A broadband router combines the features of a traditional network switch, a firewall, and a DHCP server. Broadband routers are designed for convenience in setting up home networks, particularly for homes with high-speed cable modem or DSL Internet service. A broadband router supports file sharing, Internet connection sharing, and home LAN gaming.
A broadband router follow the Ethernet standard for home networking. Traditional broadband routers required Ethernet cables be run between the router, the broadband modem, and each computer on the home LAN. The newer wireless routers also support broadband Internet access and the Ethernet standard without the need for cabling.
Several manufacturers offer broadband router products to the consumer. Features that differentiate broadband router products include the number and type of ports available on the unit for cabling computers, external modems, or other network devices.