Different Types of Routers in Networking

Updated on Sep 29, 2021

Routers, acting as the police of network traffic, are responsible for directing different types of networks to maintain the best transmission routes on their own roads. If the network is the core of global communication, then the router should be the heart of the network. Different types of routers emerged in an endless stream to meet the needs of users of different scales. There are five main types of routers in the market according to the application category. They are wired routers, wireless routers, core routers, edge routers and VPN routers. Basic information for the above is provided for you when choosing a right one among the various routers.

Wired Router VS Wireless Router

Wired routers are older versions of routers with cable connections at both ends to receive and distribute data packets. Wireless routers, which transmit data directly to computers and other electronic devices via radio signals, are more advanced.

A wired router connects directly to a computer via a cable. One port is used to connect a modem to receive Internet packets, while the other port connects to the computer to distribute processed Internet packets. Ethernet broadband router is one of the most classic wired routers. These routers support network address translation (NAT) technology, which allows multiple computers to connect in wired routers to share a single IP address. Wired routers use (SPI) firewalls while providing communication between computers within the network for security purposes. However, the wired router has a limited number of device connections, and they are extremely inconvenient to connect, so they are gradually replaced by wireless routers.

A wireless router is defined as opposed to a wired router. It can be found in offices, homes or other public places. Like wired routers, wireless routers receive data packets over wired broadband, convert the packets written in binary code into radio signals that are picked up by electronic devices, and then convert them back into previous packets. Unlike wired routers, wireless signals are the medium through which packets are sent to electronic devices. So as long as your device is within the range of the signal, you just need to enter a specific ID and password to access the Internet. Wireless router security is achieved through wireless media access control (MAC) address filtering and Wi-Fi protected access (WPA). The most widely used wireless router is the WiFi network which we are familiar with. With passwords, and assuming your router is strong enough, there is no limit to the number of users who can connect to the network. Easy connections and heavy loads are the main reasons wireless routers are popular in the market.

Attention: LAN: A wired local area network established by a wired router.

WLAN: A wireless local area network established by a wireless router.

Edge Router VS Core Router

Edge routers are located at the boundaries of a network and distribute packets across multiple networks, keeping communication flowing between several networks. Whereas, the core router operates on the same network and transfers large amounts of data at top speed.

As the name suggests, an edge router is located at the edge or boundary of a network, usually connected to the network of an Internet service provider (ISP) or other organization, and it distributes packets across multiple networks, but not within the same network. They can be wired or wireless routers, and their job is to keep your network in smooth communication with other networks. Besides, the edge router can connect to the core router.

In contrast to edge routers, core routers distribute packets within the same network rather than across multiple networks. It runs on the backbone of the Internet and its job is to carry out heavy data transfers. The core router supports the routing protocols used in the kernel. It is able to reach a variety of communication interface transmission of the highest speed, allowing all IP packets to move at full speed. In some cases, core routers can also connect distributed routers from multiple large enterprises or community locations, thus high- performance is a basic requirement for core routers.

VPN Router

Generally speaking, a VPN router can be seen as a normal Gigabit router that has VPN client software installed on it. Every device that connects to the VPN router is protected by VPN at any time. Whether it is your home, office or company, VPN routers can bring numerous benefits of VPN connections to all devices. We have listed the functions of VPN router as follows:

Providing unlimited connectivity.

When connecting to a VPN server via a router, you can use any number of devices. In addition, you can share encrypted connections with friends and visitors without worrying about sharing accounts (which is generally prohibited under the terms of service of VPN services).

Providing better platform adaptability.

Popular online media like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Chromecast currently don't support VPN protection. However, you can still add them to the list of protected devices by connecting them to your VPN router.

Unblocking application and content.

Are you currently in a country that blocks certain applications or contents? A VPN router enables you to bypass the restrictions and connect to the Internet via an encrypted VPN tunnel through another country entirely.

Logging in once.

Many people often forget to log in to their VPN or set up their clients to run automatically at startup. Once you set up your VPN router, you don't have to worry about this - you just log in once, and that's it for good! If you use a VPN frequently on multiple devices, this is a practical and effective solution.

Today, with the rapid development of the Internet, various network accidents appear frequently. Network security has also become the primary concern of individuals, families and enterprises. And the emergence of VPN routers has brought good news to them. Its powerful network protection channel has stopped numerous information leakage incidents. In the future, VPN router will be the darling of the market, it will become the first choice for users to buy a router.


As a mainstream product in the network communication market, we all want to gain knowledge about routers as much as possible. And we hope to provide you with a more comfortable experience when choosing the correct router through this analysis of the basic information and characteristics of router types.

Related Articles

What Is a Router for Networks?

What Is VPN Router and Why You Need It

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