An Insider's Look at Routers: Purpose, Configuration, and Security
A router is a networking device that allows the routing of data packets between computers. It allows the connection between computers as well as the sharing of hardware (e.g. printers), files and applications. It also serves as interface between the network and the internet. Routers often come with built-in firewalls to prevent outsiders from gaining access to a user's computer.
A router can be connected to a laptop by using an Ethernet cable or wireless connection. But, having to use a cable defeats the whole purpose of using a laptop; therefore, laptop users should choose a wireless router. (The next section lists "Top Routers for Laptops.) A wireless router is a convenient and, obviously, popular choice among mobile users, also because nowadays, portable routers are much smaller in size and can be easily fit in a laptop bag.
Routers are configured by logging in to them. This is not too difficult of a task as a set of configuration instructions will come with the chosen product. Just follow the router's manual to set up and configure it. Need more help? Take a look here to see "How to Connect Your Laptop to a Router." To see if your router is properly configured and connected to the network after the installation, you may want to test the router.
Advice: Make sure to enable your router's encryption to provide an additional layer of defense for your Wi-Fi network. Use either WEP or WPA encryption. Also, make sure your router is secure by changing the default network name and password.
Note: The advice from Guard Private & Online Security presents the following steps that can maximize the security of a router.
- Buy a router with secure Wireless Encryption (WEP)
- Password protect access to the router's configuration
- Change the Default Service Set Identifier (SSID) for the router
- Disable the SSID broadcast on the router's configurable software
- Enable the Media Access Control (MAC) address filtering on Wireless Access Points (WAPs) and routers