What is a Wireless Router? How It Works Plus Full Details

A wireless router is a device that transmits internet or web signals to external appliances such as television sets, cellphones and other electrical equipment. 

wireless router
Wireless Router

You will find that almost every home has devices that connect to the internet. As the name implies, the router is the device that “routes” the communication between those devices and the internet. Just like every other gadget, you need to get the right tool to get the best services it is meant to provide. Investing in the best router will help you enjoy the numerous benefits of the same.

As an up and coming programmer, it is essential for me to have access to fast and reliable Internet. Therefore i prefer to use a router from my Internet Service Provider so that i can have one bundle that i pay for to access the web. 

When i say bundle, i mean one package instead of several tiny tariffs for things that can be consolidated as one. 

Before the wireless routers were introduced, i used to have to pay for the Internet access through my phone or use a cyber cafe. The tariffs for these modes of web access were so expensive to say the least. 

However, with this device, i just have to pay for it once and then i connect every other device that can support WiFi access to it. 

How Wireless Routers Work

It is a common thing to hear people say, that the world is currently a virtual village. The reason behind the saying results from the fact that the internet allows everyone to communicate from anywhere in the world. It is possible to enjoy the benefits of the internet without ever asking how it works! This part of the article will break down and explain essential details about the internet we so enjoy today.

The internet allows fast and effective communication, by transmitting information and data with the speed of sound.

There is no way to discuss the internet and not mention the router. 

The internet enabled devices in your home, for example the smartphones, tablets, PCs, smart TVs, thermostats and many more, all form a network. The role of the router is to direct communication to and from those devices. 

Each internet-enabled device carries information which is probably different from the other gadget. Your TV for example could be transmitting a movie, while another could be transmitting an email. Each information will consume different amounts of bandwidth. 

The different types of routers

Routers come in several variations namely:

Wireless routers: This type of router connects to the modem by use of a cable. That connection allows it to receive and transmit information to the internet. It then uses built-in antennas to communicate to your home Wi-Fi connection, enabling your home devices to access internet.

Wired routers: This model uses wired connections to your computer to offer you internet services. It makes use of a port to connect to the modem to access internet, and more ports to connect to your home network.

Core Router 

This is an electronic device that is responsible for transmitting internet data packets within one network. 

When i say network, i mean a group of computers or other electrical devices that can receive and transmit the specific radio waves used. 

Edge Router 

An edge router is a device that transmits the same data packets from the Internet, but in this case only from one network of machines to another. 

The benefits of a good router

Reliable Wi-Fi signals

A good one will effectively deliver the Wi-Fi signals. If you invest in a modern model, it will offer dual and tri-band capabilities. Get the router that meets your needs. More bandwidth in a router means that you will get more data at a go. This equates to more internet speed for you because you receive more data at the same time. 

2.4GHz package offers a long-range bandwidth capacity but lower top bandwidth speeds. If you get 5GHz, it will offer you extremely short-range but a massive bandwidth.

Longer and better range

A good device will offer you longer internet range, one of the benefits of a dual range. A modern router will comfortably handle multiple devices connected to the Wi-Fi anytime of day or night. 

User friendly

The modern type of this gadget comes with an interface that is easy to understand, and makes it easy for you to navigate through. It will come with settings that meet your needs.

Bandwidth prioritization

A good router will enable you to prioritize the apps or devices of your choice to get more bandwidth to meet the demand of what you want to achieve. The router does that through its Quality Service feature. For example, you can direct more bandwidth to Skype or Viber to facilitate your work conference calls or meetings

Special features

When you invest in a modern router, you will enjoy the variety of features it comes with. Such a router will, for example, enable you to enable a connection for your guests, or cut off the connection say over the weekends.

What you need to consider when purchasing a router

Wi-Fi coverage

When considering internet connection in your home, you need to consider the size of your home. Also, there are barriers that would hinder the signals from reaching their intended destination. Common barriers you may need to consider are thick walls, mirrors and fireplaces. Get a router that will enable the signals to get to the far corners of your home. A factor that can be helpful is to get a router that has mesh-network capacity. The feature enables the router to extend the capacity of the Wi-Fi to serve you better.

Wi-Fi performance

Check if the gadget has an updated firmware. That capacity allows the router to communicate with different devices simultaneously. It helps reduce the time you have to wait for data transfer, and enhances your internet speeds.

Mu-MIMO is a good example of this new technology. The abbreviations stand for Multiple User (it allows more than one user), Multiple Input (it receives multiple sources of data at a go) and Multiple Output (it can dispense information to different destinations at once) capacities. 

Wi-Fi security

You need a connection that keeps you safe from viruses and malware. Without security, the cybercriminals can access your private data and financial details using arsenal tools. The best router to keep you safe from such attacks has features like device quarantine, enabled automatic updates, and firmware updates. Such a router will protect you from cybercriminals right from the port of entry.

How to setup a wireless router

Most manufacturers ensure they provide devices that are user friendly such that you can easily learn how to navigate through. Modern routers will come with an instruction manual with easy-to-follow guidelines on how to setup.

  • Choose where you will place the router. Get a safe place. An open space preferably in the middle of your home would be a good choice. However, get the space that works best for you. Choose a space that has the least signal obstructions.

  • Get an Ethernet cable and connect your router to the modem. From the router’s rear face, plug the cable to the WAN. The WAN port is usually labeled or has a distinct color, and this will differ from router to router.

  • Turn the modem on to get ready to connect to the internet. Plug the router to the power connection and turn it on.

  • Some of these gadgets come with installation apps while others have a specific URL that helps you load the installation configurations. Where you have to use the URL, you will use an address (by typing on your browser) such as 192.168.1.1 or something similar.

  • Set up the username and the password. You will need strong credentials to keep your connection safe, so think through your password keenly before setting it up.

  • Last but not least, follow the manual guidelines and set up the router as guided by the manufacturer on the same.

You also need to understand properly the difference between a modem and a router.