What’s an ADSL router?

Print anything with Printful

ADSL is a high-speed internet service that coexists with regular telephone service. An ADSL router allows internet account sharing from multiple computers in the same location, either wired or wireless. Routers come with built-in hardware firewalls and the ability to encrypt traffic on the LAN. A router can cost between $35 and $100 USD or more, depending on the features and standards it supports.

ADSL stands for Asymmetric (or Asynchronous) Digital Subscriber Line. It is a type of high-speed Internet service provided over copper telephone lines that coexists with regular telephone service. That is, one can use the phone and surf the Internet at the same time. An ADSL router is a network piece of equipment that allows Internet account sharing from multiple computers in the same location. A modem is also required, but is usually built into the router. An ADSL router can be wired or wireless.

In networking parlance, whenever you connect two or more computers that are in close proximity, such as in a home or office building, a local area network (LAN) is created. A router has Ethernet® ports on the back for connecting each computer. Ethernet® is the type of cable needed to create a wired network, and each computer must also have an Ethernet® network adapter installed, which provides its own port. The Ethernet® cable then runs between each computer and the router. Some routers may also come with USB connectivity.

Alternatively, you can create a wireless LAN using a wireless ADSL router. This type of router communicates with every computer on the LAN using radio waves. In this case, a wireless network card is required in each computer. The router and computer cards need to share a common wireless protocol or language in order to “listen” to each other. These standards are constantly evolving and are designated as 802.11 with a letter following that identifies the exact protocol; such as 802.11g and 802.11n.

For example, a wireless router that only supports 802.11n won’t be able to communicate with a laptop that has an 802.11n wireless card installed, and vice versa. When a router doesn’t support the type of wireless card installed in a desktop or laptop, you can purchase an external network adapter for that machine that supports the correct protocol. Network adapters are designed to use a USB port or an ExpressCard® slot. Some routers support multiple wireless standards, conveniently eliminating the concern of what type of wireless network cards are installed in the various machines intended for use on the LAN.

Virtually all routers come with a built-in hardware firewall. Your router’s firewall is designed to block traffic from the Internet that hasn’t been requested by a machine on the LAN. Wireless routers also come with the ability to encrypt traffic on the LAN to prevent eavesdropping from nosy neighbors or passers-by.
Many ISPs ship an ADSL router with their service that has been preconfigured to work with their network. You can also purchase your own router, setting it up yourself for use with the service. The configuration is done through software, where the basic parameters of the connection can be changed to suit almost any ISP. Additionally, advanced users can open the necessary ports for gaming or remote desktop applications, to name just two examples. Many other modifications and options are also available.
For gamers or enthusiasts of Voice over IP (VOIP) services like Skype®, an ADSL router with QoS (Quality of Service) can prioritize your favorite applications to ensure smoother gameplay and reduce conversation delays. Also, if your ISP offers ADSL2 in your area (a newer and faster version of ADSL), you’ll need a router that supports ADSL2. Many routers today support both ADSL and ADSL2, but not all, so check compatibility before buying your router. An ADSL router can cost between $35 and $100 US Dollars (USD) or more, depending on the features and standards it supports.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content