What can routers be used for apart from accessing the internet?

Dr.sunil V September 14, 2014

What are the uses of router besides routing internet? I understand that file transfer can also be done through WiFi offline. Please elaborate or list the uses of router other than routing internet

  1. Howard B
    September 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    If you disconnect the router from the Internet, all of the devices connected to it (PCs, tablets, phones, game consoles like Wii, XBox, and PlayStation, smart TVs, security cameras, etc. are all still connected together. You can stream videos to your smart TV, share files between tablets, phones, and PCs, and view your wired or wireless security camera on your PC. You can even use an app like BitTorrent Sync or DropBox (using its LAN sync) to keep files synced between several PCs; you just won't have DropBox's web copies to fall back on. With a little work and an old PC to run the server on, you can even do in-home email (something I've never done, but should be possible).

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Thanks. Superb answer

  2. Dalsan M
    September 15, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Although most people within the home would use a wireless or even wired router to connect multiple devices to the Internet, many people choose to use the network connection between devices to transfer files, stream media from one device to another or multiple devices, and other similar actions. Some people message from one computer or device to another computer or device within the network instead of yelling across the home, much like an intercom system would be used for. Remote access can also be used so that one device, such as an Android device using TeamViewer, can view and control a PC. There are some devices that can connect to the TV and an Android, iOS, or Windows Phone device can be used to remote into the device and be used for a remote control. I have used my Android phone as a remote for my satellite receivers, and have streamed my photos and music from my phone to the satellite receiver and Android stick devices. Wireless IP cameras can be used for monitoring the home. There are many options that can be used and configured for lots of different uses without connecting to the Internet, though many more options are opened when there is an Internet connection. If you want to get bold, you can set up a home automation system where different devices or other controllers can be used to turn lights on and off, change the temperature on the thermostat, and many other things that can be done for a "smart" home. There are plenty of other options you can use a router and networked devices for, it depends on the devices, operating systems, and other specifics that make it difficult to make a generalized suggestion on how to set things up.

    As far as file transfers between Windows Vista and higher versions of Windows, you can setup Homegroup networking, otherwise just enable file sharing through the Network and Sharing Center. Windows XP has file sharing options within the Networking control panel.

    • Sunil
      September 15, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Thanks. A similar nice answer was given by you on same topic few weeks back. Good job

  3. Oron J
    September 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    There are two ways to look at your question. The first one is "what can routers in general be used for?", and the answer is for routing - that is, for connecting separate networks. For example, if you have a large organisation (a company, hospital, university etc), you can only connect so many nodes (PCs, printers, WiFi access points, whatever) before it becomes more sensible to start a new network and connect the two with a router. Or, a slightly different scenario, you have a collection of institutions that are physically connected to each other (for example, British universities), and traffic needs to be routed between them. It's true that today *everything* (pretty much) is part of the internet, but that simply means that that "network of networks" needs to be connected to the rest of the internet through, you guessed it, more routers (or gateways, the distinction is a little blurred).

    The second way I understand your question is "what can I do with a broadband router apart from using it to connect to the internet". I suspect this is more of the sort of thing you had in mind. It's a rather different scenario though, since broadband routers are specific devices with specific capabilities, many of which are there in addition to, or instead of the router function. Some can be used as repeaters (e.g. to extend a network or even WiFi range, as we've discussed before), some can be set up as Wireless access points and some have a USB socket that allows you to connect a USB printer, a hard drive or both to the local network. It really is down to the individual model though, and it's difficult to make generalisations here. Moreover, some routers with built-in ADSL modems won't even allow you to change their configuration *until* you've connected to the internet, so you're going to have a hard time repurposing them into "offline" anything.

    • Sunil
      September 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Thanks. Amazing endeavour again!

  4. Hovsep A
    September 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    • Sunil
      September 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Thanks. This seems greater than what I was endeavouring to know

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