What is a wireless router? How many types of routers are there?

4 Mins read
wireless router

Given the times we live in, most of us are familiar with the internet and probably how it works. A wireless router pretty much forms part of this. Initially, internet connection to user devices, mainly computers, desktops, and laptops, were through cables. Well, long gone are those days today, and due to technological advancement, wireless connectivity is all taking the trend.

A simple definition of the wireless router is a critical device in the networking industry that helps convert ethernet data into wireless. Therefore, from this conversion, it is easier for many wirelessly connect devices to connect to it via a packet signal.

Typically, most routers are used in the WiFi connections and suppliers; however other uses also include private computer networking. Most offices that use these private networks are primarily for quick and efficient data conveyance within the set-up.

What is the difference between a wireless router and a WiFi router?

We confuse these two so often. Notably, these two are separate devices – you can identify them as a router and an access point. The confusion is mainly because they exist in one box typically referred to as Wireless Router.

Since most of us do not fully understand the separation, we refer to the box as a router. These devices have become familiar with significant applications mainly in homes, institutions, buildings, and many more.

A wireless router sometimes takes WLAN (wireless local area network) device while a wireless network and WiFi network in other forums. You need to know how to differentiate these terms.

Various types of routers

There are quite a variety of router devices, all separated by their precise functionality. The following are typically what the industry has and offers at the moment.

1. Desktop WiFi router

Probably these are the most common – black, gray, white, and so on box-like devices with antennae for signal broadcasts. You will find them in office and home environments.

Desktop routers connect to a modem or an extender from where they receive the internet data. They convert these signals into wireless form to reach various connected devices within a specified range. The further you are from the box, the weaker the signals.

Desktop WiFi routers come in plenty of designs based on functionality and brand. Let alone the colors, there are those with two antennae, three and sometimes four. The more the antennae, the higher the chances of better signals. It would help if you, however, observed better positioning of the router. Barriers such as walls block WiFi networks. Stretching out the antennae sometimes would work towards eliminating some WiFi dead zones.

Most desktop routers do come with easy-to-access apps for quick user manipulation of their functionalities. Through the apps, you can always set and reset the security settings, plus do a lot more on user terms. Among these settings are child access sites and how many devices can connect at a time.

2. Mobile hotspot

A typical easy access router these days is our mobile phones. Through their developed networking features, you can now create a wireless signal shared among various connecting devices. A mobile hotspot is a wireless network created based on tethered and untethered connections, as it is commonly known.

The internet source on this comes from your service provider – this will depend on the Simcard you are using.  Once you have made your subscription, you can share the internet with other devices, including other smartphones.

The connection here is more similar to that of Bluetooth or others provided by specific apps like Xender. These mainly deal in data sharing. The connection on this, however, is always one way at a time – not more than one device can connect to at the same time to such wireless networks.

3. Portable WiFi router

Better than public hotspots, there is portable WiFi which you can always use. Its convenience and workability simulate that of a mobile phone. However, on this, you will have portable cellular supported devices with the technological ability to broadcast internet signals. Mainly they provide the 3G and 4G signals.

Suggested Reading: How COVID-19 has impacted 5G networks and services.

Portable WiFi works on a subscription basis defined by the available packages. Your service provider will let you know more about this. Typically, there are monthly packages with specific user limitations.

As the name suggests, these router types are highly portable. They can conveniently fit in your pockets, bag, or purse. Still, you can place them at your house’s strategic position where the reception is strong and go on with your internet accesses.

NOTE: Under all these router connections, numbers of connected devices and signal strength always play a crucial role in their efficiency. Whenever you experience unusual delays, buffering, and slow download speeds, probably the problem could be either of the following;

  1. You are in a dead WiFi zone – signals may not be reaching certain parts within your home/ building. The solution is to ensure correct positioning and try stretching the antennae in case of the desktop type.
  2. Problem with your ISP: Whenever your ISP network goes down, certainly you will receive low signals. It is one typical case with mobile/ portable routers.
  3. Maybe you need to restart/ refresh your router: Connection problems sometimes arise from a jammed network system. Try restarting your device for a refreshment.
  4. Switch bandwidth: Various routers give varied options; 3G, 4G, and current 5G.

When all these seem not to respond positively, you may next need to consult a networking engineer. Apart from such, they help you set up your connection appropriately, suggesting more robust password formats you should use.

Find some budget friendly routers on:


The WiFi-6 is the latest router technology you should consider. It comes with a lot more improved features for fast internet and data access. It’s the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 standard, which allows excellent compatibility among multiple devices.

Check out the latest WiFi 6 routers from Amazon. Always ensure you purchase any of these from a reliable supplier shop. Most of these designs and models will be for greater functionality throughout your building and homestead. Get professional advice whenever you get stuck with anything about these available options.

Read Next: Alternatives to Wi-Fi for IoT

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