Routers: Directing Traffic on the Information Superhighway
Routers have a long and storied history, originally developed in the 1960s as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), and at that time referred to as a “gateway.” Since then, although their design has evolved, their function remains virtually the same: to analyze the contents of data packets received, then route them to their final destination. Today’s routers are far more complex, however, and include extra hardware for rapid data packet forwarding and specialized security functions such as encryption.
There are several different types of routers today, each with their own specialized function. These include:
- Wide Area Network (WAN) Router: This type of router forwards packets to a network outside the one it is on, primarily the Internet. The designation WAN infers that the router forwards packets across a large geographical area. Thus, any device at any point on the network can talk to any other device on the network through a WAN connection.
- Core Router: the job of the core router is to transmit packets of data to computer hosts within a network, but not between networks. It is often connected to an edge router, which facilitates packet delivery between networks.
- Edge Router: This is a highly specialized router, typically located at a network boundary that allows for connection to external networks. It literally separates one network from another. They are primarily used at the WAN and the Internet, and contain strict access controls and route filters configured to protect the internal network from the external one, serving as a last line of defense should other security protocols, like network firewalls, fail to block something they should have.
To find out more about routers, as well as ways they can enhance your Internet presence and help you achieve critical business objectives, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.