Different Types of Routers in Networking

Updated on Sep 29, 2021 by

Routers are crucial traffic controllers for your business network, ensuring seamless connectivity across diverse networks. Different types of routers emerged in an endless stream to meet users' needs of different scales. According to the application category, there are eight main types of routers in the market. They are wired routers, wireless routers, core routers, edge routers, physical routers, Virtual routers, VPN routers and normal routers. Now, let's learn more about them, which will provide great help when choosing a router.

Wired Router VS Wireless Router

Wired routers are traditional versions that use cable connections on 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 directly connects to a computer via a cable. One port links to a modem for receiving Internet packets, while the other port connects to the computer for distributing processed Internet packets. Ethernet broadband router is one of the most classic wired routers. It supports network address translation (NAT) technology, which allows multiple computers to connect in wired routers to share a single IP address. It also uses stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewalls while providing communication between computers within the network for security purposes. However, wired routers have a limited number of device connections, and they are extremely inconvenient to connect, so they are gradually replaced by wireless routers.

A wireless router, also known as a Wi-Fi router or WLAN device, converts wired broadband data into radio signals, establishing Wi-Fi networks for internet access, commonly used in homes and offices. Operating on the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 standard, these routers integrate wireless access point functions with routers, transmitting data wirelessly via antennas across various frequency bands. To ensure security, routers require login IDs and passwords, with additional measures like MAC address filtering and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).

FS WR-AX1800 wireless router designed with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology and boasting dual-band concurrency rates of up to 1775Mbps. Equipped with 1.5GHz high-performance quad-core processors, this router significantly enhances network load capacity, resulting in faster response times and increased long-term stability. With support for up to 4 simultaneous streams, data can be delivered to multiple devices with minimal latency. Additionally, the router features WPA 3 encryption protocol and parental controls, making it the ideal choice for smart home systems.


Wired routers establish wired local area networks (LANs) through cable transmission, while wireless routers utilize antennas to establish wireless local area networks (WLANs).

Edge Router VS Core Router

Edge routers are network devices positioned at the boundaries of a network, whether wired or wireless, facilitating the distribution of data packets across multiple networks. Their primary role is to maintain seamless communication between different networks, typically connecting to Internet service providers (ISPs) or other organizational networks. These routers play a crucial role in ensuring efficient network connectivity and are configured with external protocols like BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to facilitate communication with other ISPs. Additionally, edge routers contribute to enhancing network resiliency and density, offering programmability for scalable network edge solutions.

In contrast, core routers serve as the backbone of a network, distributing data packets within the same network rather than across multiple networks. Operating at high performance levels, core routers are designed to handle heavy data transfer tasks. They support routing protocols used in the kernel and can achieve top speeds in communication interface transmissions, ensuring all IP packets move at full speed. Core routers are often tasked with connecting distributed routers from various large enterprises or community locations, highlighting the importance of their high-performance capabilities in network infrastructure.

Physical Router VS Virtual Router

A physical router is designed to route and distribute data packets between networks, determining the optimal transmission path for each packet based on its destination IP address. Serving as a gateway for local networks, it connects various devices in homes or offices to the internet, facilitating communication both internally and externally.

In contrast, a virtual router is a software-based router that mimics the functionality of a physical router. It can be installed on a standard server using virtualization technology, utilizing shared hardware resources for network traffic processing and routing. Virtual routers offer flexibility and scalability, supporting multiple virtual networks and tenants. They are commonly utilized in software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), and cloud computing environments to enhance resource utilization and streamline network management.

When comparing virtual routers to physical routers, several key differences emerge:

  • Hardware Requirements: Physical routers require dedicated hardware, while virtual routers can operate on any hypervisor without specialized hardware.

  • Scalability: Physical routers are constrained by hardware limitations, whereas virtual routers can scale horizontally to accommodate increased traffic demands.

  • Cost: Physical routers are often more expensive, especially in environments requiring multiple devices for high performance, whereas virtual routers are typically more cost-effective.

VPN Router VS Normal Router

Virtual Private Network

Generally speaking, a VPN router can be seen as a normal router that has VPN (Virtual Private Network) client software installed on it. Every device that connects to the VPN router is protected by a VPN at any time. Whether it is your home, office or company, it can bring numerous benefits of VPN connections to all devices. We have listed the functions of the 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, it allows you to extend encrypted connections to friends and visitors without breaching VPN service terms that often prohibit account sharing.

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 applications and contents

If you're in a region where certain applications or content are blocked, a VPN router enables you to bypass these restrictions by connecting to the internet through an encrypted VPN tunnel in another country.

Logging in once only

With a VPN router, you only need to log in once, eliminating the need to log in repeatedly or set up clients to run automatically at startup. This is particularly convenient for users who frequently use VPNs across multiple devices.

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, it 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. 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.

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