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Networking With A Router

Using a router on broadband and/or wireless home networks

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A network router is a small electronic device that allows you build a home network simply. The home router serves as the core or "centerpiece" of the network to which computers, printers and other devices can be connected. Networking with a router helps you to (for example):

  • share files between computers
  • share an Internet connection between computers
  • share a printer
  • connect your game console or other home entertainment equipment to the Internet
Routers are not necessarily required to build a network. For example, you can connect two computers directly to each other with just a cable (or without wires in some cases). Home routers offer convenience and easier maintenance as your network grows.

Choosing a Network Router

You can choose from among several different types of home network router products. The two most common types in popular usage are the 802.11b and 802.11g WiFi models. 802.11g is the newer technology, but 802.11b routers often can do the job for an even lower cost.

Installing a Network Router

Network routers receive their power from an ordinary home electrical socket. When powered on, lights (LEDs) signify the unit is operating.

Network routers must be carefully configured when they are first installed. Like computers and other devices on the home network, routers must be set up with IP addresses. Routers also offer optional (but strongly recommended) security features.

Routers contain built-in software to enable setup. You access this software through your Web browser on any computer connected to the router.

Next > Connecting Devices to A Router

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