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router

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Internet wireless router
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Definition: Routers are small physical devices that join multiple networks together. Technically, a router is a Layer 3 gateway device, meaning that it connects two or more networks and that the router operates at the network layer of the OSI model.

Home networks typically use a wireless or wired Internet Protocol (IP) router, IP being the most common OSI network layer protocol. An IP router such as a DSL or cable modem broadband router joins the home's local area network (LAN) to the wide-area network (WAN) of the Internet.

By maintaining configuration information in a piece of storage called the routing table, wired or wireless routers also have the ability to filter traffic, either incoming or outgoing, based on the IP addresses of senders and receivers. Some routers allow a network administrator to update the routing table from a Web browser interface. Broadband routers combine the functions of a router with those of a network switch and a firewall in a single unit.



See also > broadband routers

More > Building Networks With a Router

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