Depending on your internet access needs, there are many connectivity gadgets that you can use with your PC, laptop, or even smart device to connect to the internet. If at one point you’ve considered uping your game or when internet access needs become more demanding in your homestead, you might have been advised to go for a wireless router. “What is wireless router?”, is just one of the many questions most seekers of connectivity gadgets have in mind. But why is it different from the router standard version and what’s the difference between wireless and WiFi? Below are some pointers to explain what a wireless router is, along with some features that make it unique.
What is a Wireless Router?
Just like the name goes, a wireless router is simply a router with added functionalities on top of its wireless capabilities. This implies that you do not need an Ethernet cable to connect the router to your PC or laptop. Rather, connection and transmission of data rather happens wireless over air, thanks to radio wave technology. Additionally, a wireless router can be ideal for places such as homes where more than one person wants to connect to the internet, either through their WI-Fi enabled laptops, tablets, smartphones and other modern gadgets. In essence, it is typically a WiFi based router.
Differentiating Factor of Wireless Router from Modem
For an internet modem, it obtains ISP signals and transforms them into up-loadable or downloadable data to or from computers. It is able to capture signals traveling through DSL or phone line, fiber optic, or cable line, which it then pushes into the standard router as data.
On the other hand, the router can split such signals into more than a single channel, making it possible for more than a single device to share the same IP address. However, internet service providers are today combining wireless routers and modems together, making it confusing for many shoppers when they approach the market.
Simply put, the modem obtains an internet signal by converting raw data from ISPs while in turn the wireless router splits the internet signal into multiple channels to allow for access by multiple users.
Switches, Routers and Repeaters
In the past, switches were needed whenever one wanted to get a DSL connection. They used to act as network creators. With the coming of the router however, internet users were able to create a network at the same time linking their devices to the internet without the need for switches.
Standard routers on the other hand are non-wireless and lack the Wi-Fi functionality. They require an Ethernet cable to network your devices.
Last but not least, there are devices known as repeaters, also sometimes referred to as signal extenders of boosters. These extend a Wi-Fi signal past where your wireless router can take it.
Features of the Wireless Router
Another thing that makes wireless routers unique is the features they come with, which allow a high degree of online protection and customization of internet experience.
Security Settings – there are a number of protective settings. These include Qos controls, internal firewalls, and selective port forwarding. These deal with any potential threats to network security.
Parental Controls – it is possible to configure the network, such that you are able to limit access for certain devices. For instance, a parent doesn’t have to worry about her kid staying up late on the phone or iPad when its time for bed or school. You can configure the network to shut down connectivity for specific devices at specific times.
Bandwidth Booster Function
Another great feature is that you can use the bandwidth booster to enhance the connectivity of certain priority devices while you restrict bandwidth for others. This is an awesome, traffic management functionality suitable for crowded places. You do that by prioritizing on specific IP addresses.
In conclusion regarding what is a wireless router, it is a supreme alternative to its counterparts when it comes to convenience and reliability. However, the features you get depends on the brand and model you select from the shelves; so be keen on choosing a reputable brand and version.