At which OSI Layer does a Router operate?

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At which OSI Layer does a Router operate?

The International Standards Organization (ISO) created a universal standard to be able to exchange information between and within networks of different geographical boundaries in 1978. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) comprises seven layers to epitomize tightly knitted network architecture. The communication network and distribution have been designed in a standard form, to make for seamless data processing.

Intelligent computers which need to be connected with public and private networks are flooding the market already. Although it has become a mainstay, it requires advanced communication coupled with a standard network design because it often depends on the relationship between functions carried out and network services. These functions use regular interfaces and protocols to communicate effectively. The operating system (OS) accommodates layers and its network architecture incorporates layer design.

Computer OS have different sections with each required to perform a distinct function. This complexity works to its advantage as it becomes easy for these sections to optimize their functional goals. All sections have been coordinated to a whole OS with each making sure the OS functions at optimum.

What layer does a router operate?

Routers operate on the Network-Control Layer, which is the third layer of the OSI Model. Routers check and conclude on either sending or withholding packet data structure, unlike bridges that transfer data packets based on the Media Access Control (MAC) Layer addresses (as bridges do). This inference is based on the kind of network information in the packet.

As soon as the router determines the packet’s destination, it offers the best path and is in the suitable format to send the data without any form of compromise. If the destination cannot handle the delivery of the whole data at once, the router divides it into fragments.

One advantage bridges have over routers is that they are equipped with the ability to learn addresses. This means they do not have to process much data before delivery. Routers go through complex installation and configuration because they have to be conversant with the network protocols in the target.

If a router comes in contact with a protocol that is not familiar, instead of processing it, it drops the packet. Some protocols have no defined network information in the packet data, so they are called “non-routable.” This is so when the protocols are of no use.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that there’s not much differentiating most routers from bridges. They share similar functions. Examples of “routable” protocols are IPX™/SPX, TCP/IP, and AppleTalk®. Routers without bridging properties easily shy away from packets with non-routable protocols. Examples of such are NetBIOS, LAT™, or SNA. 

To avoid losing information, one can send non-routable protocols directly through the packet destination address. If a router doesn’t have bridging capabilities, it automatically discards any packet it encounters.

What is a Router?

A router has many packets through which communication passes from one LAN or WAN to the other. The packets are the beginning and the end of a network address. Router stores and transfer data packets. What differentiates routers from bridges is that they don’t get stuck. Routers can manipulate their ways from one point to the other to receive data. 

Routers find the best route that suits the destination of data transfer either from a previous router or LAN. The main purpose of the router is listed below:

  • To use different identities to link networks.
  • To transmit the needed data from the source to the final destination across the LAN.
  • To regularly inspect the condition of the packets without transferring errors on to the next LAN and rebuild if necessary.

How many layers does an OSI have?

First, what’s a layer? A layer is used to classify and divide the functions performed by a network.

The OSI model is categorized into 7 layers of networking. Let’s take a look at the functions of each layer.

Layer 1– This is called the physical Layer. Its purpose is to define the electrical and mechanical features of interfacing to be able to transmit data through a physical path. Also, it sets up and breaks the physical links while keeping it in good shape. This layer contains a lot of components that include the communication devices’ software drivers, the interface devices, modems, and communications lines (hardware in general).

Layer 2– known as the Data-Link Layer, its job is to make sure the communication route between network nodes over the physical path not error-prone. It supports messages transmission and keeps every message received in good stead before communication occurs. This way, it keeps the communication path in a good state. Overall, it controls the efficiency of the channel and maintains data transmission in sequential order.

Layer 3– This is the Network-Control Layer. It prepares the communication nodes, assigns messages, and makes sure they are sent through the right channel across intervening nodes making sure they reach their destinations. Also, the Network-Control layer dictates the fluidity of messages between nodes.

Layer 4– Generally known as the Transport Layer, it manages communication sessions from one end to the other after providing the required path. This layer assures reliable and sequential data trading without the help of both the communicating system and the network space.

Layer 5– This is the Session Layer and it enacts and controls the communication sessions of the 4th layer under the operating system of a node, especially those that are dependent on the system to function accordingly.

Layer 6– This layer is called the Presentation Layer. Its major functions are translation and conversion. This is the layer through which encoded data is translated and converted. This is essential to understanding and manipulation by its users.

Layer 7– This is the last layer of the OSI. It’s called the Application/User Layer. It oversees the system management. Other functions include resource-sharing, managing user and application tasks, network, remote file servers and database administration, and file transfers.

Troubleshooting each layer

Each layer is with its struggles, and troubleshooting them is necessary to identify and resolve the problems as soon as possible.

Troubleshooting OSI layer 1 problems

Layer 1 allows every other layer to function because nothing goes past it. If layer 1 has a problem, all other layers will not function. The following are the problems associated with Layer 1:

  • Damaged cables like wires and broken connectors.
  • Unplugged cables or other wires/connectors.
  • Damaged hardware network devices like malfunctioning circuits.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 2 problems

Just like the first layer, they share a lot of common problems. Below are the problems associated with Layer 2:

  • Breaking sessions between two nodes.
  • Frames colliding at instances.
  • Intermittent failure of sessions after successful connection.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 3 problems

Often the third layer makes use of command-line tools like show IP route, trace, show IP protocols or ping. They also share common problems with the second layer. Below are the problems associated with Layer 3:

  • Malfunctioning router or node.
  • Poorly configured IP address.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 4 problems

The problems of the previous layers also crop up in this layer. Below are the problems associated with Layer 4:

  • Checked for blocked ports and also the access control lists and firewalls.
  • Quality of Service settings is one feature that needs to be checked regularly to avoid congestion. It is one of the features of routers/switches that control traffic.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 5 problems

Below are the problems associated with Layer 5:

  • Session fails, disconnects, and incessant timeout.
  • Server shutdown.
  • Improper configuration of servers like Apache or PHP configs.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 6 problems

Below are the problems associated with Layer 6:

  • Operation system user access level doesn’t tally.
  • Drivers are corrupt or non-existent.

Troubleshooting OSI Layer 7 problems

Below are the problems associated with Layer 7:

  • Poorly configured software applications.
  • User error interface

What are bridges?

The main purposes of bridges are to:

  • Connect networks– Bridges can be distinct from routers at times. A bridge connects two LAN segments to form one larger continuous LAN. Every bridge has an internal list of addresses attached to its network devices.
  • Target the destination address of each Ethernet packet for increased speed and efficiency– The first thing a bridge does is to verify the packet’s address concerning its internal list. Furthermore, the bridge forwards any unrecognizable information.

Bridges operate at the second layer of the OSI Model which is known as the Data-Link Layer. However, they have a distinguishing capability. They can separate local and remote data in the same segment, and with the same destination in mind, it ensures that they don’t cross paths with the bridge. To function, they rely on protocols and not configurations. This means that they cannot transfer data without understanding the protocols.

What Happens When You Reset Xfinity Router?

What does resetting your Xfinity router do? It restores the router to factory default by clearing all data and settings. 

Factory reset doesn’t always have to be limited to switching a password. There are many reasons why your router might need a factory reset. Reasons can range from Wi-Fi disruption to internet connection problems. For the router to run properly again, you need to re-configure it to your taste.

What to know before resetting the Xfinity router

Bear in mind that before you reset your router, it will wipe all available data. You need a paper clip to reset most Xfinity routers. Therefore, get a paper clip ready for this procedure. You need access to the router through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable and the password must be available- in most cases, it is usually the default password.

How to reset your Xfinity router

Maybe your router is malfunctioning or you lost the password, don’t fret, you can restore factory settings and get it up and running again with two methods. These are:

  • Managing the admin interface and,
  • Using the rest button.

Method 1: Managing the admin interface

The first thing to do is to open a web browser and input “” in the address bar. Login to the router using the default admin username and password. The router’s interface is largely dependent on its model but with the following general instructions, you should be able to achieve the same goal.

On the router interface, follow the prompt- Troubleshooting > Reset/Restore Gateway > Restore Factory Settings. After such, click on the Factory Reset/ Restore option and hold on. The router will reboot after a while.

Method 2 – Using the Reset Button

Switch on the Xfinity router and hold down the Reset button for 30 seconds.

Some models require the use of a paperclip to access the button. In the process, unplug the router from the power source. Without releasing the button, hold it for another 30 seconds.

Connect the router back to the power source while the button is still being held down. Hold for another 30 seconds and release the button. If this process is thoroughly followed, your Xfinity router must be back to factory settings.

How to configure Xfinity Router after a hard reset

Your device has to be reconfigured after a reset to be able to access the internet again. Follow these instructions to reconfigure your router.

Open a browser and input “” in the address bar, log in with the default username and password. Go to the Wi-Fi section and click on Configure Changes. Go to the Network tab and configure the Dial-Up connection/DSL methods, SSID and Security settings

Restarting Your Xfinity router

There are several ways to restart a malfunctioning router.

Via xfi website– You can go to the Xfinity website or the app to restart your router. Visit and sign in with your Xfinity ID and password. Select Troubleshooting and pick restart on the xFi website to commence the restart process.

Via the Xfinity app– If you are using the app, the Xfinity app is available for free on the App Store for iPhone users and Google Play for Android users. Tap Connection Trouble and click on Restart Gateway.

Via the Xfinity My Account App– If you are using the Xfinity My Account App, open the app and select the Internet tile. Pick your modem name and select Restart your device. 

Via My Account Online on Your Xfinity Gateway– Go to and log in using your Xfinity ID and password. Pick Manage Internet and Select Restart Modem. Troubleshooting will commence and your modem restarts in the process. You won’t be able to access the internet while this is going on as the process can take up to seven minutes.

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