Tech and Science

How to keep internet routers secure

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The majority of us will spend a lot of our lives using the internet for various reasons but don’t give the physical hardware much thought. The small device that transmits signals to your smartphones, laptops, and other internet-enabled devices is known as the router. To access Earthlink Internet on any device, you need a router. In this guide, we will try to understand the working of a router and the steps we can take to keep our connection secure.

What Are Internet Routers?

A router is a device that facilitates communication between the device and the internet. The router establishes a connection for cable or fiber internet to download and upload content. As the name suggests the device ‘routes’ traffic between the internet and the various devices.

A good router enables a high-speed internet connection for the users. In addition, the routers can also be equipped with security measures to protect you and others from cybersecurity threats.

What are the different types of routers?

There are different types of routers that you can install to get an internet connection in your household.

Wireless routers

A wireless router is connected to the modem with the help of a cable. The router can receive and transfer information to and from the internet through the cable. This router creates a Wi-Fi network with the aid of its antennas to help your devices communicate with it. Any device with Wi-Fi abilities is able to connect to the router with the right login details.

Wired routers

A wired router, as the name suggests, connects to the devices with the help of wires. The router connects to the modem with a cable to connect to the internet. The router has additional ports that can be used to connect to the laptops or PCs and establish a connection.

Core Routers

Core Routers are designed to function at the core of the network. These devices are able to support a large number of telecommunications interfaces and offer maximum bandwidth. Large businesses make use of these routers to offer connection employees on different floors and even different buildings.

Edge Router

An edge router, also known as a gateway router, connects external networks to internal networks. They are used to connecting to other routers and don’t offer Wi-Fi, but Ethernet only.

How does a router work?

All of these routers work according to some basic principles. These routers act as a dispatcher to connect the devices to the internet using the most optimum delivery paths.

A single household, with multiple family members, usually on a range of devices – PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and a variety of smart home technology. The router creates a connection between these devices and the internet to form a network. The router is responsible for directing incoming and outgoing transmissions by using the most efficient and quickest ways.

These transmissions could refer to any activity you conduct on the device. Whether you are streaming a movie, downloading large files, or listening to music, the router is responsible for how quickly you will receive the information. Your router tries to manage all the devices and is constantly redirecting outgoing and incoming signals.

To better understand the working of a router, consider a user who wants to listen to a song with the aid of their smartphone. The request you enter in the smartphone is converted into radio signals and sent to the router, along with your IP address.

The Domain Name Server (DNS) converts the text address into a numeric IP address. It sends this information to the IP and to the site where you want to listen to the song. Your request jumps from router to router, until it arrives at the designated location. Every router considers the request and decides how to send the information in the quickest way possible.

Once the request has traveled along with the various routers, a connection is established between you and the website. Now, the data will begin to travel between your device and the website and allow you to hear the song.

Explaining the back of your router

While the working of the router may make sense, there is still a lot to figure out. Now we will try to explain the function of the various ports at the back of the router.

Ethernet ports

These ports can be used to link the router to your device and connect with the internet. This is used in cases where a wireless connection may not be possible.

Service Set Identifier (SSID)

The SSID refers to the name of your wireless network. This Network ID can be seen by anyone in range of your network.

Telephone port

The telephone port allows you to establish a connection to the internet with the help of phone cables.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)

The WPS allows users to access the Wi-Fi network without having to put in the passkey.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A LAN refers to a network created between a group of computers with cables. LAN networks are usually found in universities and offices.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A WAN creates a connection between a series of LANs with the help of routers. Larger companies can take advantage of this connection to link various offices together.

Cybersafety with routers

Now that you understand your routers better, you should also learn that they are not safe from malicious cyberattacks. Some things you can do to protect your router are:

  • Create a strong and complex password for your router’s administrator.
  • Change the Network ID so that you don’t give away any information about the model of your router or your location.
  • Ensure that the security settings of the router are enabled. The encryption settings should be turned on so that all your traffic remains unreadable to other users.
  • Change the passkey for your Wi-Fi network connections.
  • The router’s firmware should be updated.

A Final Look

The router’s main function is to direct the signal from your device to the internet. It is responsible for connecting any device to the internet. By understanding how it works, you can avoid falling victim to any cyberattacks.

About the author

Jike Eric

Jike Eric has completed his degree program in Chemical Engineering. Jike covers Business and Tech news on Insider Paper.

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