Contributor: – Goutam Kumar
This article is gives you a brief Introduction of wireless router and its Working along with its components. It’s also help you to understand the router uses, need, component uses in routers, history, technical overview and analysis with future applications of routers.
Wireless routers are networking device which is used to connect two or more LAN segment together without any wire that is wirelessly. Wireless routers sometimes also known as access point. The kind of network that a wireless router provide is called Wi-Fi network, and I think most of people are aware of that what is a Wi-Fi network. This Wi-Fi network can be used to send packet from one network to another, sharing resources like file printer, HDD and sometime a computer of a Server also. Apart from connecting to networks wireless routers also provide the facility to end devices (like computer, Laptops mobile) to connect from Internet. In order to connect two LAN Segment, Wireless routers uses Radio Waves (The electromagnetic radiation whose frequency is below that of visible light i.e. between frequency range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz, are called radio waves), So that they can check their mail, or bank account balance, search contents (audio, video, study stuff). As I mentioned wireless router functions wirelessly, the wireless routers cover a range of distances, from short-range personal area networks to a whole building.
Components of Wireless router
The Various component of a wireless router are as: – 1 USB port, 1-2 Antenna (vary on model), 4 LAN Port and 3 LED light indicating the current working mode of the Wireless router.
- LED Light: – The three LED light (Red, orange and green) are the status indicator. As soon as the device is powered on, the red LED start to light, which indicate that the device is on. After when device is powered the green light is turn on which indicates that it is functioning properly.
- Antenna: – The device contains a couple of Antenna (vary on different model from 1,2 or 3) which is used to spread the Wi-Fi signal.
- LAN port:- The device contains a 4 LAN ports. Which can be used for different purposes like – 1st port can used to connect the device to the Modem? So that the Wireless router can provide internet connectivity to the end devices like PC, Laptops, mobiles 2nd port can be used to connect wireless router to the PC. So that we can configure the wireless router and can implement different security policy. Remaining 2 ports can be used to provide wire connectivity to the end devices.
- USB Port: – The device can contain a USB port also. This can be used to share resources like various files inside the network. Apart from this, the prime purpose of this is USB port is save the Running-config to TFTP Server.
History of Wi-Fi network
The use of wireless network is not a new technology because we were continuously using this wireless technology since from 1900s till now in radio transmission for broadcasting (analog) news, messages and songs over air. But yes, using this technology to send or receive packet from one computer network to another or from www is definably a new one, which came into its existence in 1997 by the IEEE. It is the Vic Hayes, who is called as the Father of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) because the Van Hayes was the chairperson of IEEE standards workgroup in 1997, who defined the Wireless network which IEEE Called it 802.11 Standard. Subsequently ha has done dozens of experiments and analysis to find out the defect and security hole to the wireless technology and made a numbers of new consecutive amendment to 802.11 like 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11n etc.
A Wire-less router is a layer 3 networking device which provide a number of feature to the end devices are:-
- DHCP:-Whenever a host or end devices comes and try to came into the network, wireless router ask for the Valid SSID and wireless key code (SSID code is 128 bit code which acts as a password ), if the requesting host provide the same correctly, then the device is allowed to request for the IP add to the router. And in-response to the request the router provides the IP add to Host, so that it can proceed forward. After successful assignment of IP, the host can interact with other host in the network or use the network resource or access the Internet.
- Logical Address of End Devices using DHCP feature of Wire-less router – like PC, Laptops, Palmtops, Printers and last but not least mobile phone, so that they can communicate with each other without any ambiguity of addressing.
- Packet switching and packet forwarding: Since Wire-less routers are the layer three devise, they learns the IP address of client machine and check whether if there exist any ACL(Access Control List) entry corresponding to that network exist or not. If yes then packet is acted upon to process the request or the packet is simply dropped.
- Firewall: A wireless router restrict access of unauthorized user from entering inside the internal network and also from access the network resources. The router achieves this by employing ACL into their running- configuration. The router contentiously check each host’s request and packet came to the router for service, whether it is inside local or outside and take action corresponding to access control list entry.
As mentioned earlier, a wireless router is a layer 3 networking device i.e. it functions at network layer of the OSI. The network established by wireless router is called Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi stands for Wireless feudality. As mentioned above that the wireless-router works using radio waves(The electromagnetic radiation whose frequency is below that of visible light i.e. between frequency range from 3kHZ to 300kHZ, are called radio waves).
From the picture above, it is quite easy to say that wireless signals came/functions between 1 GHz to 100 GHz. But the wireless-router functions at 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. Both the 2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz frequency band are defined by Standard IEEE. 802.11, 802.11b, and 802.11g use the 2.4 GHz band which is also known/called ISM band (Industrial, Scientific and medical),while the 802.11a, 802.11ab and 802.11n uses the 5GHz frequency to be functional.
So far, The FCC has released three unlicensed band namely 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 900MHz for public use. The device/Wireless router operates at 2.4GHz provide a speed up to 11 Mbps. While the device/wireless router operates at 5GHz gives a speed up to 1300Mbps.There are few CISCO wireless router namely LINKSYS WRT54G v2 and Linksys BEFW11S4 V2 which operates at 2.4 GHz frequency and gives a speed of 11 Mbps. while Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, EA6500 are few model of CISCO wireless router which operating at 5GHz frequency can give speeds of up to 1300 Mbps.
There are various vendors on the market who manufacture the wireless router are: CISCO, Net Gear, ASUS etc.
Few of the products provided by CISCO are: – Linksys EA6900, LinksysEA6400, LinksysEA4500, Linksys EA6300, Linksys EA6200, Linksys 3500 and Linksys 2700 etc.
Conclusion and future scope
From the above facts we can conclude that Wireless router prove to be a boon for providing the end devices to internet connectivity. There have been a lot more research over the IEEE 802.11x and as a consequence of that the development of IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g and IEEE 802.11n happen. And this research is still in progress which can provide internet connectivity up to 1300 Mbps.