet needs to be forwarded to.
  • Using the correct interface, the router transmits the packet out towards the next router that repeats the process until it reaches its destination.

Basically, a router is a networking device that helps in routing data packets between the home network and another network.

So, a router will allocate IP addresses to the devices connected using a DHCP server. It also helps carry out Network Address Translation (NAT).

This is how a router works. It is actually a simple process if you do not dwell deep into the technical process.

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