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How Data Travels within Installed and Configured Networks

Routers are physical devices used to connect various wired or wireless networks together in a networking environment. They handle and filter data traffic, both incoming and outgoing, depending upon the IP addresses of different machines. Every machine has a unique IP address for its easy identification.

Routers are available in different models. Therefore, there can be a difference in the naming convention followed during the router configuration procedure.

The article here gets you to understand the standard procedure for installing a router, what are the problems you may face if the router is not properly installed, and then a brief on how data actually travels within the configured network.

Installing a Router

Given below is a standard procedure on how to install a router for setting up a computer network:

·         Select an appropriate place – A router should be kept at a place where it receives the strongest signal. A weak signal lower the data transfer efficiency of the router. Ideally, it should be kept on an open floor or on a table.
·         Plug the router to an electrical power point and then push the power button on the device to start the router.
·         Connect the Internet modem to the router to establish an internet connection.
·         After this, connect your computer to the router using a network cable. Remember, even in a wireless network, a cable is required to install and connect a router properly to your system to ensure maximum working efficiency.
·         Once the router is installed, you need to open the router's administration tool. To do this, you first need to open your Web browser. Then type the router’s address in the Web address field. Press Enter to open your installed router’s website.  The address is always given in the documents provided with the router. Remember, you do not need a working Internet connection to perform this step.

Troubleshooting Router Problems

From the security point of view, it is very important to keep in mind that if the router is not configured properly or if the router is faulty, then there isa possibility that you come across a problem. Some of the common troubleshooting router problems include errors like:

·         Default gateway is not available
·         Err connection reset
·         Reconnect me
·         DNS server isn’t responding

If you want to learn how to deal with it

There are many ways that can help you get rid of these errors. However, if you are experiencing a specific error and you keen to learn how to deal with it, here are some basic measures that can be fruitful for all these common errors:

·         Reset the wifi and network adapter
·         Update the drivers of your network adapter
·         Remove the anti-virus software form your PC
·         Try and disable the auto login feature
·         Change the drivers if required
·         Ensure all the cables are securely attached
·         Reset and reposition the router

How Data Travels Within Networks

Wireless networks involve transmitting information using radio signals instead of wired cables. The information can flow between computers or workstations on the same network or different networks.

For your understanding, the process of transmitting data between multiple networks is briefly discussed here.

The transmission process begins when a sender performs the computing operation to send data to another machine. The data gets converted in the form of packets called data packets. These packets can contain any information ranging from large text files, multimedia files to a short chat message.

Each packet has three components: header, trailer, and payload. The header contains basic details about the origin of information, the length of data travel, the point of destination, etc. For e.g. the header contains the host number and the network number of both the sending and receiving computers. Payload refers to the actual information in the form of a file, an e-mail attachment, etc. that is being transmitted to another computer. Trailer, also known as footer, contains some bits of data for error checking.

Now, the information in these packets starts travelling in the form of radio signals towards the receiving computer. The packets are sent directly to the computer if both the sending and receiving computers are within the same network. On the other hand, if the computers are in different networks, then network devices like routers are used to filter and direct the data packets to its destination. Routers interconnect the host or the server of every network. A network can have more than one router depending upon the complexity of the network. Every router is like a road map of a particular destination. It has multiple paths in different directions that help the data to reach the other computer.

With the help of routers, once the data packet reaches the network of the receiving computer, it retrieves the host number and the network number, from its header component, to find the IP address of the other computer. The data, in the form of a radio signal, gets converted back into a format that the computer is capable to understand. Finally, the information is successfully accessed by the receiving computer.

Remember, the same process is followed when there is a single source but multiple destinations. Moreover, the time taken to complete this process depends upon the size of the data packets. Larger the packets, greater the time and vice-versa!

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