Now before we explain what a router is we just want to clear up how it
is pronounced, its Roo-ter. Now I know our American friends like to
pronounce it Row-ter but they also have a peculiar way of saying aluminium
and a Row-ter is a tool for making pretty shapes in wood so enough said,
Roo-ter it is.
A Router is a device that forwards and routes data
packets within a network. A router must be
connected to at least two networks to be of any use, you can have small
scale setups such as 2 routers or go as big as you like (such as the
Routers use forwarding tables to determine the best path for
forwarding the packets.
A single router will not know how to get from A
to Z but will know that to get to Z he needs to talk to B. B again doesn't
know how to get to Z but knows he must talk to C to get there and so on
and so forth. This all happens quicker than you can possibly imagine and
this process takes place each time you request a web page from one side of
the world to another - it takes a fraction of a second for routers to work
out the path to Z.