Routers are the main device in any network. Without a Router you will not connect to any other computer or website.
Routers are the post office of your network. Like a post office a router give out addresses. Without an address your computer will not be able to communicate with the millions of devices on the internet. Each device connected to the internet needs a unique address to be able to communicate.
If you did not have a unique home address you would not receive your mail. It is the same with a router.
Your router is the post office for your home or office. It gives out a unique address to each device. All the communication from the internet comes to the router and then it determines which device or computer to send the information to on your network.
Misuse of Routers
Often to get a better signal in a larger home or office a second router is added. And this causes an issue called double NAT. Double NAT is when you connect your router behind another router creating two different private networks. For example, connecting your router behind a modem/router provided by your ISP. Double NAT does not prevent your devices access to the internet but may cause problems with playing online games, opening a specific service port, connecting to a VPN tunnel, or visiting secure sites with SSL. Also, the devices connected to the first private network may not be able to communicate to the devices connected to the other private network.
Also what can happen is because you have two routers, (two post offices). More than one computer or device can have the same address. Imagine the mess you would have if you and another person across the city had the same address. The post office would send your mail to the wrong place or it would not know where the mail you are sending out came from.
To avoid a Double Nat Situation you must set a second router in line in Access Point mode. This tells the second router to work like a Switch. A switch simply tells the router how devices are connected to it and the router gives the device addresses.
Often times a router is bought when you need a switch, and this is due to the fact that in many big box stores switches are not readily available or not understood by the average user. There can be uses where you have multiple routers. You need to know how to configure your routers so they communicate properly on your network.
If you are having trouble with your router or not sure if you need a router or a switch. Contact us at DataCom Technologies. DataCom Technologies specializes in networking devices and can assist with any questions about or implementation of network devices.