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  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.

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