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Network routers: Crash Course

Network routers make an enterprise network run. This crash course gives you all the router basics you need.

Need a quick knowledge fix on routers? Here we present technical tips and advice on router basics, so you can get your hardware up and configured in no time.


In packet-switched networks such as the Internet, a router is a device or, in some cases, software in a computer, that determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination. The router is connected to at least two networks and decides which way to send each information packet based on its current understanding of the state of the networks it is connected to. A router is located at any gateway (where one network meets another), including each point-of-presence on the Internet. A router is often included as part of a network switch.

Read the full definition here, courtesy of


Cisco Spotlight Series: A router for all seasons (10 May 2005 |

When router management is your worst nightmare (11 Apr 2005 |

Study: Router sales to reach $10 billion in 2009 (26 Jan 2005 | Reuters)

Read more router-related news here.


Do you need a router?
There are many reasons you may need a router. But there are also reasons why you may not. Find out if a router is right for your network.

Tasks for initial router configuration
Unlike some devices, routers require quite a bit of configuration before they will be useful. This tip examines the minimum tasks needed to get a Cisco router working.

What you need from your routers in today's network environment
There are many challenges facing multifunctional router platforms today. Check out this tip and see if your routers are measuring up.

Read more router-related tips here.


What are the performance figures of a router?
Expert response: Currently several methodologies exist for monitoring the performance of routers in the environment. Performance management encompasses the management of individual devices for capacity and resource assessments...

Do I need a more robust router?
Expert response: There are several possible answers to your question depending on the real problem. The first step is to isolate the problem down to something measurable...

Need help configuring a router
Expert response: You should be able to configure your Linksys Broadband Router like this, for example...

Ask our router expert, Sudhanshu Gupta, your router-related questions and view previously answered Q&As.


New routing innovations
Hear from Cisco CEO, John Chambers, other industry leaders, and customers themselves about how customer needs and input are helping to facilitate the integration of networking systems.

Deploying security on integrated services routers
Listen to an interactive technical discussion about how to deploy integrated security on the new Cisco integrated services routers (ISRs).

Route analysis: The foundation of IP management
This webcast describes the importance of IP routing and how route analysis can give management organizations the visibility they need to effectively manage their IP networks.

View more router-related webcasts here.


Flexible service-rich IP routers
After the incredible expansion of the Internet in the 1990s followed by its abrupt slowdown, the telecom industry now has to find new pragmatic and profitable business models in a highly changeable world…

Remote router porting with E1
With eCommerce becoming the trading method of choice, connectivity with trading partners is a must. Of course, e-mail/www traffic is now the preferred method for…

M-Series routing platforms
Juniper Networks service-built M-Series platforms are deployed in the world's largest networks delivering advanced IP/MPLS services at scale and helping service providers transform their business of networking…

Read more router-related white papers here.

This was last published in July 2005

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