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Do not power off a router whose configuration has not yet been saved.

You usually configure a router via a serial port connection to a computer that contains configuration software. Others may use a command-line interface and require either a terminal or PC-emulated terminal for configuration. Some routers are expandable with plug-in modules. These expansion modules allow you to make a router that uses any of the different types of port configuration, including Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface), ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), and any other network topology.

The Network+ exam—and most networking tests—requires you to know the classic definition of a router. Some of today’s routers can actually perform the functions of both a router and a gateway. Configuring routers can be a career in itself. Do not configure a router without clear instructions and permission to do so.

The Brouter

A brouter is a network device that combines the features of a router and a bridge. It routes all protocols that can be routed. If the brouter detects a protocol that is not routable (such as NetBEUI), it tries to bridge it to the destination network. Most true routers can perform this function. A brouter is seldom used in today’s networks.

The Network Interface Card (NIC)

As we discussed in Chapter 2, you install a NIC in a computer so that the computer can connect to the network. Each type of NIC is specific to a topology and a connection type. To determine a NIC’s type, review the documentation and examine the NIC. Even though two NICs may look alike, one may be a Token Ring NIC and the other an Ethernet NIC.

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