router

« BACK TO DICTIONARY INDEX

(n.) A protocol-dependent device that connects two or more networks at the network layer. It helps break down a large network into smaller subnetworks. Routers introduce longer delays and have lower throughput rates than bridges. Like a bridge, a router restricts local area network (LAN) traffic and passes data to a routed LAN only when it is intended for that LAN. A repeater, by contrast, indiscriminately passes along data, regardless of the intended destination. The term router is replacing the term gateway.