Router is a Networking device which works on Layer 3 of OSI Layer. Routers main functionality is to receive, analyze and route incoming traffic from one Network to Another. Generally a Router sits between Service provider WAN environment and Customer LAN environment. A router uses a combination of hardware and software to “route” data from its source to its destination. A router can be configured to route data packets from different network protocols, like TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and AppleTalk.

Router has capabilities much more than a hub or a switch that only perform basic network functions. For example, a hub only transfer data between hosts in same network or Vlan, but does not analyze or do routing across networks By contrast, routers can analyze the packet being sent over a network and route it to correct destination network or host.


Router operation of Router happens in stages called Planes which have been described as below –

Control plane: A router maintains a routing table which has list of the route that should be forwarded and through which physical interface. This is performed by static Routes of dynamic routes learnt from Dynamic Routing protocol. Static and dynamic routes are stored in the Routing Information Base (RIB). The control-plane uses information from RIB to build a Forwarding Information Base (FIB) to be used by the forwarding-plane.

Forwarding plane: The router forwards data packets between incoming and outgoing interface. It routes them to the correct network type using information that the packet header contains. It uses data available in the control plane of router.

Some of functions performed by Router are enlisted below –

  • Dynamic and Static Routing
  • Switching
  • NAT
  • PBR
  • PFR
  • L2/L3 VPN
  • DHCP
  • Dynamic and Static Routing
  • Subnetting


Some of the Routers from leading Vendors are enlisted Below –

  • Cisco –

ISR 1900 , 2900 , 3900 and 4000 Series

  • Juniper –

MX40 , MX240, SRX 240 and SRX 550

  • Alcatel Lucent –

7750 SR


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