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A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer

networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. A data
packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the
networks that constitute the internetwork until it reaches its destination node. A
router is connected to two or more data lines from different networks. When a
data packet comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the network address
information in the packet to determine the ultimate destination. Then, using
information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next
network on its journey. This creates an overlay internetwork. The most familiar
type of routers are home and small office routers that simply pass IP packets
between the home computers and the Internet. An example of a router would be
the owner's cable or DSL router, which connects to the Internet through an
Internet service provider (ISP). More sophisticated routers, such as enterprise
routers, connect large business or ISP networks up to the powerful core routers
that forward data at high speed along the optical fiber lines of the Internet
backbone. Routers may also be used to connect two or more logical groups of
computer devices known as subnets, each with a different network prefix. The
network prefixes recorded in the routing table do not necessarily map directly to
the physical interface connections.


Broadband routers: Broadband routers can do different types of things.

Broadband routers can be used to connect computers or to connect to the
Internet. If you connect to the internet through phone and using Voice over IP
technology (VOIP) then you need broadband router. These are often a special
type of modem (ADSL) that will have both Ethernet and phone jacks.

Wireless router: Wireless routers create a wireless signal in your home or

office. So, any PC within range of Wireless routers can connect it and use your
Internet. In order to secure your Wireless routers, you simply need to come
secure it with password or get your IP address. Then, you'll log on into your
router with the user ID and passwords will that come with your router.

Edge Router : This type of router are placed at the edge of the ISP network, the
are normally configured to external protocol like BGP (Border gateway
protocol) to another BGP of other ISP or large organization.

Subscriber Edge Router: This type of router belongs to an end user (enterprise)
organization. It’s configured to broadcast external BGP to it’s provider’s AS(s)

Inter-provider Border Router: This type of router is for Interconnecting

ISPs, this is a BGP speaking router that maintains BGP sessions with other
BGP speaking routers in other providers' ASes.

Core Router: A router that resides within the middle or backbone of the LAN
network rather than at its periphery. In some instances , a core router provides a
stepdown backbone , interconnecting the distribution routers from multiple
building of a campus ( LAN), or Large enterprise Location (WAN). They tend
to be optimized for a high brand width.

Wired and Wireless Routers: Home and small office networking is becoming
popular by day by the use of IP wired and wireless router. Wired and wireless
router are able to maintain routing and configuration information in their
routing table. They also provide the service of filtering traffic of incoming and
outgoing packets based on IP addresses. Some wireless routers combines the
functions of router with those of a network switch and that of a firewall in one.

A router has two stages of operation called planes

• Control plane: A router maintains a routing table that lists which route
should be used to forward a data packet, and through which physical
interface connection. It does this using internal pre-configured directives,
called static routes, or by learning routes using a dynamic routing
protocol. Static and dynamic routes are stored in the Routing Information
Base (RIB). The control-plane logic then strips non-essential directives
from the RIB and builds a Forwarding Information Base (FIB) to be used
by the forwarding-plane.
• Forwarding plane: The router forwards data packets between incoming
and outgoing interface connections. It routes them to the correct network
type using information that the packet header contains. It uses data
recorded in the routing table control plane.

Routers may provide connectivity within enterprises, between enterprises and

the Internet, or between internet service providers' (ISPs) networks. The largest
routers (such as the Cisco CRS-1 or Juniper PTX) interconnect the various
ISPs, or may be used in large enterprise networks. Smaller routers usually
provide connectivity for typical home and office networks. Other networking
solutions may be provided by a backbone Wireless Distribution System (WDS),
which avoids the costs of introducing networking cables into buildings.

All sizes of routers may be found inside enterprises. The most powerful routers
are usually found in ISPs, academic and research facilities. Large businesses
may also need more powerful routers to cope with ever-increasing demands of
intranet data traffic. A three-layer model is in common use, not all of which
need be present in smaller networks.


The first router, the Interface Message Processor delivered to the UCLA
ARPANET site August 30, 1969, and went online October 29, 1969. The very
first device that had fundamentally the same functionality as a router does today
was the Interface Message Processor (IMP); IMPs were the devices that made
up the ARPANET, the first TCP/IP network. The idea for a router (called
"gateways" at the time) initially came about through an international group of
computer networking researchers called the International Network Working
Group (INWG). Set up in 1972 as an informal group to consider the technical
issues involved in connecting different networks, later that year it became a
subcommittee of the International Federation for Information Processing. These
devices were different from most previous packet switching schemes in two
ways. First, they connected dissimilar kinds of networks, such as serial lines
and local area networks. Second, they were connectionless devices, which had
no role in assuring that traffic was delivered reliably, leaving that entirely to the
hosts. The idea was explored in more detail, with the intention to produce a
prototype system as part of two contemporaneous programs. One was the initial
DARPA-initiated program, which created the TCP/IP architecture in use today.
The other was a program at Xerox PARC to explore new networking
technologies, which produced the PARC Universal Packet system; due to
corporate intellectual property concerns it received little attention outside Xerox
for years. Sometime after early 1974, the first Xerox routers became
operational. The first true IP router was developed by Virginia Strazisar at
BBN, as part of that DARPA-initiated effort, during 1975-1976. By the end of
1976, three PDP-11-based routers were in service in the experimental
prototype Internet. The first multiprotocol routers were independently created
by staff researchers at MIT and Stanford in 1981; the Stanford router was done
by William Yeager, and the MIT one by Noel Chiappa; both were also based on
PDP-11s. Virtually all networking now uses TCP/IP, but multiprotocol routers
are still manufactured. They were important in the early stages of the growth of
computer networking when protocols other than TCP/IP were in use. Modern
Internet routers that handle both IPv4 and IPv6 are multiprotocol but are
simpler devices than routers processing AppleTalk, DECnet, IP and Xerox
protocols. From the mid-1970s and in the 1980s, general-purpose mini-
computers served as routers. Modern high-speed routers are highly specialized
computers with extra hardware added to speed both common routing functions,
such as packet forwarding, and specialized functions such as IPsec encryption.
There is substantial use of Linux and Unix software based machines, running
open source routing code, for research and other applications. The Cisco IOS

operating system was independently designed. Major router operating systems,
such as Junos and NX-OS, are extensively modified versions of Unix software.


Routing is the process of forwarding IP packets from one network to another.

A router is a device that joins networks together and routes traffic between
them. A router will have at least two network cards (NICs), one physically
connected to one network and the other physically connected to another
network. A router can connect any number of networks together providing it
has a dedicated NIC for each network.


The router is a fundamental building block of modern business networks,

providing traffic with a gateway to both the Internet and other networks.
Routers make flexible cross-network communication possible, and allow larger
networks to remain operational even during redesigns or outages. They can also
play important secondary roles on a network, with many combined with other
devices such as firewalls, modems and switches to product versatile all-in-one
networking solutions.


A router often acts as the default gateway for the computers (something known
as “hosts”) on a LAN. This means that when a host wants to contact another

host on a different network, it simply sends that traffic to the router. That router
then uses a dynamically generated map of the surrounding network known as a
routing table to work out where the data should be forwarded to. This process is
repeated as many times as necessary until the data reaches its destination.

Broadcast Restriction

Routers can help to limit traffic by preventing hosts from being able to talk to
each other at once. Most LANs allow hosts to communicate through broadcast,
whereby a host sends traffic to every other host on its network. This is fine for
small networks, but can create congestion as more hosts are added. Using
routers as gateways to break networks up into smaller parts restricts the number
of hosts a given host can broadcast to at any one time.


Many routers now feature the capabilities of a wireless access point, allowing
them to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal to surrounding devices. Wireless routers work
in the same way as their wired counterparts, but communicate over a wireless
LAN rather than a wired one. This allows for a convenient networking setup in
homes and small offices, as the same device is used to communicate with
external networks (usually through a DSL or cable connection) and manage
wireless traffic.

Other Functions

The router's place on the edge of a network makes it an ideal location for
additional network services. Many routers offer firewall functions, checking
traffic as it enters and leaves a network. A router may also act as a network
switch, using Ethernet ports to direct intra-network traffic. Combined modem-
routers are also common. These devices do not need an external modem to
communicate over a DSL or cable line, meaning that the router may be the only
piece of additional hardware needed to set up a small network.


It could be concluded that Multi traffic monitoring system plays a vital role in
monitoring our network be it home and small offices. Router traffic monitoring
thus becomes an integral part of an IT team in order to ensure that nothing goes
majorly wrong with the backbone of the organization that could cripple it for
quite a considerable time and have undesirable repercussions too.


Craig Partridge, S. Blumenthal, "Data networking at BBN"; IEEE Annals of the

History of Computing, Volume 28, Issue 1; January–March 2006.

David D. Clark, "M.I.T. Campus Network Implementation", CCNG-2, Campus

Computer Network Group, M.I.T., Cambridge, 1982; pp. 26.

Davies, Shanks, Heart, Barker, Despres, Detwiler and Riml, "Report of

Subgroup 1 on Communication System", INWG Note No. 1.

"router". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)…


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