Business operations rely on portability and mobility. There is an expectation that all employees must be connected 24/7. With this in mind, organizations need to devote time to manage their wireless network properly. When you talk about a wireless network, you have to start with the router your business will use. Simply put, without one, your business won’t have a wireless connection.
Let’s dive into the device that keeps your company connected.
What is a Router, Anyway?
While it still feels like new technology, the Internet has been around for a while. This also included the idea of wireless Internet. Ready for a crazy fact? The router was first developed almost 50 years ago! Initial known as an ‘Interface Message Processor’ by BBN in the late 1960s, the router has since increased in functionality.
The first iteration of the router, or Interface Message Processor, was created to be used on the ARPnet, the predecessor to the Internet as we know it today. The first big jump in the evolution of the router came when Bill Yeager created a code to enable the first multi-protocol router. This led to the creation of the first Local Area Network, or LAN, by Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner. In 1984 Bosack and Lener went on to found Cisco Systems, who has grown to become the largest networking company in the world.
Today the router enables users to communicate through a variety of ways, including data, video, and voice.
What Does a Router Do?
We all know the joke about the Internet as a ‘series of tubes,’ but that’s a simple way to think of how a router works. A product or resource on one end is transported to a central location and then sent along to the end user. The router works in the same way.
The router is connected to the Internet, or more correctly the Internet modem. It then transmits the connection to devices. As a note, the word ‘wireless’ in wireless routers refers to the connection sent out to the connected devices. A router will require a pair of physical connections, one to a power source and the other to the modem.
How Does a Router Really Work?
Once a router is correctly set up, a signal will be sent to the rest of your devices, and they will be connected to the Internet. Depending on the power of the router, the signal can reach between 90 to 300 meters. Any device with Wi-Fi capabilities and the proper credentials will be able to connect to the router. With the Internet of Things becoming more popular, more and more devices, like fitness wearables and ‘smart’ accessories, can connect to the Internet than ever before.
With the growing number of devices, you’ll need to manage what can and connect to any given wireless connection. This can be done by setting up passwords and implementing a strong network security procedure.
Some Options and Features
There are routers on the market for every business need. Below are a few basic features to look for when selecting a router for your organization.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi – Since there are so many devices using the 2.4GHz frequency, now many wireless routers come with dual bands (2.4GHz and 5Ghz).
- Wireless On/Off Toggle – For ease of use, having a dedicated on/off switch on the device is always practical.
- Detachable Antennas – Today, a lot of the routers you’ll see don’t have external antennas, but if you can find a model with them, they will provide more coverage to your Wi-Fi connection – and can even be upgraded!
- IPv6 Support – IPv4 addresses have been exhausted for some time, so every router you plan to have for a while has to support IPv6.
When setting up your business’ wireless network, you’ll need to make sure it’s installed properly by an IT technician. One wrong wireless connection and your whole network could come crashing down. To get set up right, look no further than IT Support Guys. To schedule a free technology assessment, call us today at 855-4IT-GUYS (855-448-4897).