A router is an electronic device that routes computers to one another. A router is a miniature radio station that gives them something to listen to other than Glenn Beck or a Top 40 station. A frequently asked question is why the computers cannot simply radio one another; the answer is because you need a router.
When considering a router, the first question is network topology. Most purchasers did not take topology in high school, but network topology simply means, if you drew a diagram of all those communicating computers, what it would look like. Some networks use Star Topology and others use Ring Topology. Layered networks, all of which use Ring Topology, are effectively Tube Topology, a tank top. If you select this, then you would purchase a roto-router.
Choosing a router
Each router has one or more letters of the alphabet associated with it. Letters toward the end of the alphabet are faster. Technology has not yet reached the letter Z, but by that time, all your computing will be done even before you grab your joystick. Unfortunately, not all the letters are in use. If you go to Best Buy and ask to be shown an "H-class router," the salesman will know you are a newbie and will sell you a 9.1 Room Theater instead.
The Uncyclopedia article on choosing a router employs the most sensible science and, as one can see from the title, keeps its subtle biases totally in check. Its reliable recommendations were written in 2010, when G was the fastest router in existence, and it was a damned sight better than B-class routers.
What does it route?
The things that routers route are called packets. They are not packets of Chesterfields or Lucky Strikes but of bytes. The meaning of the packets depends on the computers that are communicating. The packets seem to find their way to the right machine.
The precious little packets let multiple entities on one computer each communicate with their desired counterpart on another computer, an electronic process comparable to a Furry convention. The process that lets them do so is called a procol stack, which is something the rank amateur can never master, even if he wears shirts with epaulettes.
Significance to the end user
Apart from imposing the need to buy a router, the function of the router includes forcing the buyer to also buy software from trustworthy companies like Apple or Microsoft to make packets flow to the router. Computer users who are used to writing little programs in BASIC to send their own bytes to the serial line will not be able to do so. They will have to rely on a huge Application Package that nags them to download updates and alerts them to package deals certain to be of interest to them.