Router - General Understanding
Internet is a packet-switched network. Packet-switched network is a type of network in which small units of data known as data packets are transmitted through a network depending up on the destination address contained within each data packet. In packet-switched networks such as internet, a router is a device that decides the next network point to which a data packet should be forwarded towards its destination.
A router is usually connected to at least two networks, typically two LANs (Local Area Networks) or WANs (Wide-Area Networks) or a LAN and its ISP's (Internet Service Provider's) network. Router decides which way to send the data packet (information packet) depending up on its current understanding of the state of the networks to which the router is connected. Router is located at any gateway, the place where two or more networks connect with each other.
A router can generate or maintain a table of the accessible routes and their conditions and utilise this information in combination with the distance and cost algorithms to determine the best route for a particular data packet. It is important to note that a packet may travel through a number of network points with routers before it arrives at its destination. Routers use the protocols such as ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) to communicate with each other and configure the best route between any two hosts. ICMP is an extension to Internet Protocol and it supports data packets containing error, control and informational messages. As an example, PING command uses ICMP to test an internet connection.
It is a term used in asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks, an edge router is a device that routes data packets between one or more LANs and an asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) Backbone network, such as a campus network or a Wide-Area Network (WAN). This device is an example of an edge device and therefore, it is sometimes referred to as a 'Boundary Router'. It is sometimes contrasted with a 'core router', which forwards the data packets to the computer hosts within a network, but not between the networks.
It is a device in which a network bridge and a router are both combined in a single product. A bridge is the device that connects one LAN to another LAN that uses the same protocol. If a data packet on one LAN is intended for a destination on an interconnected LAN, the bridge forwards the data unit to that LAN, or else, it passes it along on the same LAN. A bridge typically offers only one path to a given interconnected LAN whereas, a router connects a network to one or more other networks that are usually part of a wide area network (WAN) and may offer a number of paths to possible destinations on those networks. Therefore, a router requires to have more information than a bridge about the interconnected networks. And the router utilises the routing table for this information. An outgoing data packet from a computer may be intended for an address on the local network, on an interconnected LAN, or the wide area network, therefore, it is sensible to have a single unit that examines all data packets and forwards them appropriately.
Finding IP Address of Router on the Computer (Connected Through Router)
The IP address of a router is determined depending up on the brand of the router utilised. For example, Linksys routers use 192.168.1.1, whereas D-Link routers usually use 192.168.0.1. Usually, the documentation that accompanies the router provides the router IP address, however, if it is still not found, then it can be known through the 'ipconfig' command in the DOS prompt (descrbed below);
• Type 'cmd' in the search or run box from Windows Start Menu.
• When the command window opens type: ipconfig and hit enter.
• This will show the local network information.
The IP address listed as Default Gateway is the router's IP. It is shown in figure - 1 below;
Figure:1 - Router IP Address
[Available online at: http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/router_options.asp]
Router settings can be accessed by typing the router IP address (shown in above figure) into the browser.