View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. What Is
July 8, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:42pm

What is a router?

How data packets are directed between networks.

By Alexander Sword

A router is a networking technology that directs a data packet along networks to its destination node.

The router operates at the intersection of at least two different networks.

When it receives a data packet, the router reads the address information and determines the destination of this packet. It then directs the packet to the next network.

There are two parts of a router’s operation. The control plane lists which route and physical interface connection should be used to forward the data packets.

The forwarding plane forwards the packets between incoming and outgoing connections, using data from the control plane.

Routers can also be used to connect subnets, which are subdivisions of a single network. They differ from network switches, which connect devices on a single network.

Routers are generally hardware devices, although the use of software routers is growing. These allow the control and forwarding planes to be decoupled.

Content from our partners
DTX Manchester welcomes leading tech talent from across the region and beyond
The hidden complexities of deploying AI in your business
When it comes to AI, remember not every problem is a nail

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.