router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. Data sent through the internet, such as a web page or email, is in the form of data packets. A packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute an internetwork until it reaches its destination node.

A router is connected to two or more data lines from different networks. When a data packet comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the network address information in the packet to determine the ultimate destination. Then, using information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey.

The most familiar type of routers are home and small office routers that simply forward IP packets between the home computers and the Internet. An example of a router would be the owner’s cable or DSL router, which connects to the Internet through an Internet service provider (ISP). More sophisticated routers, such as enterprise routers, connect large business or ISP networks up to the powerful core routers that forward data at high speed along the optical fiber lines of the Internet backbone. Though routers are typically dedicated hardware devices, software-based routers also exist.

Typically, this includes routers, switches, access points, network interface cards and other related hardware. This is a list of notable vendors who produce network hardware.

  • Aerohive Networks
  • Alaxala Networks
  • Nokia
  • Allied Telesis
  • Asus
  • Avaya – acquired Nortel, networking business sold to Extreme Networks
  • AVM
  • Brocade – acquired Vyatta, purchased by Broadcom
  • Billion Electric
  • Buffalo Technology
  • Cisco Systems
  • Dell – acquired Force10
  • D-Link
  • Enterasys – acquired by Extreme Networks in 2013
  • Ericsson – acquired Redback
  • Extreme Networks
  • HPE – acquired 3Com
  • Huawei Routers
  • Juniper Networks
  • LANCOM Systems
  • Linksys – acquired by Belkin
  • Meraki – acquired by Cisco Systems
  • Mitsubishi
  • NEC
  • Netgear
  • Nokia Networks
  • Open Mesh – acquired by Datto
  • RAD Data Communications
  • Ruckus – acquired by Brocade; to be acquired by ARRIS
  • Sierra Wireless
  • Telco Systems
  • TP-Link
  • Ubiquiti
  • Xirrus
  • Yamaha
  • ZyXEL
  • ZTE