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A router is a computer device which aggregates the network needs of many computers, and distributes bandwidth from a central broadband connection.

A router works by having a unique address on each port and a map of the network in an internal table. The router reads a packet from an incoming port, looks it up in the table , and sends it out the appropriate port.

There are a number of protocols for managing the network address tables of the routers.

A bridge is similar to a router but no address table is used. All traffic in one port goes out the other port.

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