For example, say a household has a series of computers connected to each other on a LAN, and a single connection to the Internet through an ISP. A router can be used to connect the house's LAN with the Internet, giving each device Internet access.
Relation to other networking technologies
- Many consumer routers also act as DHCP servers, assigning IP addresses to network devices.
- Routers are often confused with switches, but serve very different functions on a network. See Routers vs. Switches for more information.
A wired router is a small device that takes one Ethernet Internet connection and splits it into multiple connections. This device would be used if an area has only one Internet port and multiple users all want to connect to the Internet using an Ethernet cord.
A wireless router takes one Ethernet connection and uses it to create a wireless Internet signal. A wireless router would be used to allow many users to connect to a network using only wireless Internet.