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If you buy a router today, you will almost certainly find yourself with a wifi one, which means that it can connect to devices wirelessly. A wireless router is simply a device that connects the internet to your wireless-internet-enabled devices, thereby enabling you to use the internet on those devices without the use of wires. It also means that you can connect numerous devices at once. Without that capability, you would have to pay for a whole new network connection for each device you wanted to connect to the internet.
Let?s look at just how wifi routers work.
What It Does
There are essentially two types of wireless router, and they each have their own purpose and use. The first type ensures that you can connect all of the computers in your home to a single network, provided that each device is within range of the router. In other words, you can access the internet remotely. In the second type, which is usually used much more commonly for offices, covers a much wider area or range. For both home and office situations, wireless connections are a highly convenient and increasingly reliable way of connecting to the internet.
How Does It Work?
Enough about what a wireless router does – that much should be clear by now. How exactly does it work? Many people know about the basics of what a wifi router does, but how it works is a much more difficult thing to grasp. Nonetheless, let?s take a look and see if we can elucidate the problem a little for you.
In short, your wireless router uses radio waves to carry the necessary information from one device to the other. By using radio waves transmitted over the 802.11 spectrum, the wireless router takes a binary signal provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and sends it through the air, via those radio waves, to the device in question. The router creates an individual IP address for each device it connects to the internet. Your average modern home router can connect up to 250 devices at a time wirelessly. In practice, however, that would probably result in a slow connection for each device, as the bandwidth would be shared amongst so many devices at once.
Improvement & Advancements
We can appreciate a lot more about the modern wifi router by considering some of the important ways it has evolved and changed over time. A new wifi router is able to take a single internet signal and split it off in dozens of directions, allowing for that huge number of simultaneously connected devices. It also provides you with a greater level of security than many of the wifi routers in the past would have done. These include parental controls and the famous firewall.
With these features, you can much more accurately and powerfully control the flow of traffic in your home network. That means you can ensure that your family won?t see anything you don?t want them to see, for instance. Many routers also provide their own antivirus protection in-built, so you can be sure your connection is more secure against outside influence too.
This protection also extends to the technology known as WPA, or wifi protected access, which secures your protection against outside threats.
Connecting To The Router
At this stage, you might be wondering just how a device is able to connect to the wifi router, so that it can then connect to the internet. You have probably done this already many times, but it might be worth looking into just in case you are unsure. In most cases, the device you wish to connect to the router will have a clear option on it to connect to wifi. On your phone, it would be in network settings – and on the computer, in a similar place or in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
In order to connect to the network, you will be prompted to input a password. It is important that you keep a note of this password or remember it. Most modern wifi routers come with the password printed physically on the back of the machine itself. This ensures that you can keep it safe, but also make sure you don?t lose it, and therefore connect to the internet whenever you need to. However, your computer or phone or tablet will also ask you if you want to remember the password, which can help here too. You might also want to click the box that says ?connect automatically?, so that the device will connect to that router whenever it is in range. That will stop you having to do it manually every time – and in the case of a smartphone, will override the mobile data, ensuring that you don?t go over your limit with that.
There are other functions of a wifi router, too. We have already looked at how you can connect a computer, phone or tablet to the internet using a wifi router. We?ve also discuss the matter of how it provides your home network with extra security. But it?s also true that you can connect many more items to the internet with your wifi router, not just your phone and computer. What with the increasing reliance on smart items in the home, you will find there are a range of other machines you can probably connect to your router straight away.
For instance, if you have a smart TV, that is going to connect to the wifi router, and the same will be true of any smart burglar systems you might have, or if you have any portable assistant devices. As you can see, the wifi router is a very important part of the modern home.
Wifi routers are a standard in most modern homes now, and you can see why. Now that you understand a little about how they work, you should be able to appreciate it a lot more, and get much more use out of yours too.