We Know: All About Wireless Routers and How They Work

How Wireless Routers Work

A wireless router base set is plugged into your Internet connection. A wireless-enabled computer can "talk to" the router to send and receive "packets" of information, which gives your computer access to the Internet. Wireless routers allow you to share your Internet connection with other computers in your home or office and let you work online without your computer having to be connected with a cable. Each port on a router represents a computer that can run off the router, so if the router has four ports, you can use it with four computers.

Things to Know About Wireless Routers

Wireless technology is changing all the time. When shopping for wireless routers, here are several things you should keep these things in mind:

  • Speed: 802.11g routers providing cable/DSL 54 Mbps speed is five times faster than the more common 802.11b wireless network.
  • Firewall security: True Firewall and other software programs can prevent hackers from getting into your system or stealing your bandwidth. Always test any firewall system you're using to make sure it works. Testing programs are available on the Internet.
  • Firmware updates: Router manufacturers routinely provide firmware updates to address known problems or to provide new features. After purchasing a router, check the manufacturer's website for any available updates.

Types of Wireless Routers

There are many wireless router models available, including the following:

  1. Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Router: Has four ports and a Wireless-G (802.11g) access point. Speed is up to 54 Mbps. Sells for around $70.
  2. Netgear WGR614 Wireless Router: Works with 802.11g and 802.11b networking devices. Delivers 10/100 Mbps WAN and LAN connections. Works with 54 Mbps and 11 Mbps devices over a 2.4 GHz band wireless network. Sells for around $50.
  3. D-Link DI-524 Wireless 54 Mbps High Speed Router: Has four ports and a range of up to 328' indoors, and up to 1,312' outdoors. Sells for around $35.
  4. Belkin F5D6231-4 Wireless Cable/DSL Router: Has four ports. Sells for around $40.
  5. Motorola Wireless Networking Kit: Wireless Router with USB 2.0 Adapter. Has a range of up to 328' indoors and 1,312' outdoors. Sells for around $50.

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