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Difference between an IP router and the router we use at home to connect one or more computers

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hi, what's the difference between an IP router and the router we use at home to connect one or more computers (such as a LinkSys router). why we call the latter one a router?

Thanks
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Question by:caibeier
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by:ded9
ded9 earned 80 total points
ID: 16948824
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Router

Check out the link

Conclusion :Although routers have different styles and organization for their admin functions, they tend to have the same sort of features.

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by:caibeier
ID: 16948882
Hi ded9, thanks for the quote. What really confuses me is that, since a router is used to connect two physical networks, and I have a router at home to connect my computers to ISP, it means that the computers at my home form a individual physical network, right?

but then I can also use a hub or a switch to connect my computers to my ISP, which means my computers doesn't form a physical network, instead, they are just part of a physical network provided by my ISP, right?

so do the computers at my home form an individual network or not? I think I'm missing something, what is it?

Really appreciate your help! (O:
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by:public
ID: 16948912
>but then I can also use a hub or a switch to connect my computers to my ISP,
usually not possible, since the isp assignes a single ip address.

IP router routes packets base on a routing table without modification.
Home router is configured as a NAT gateway which modifies internal ips to look like a single public ip.
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Author Comment

by:caibeier
ID: 16948952
Actually, my ISP did provide me 3 IP addresses (extra cost of course) when I used a Switch before to connect the 3 computers at home to the internet.

But now, I'm using a router and cancelled the other 2 IP addresses. Can I say that when I use a Switch, my home computers don't form a physical network. but when I use a router, my home computers form a small physical network?

Thanks for the help
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Expert Comment

by:ded9
ID: 16948973
Hub and switches only help in sharing network connection
Wheras router has a direct link with the isp.
Also the router provides security and faster connectivity.


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Steve Knight earned 120 total points
ID: 16949014
Your home computers are on a physical network as you describe in both cases -- the multiple ports on your router are in fact hub or switch ports that simply repeat the information from one port to all or the other correct ports specifically.  This is then routed to the WAN port on your router and out onto the ISP's network and the internet.

What would me more correct to say is that your local computers now form their own subnet which is routed from the internet using NAT translation so the rest of the world believes there is only one device there -- your router.  There is no 'incoming' access to each machine (which is good of course) unless you specifically forward a port to one machine.  The NAT / SPI firewall software handles the 'return' packets related to outgoing requests.

In normal IP routing you have one or more subnets on each side of the router and devices on one side can individually see the devices on the other by their IP addresses.
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