Enterprise router

  • Single-user or multi-user router, what are the differences?

    Anyone who has ventured to change the configuration of their router is very likely to have encountered the terms single-user and multi-user. The most certain thing is that at the moment that these terms are shown to someone, they will be assaulted by the classic doubts, is my router single-user or multi-user? And what is the difference between one and the other? We will define as clearly as possible each type of configuration to answer these questions. Enterprise router is a basic product for any business/enterprise.


    We start with the single-user configuration. As its name implies, the single-user configuration only allows access to the Internet to a single computer (mono, means only one). This computer will be the one that receives the public IP that our Internet provider provides, so it will be more difficult for us to share the connection with another computer that we have at home.

    Note that I said difficult but not impossible, because despite the fact that the router is single-user, you can configure the computer connected to it to become a proxy, that is, in a computer that acts as a multi-user router, apart from many other things. Personally, apart from being very curious and wanting to learn about network configuration, I do not recommend the use of proxy in a home network. Instead, it is much easier to use a multi-user router.

    The advantage of the single-user configuration is obviously its simplicity. We do not have to worry about the internal configuration of the router, especially the question of ports (of which I speak a little later), which are all open in a single-user configuration.

    The drawback that is attributed to the monopuesto configuration is its relative lack of security. And I say relative because in this case, having the router all the traffic opened by default, can allow access to our computer to external attacks. But do not be paranoid thinking that there are hackers waiting in every corner to try to erase our hard drive or perform any other crime. With the simple use of a firewall program and a good antivirus, we will be covered before any adversity caused with malice.

    Now let's talk about the multi-user configuration. Currently the majority of routers supplied by Internet access providers, come from the factory with the multi-user configuration, which is again explained simply by name, is a configuration that allows the connection, simultaneous or not, of several computers to the router and so share the same Internet connection.
    Unlike the single-user configuration, here the public IP does not remain a computer, but saved by the router itself. This in turn has a private IP (usually 192.168.1.1) that only makes sense within our home network. So, in each computer that we have at home, we must configure it to use the multi-user router as a gateway. This means that the router is our "gateway to the Internet".

    In addition, each computer must be assigned a private IP within the same range as the router (following the previous example, 192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3, etc.) so that it is identified in our local network.

    But the big difference with respect to the single-user configuration has to do with the ports, mentioned above. Ports can be understood as "tunnels" identified by a number that are used by different programs (the web browser, an online game, P2P programs, etc.) to send and receive data to or from the Internet.

    In a multi-user router, by default these ports are all closed (except some fixed ones that are always open to allow Internet browsing and receive email) and it is necessary to open them and redirect the traffic that passes through them to one of the computers that we have . For example, suppose we have a desktop PC, with the private IP 192.168.1.2, with which we want to play an online game, for which we use port 3660. What we have to do is enter the panel Router configuration and open port 3660 and indicate that traffic from that port will go to IP 192.168.1.2. This procedure is different depending on the router model, but most (if not all) will have this option within the NAT (Network Address Translation) section.

    The configuration is obviously more secure than the monopuesto, but it is still not infallible, so it is also advisable to use a firewall and an antivirus, the latter is essential if we have a PC.
    In conclusion, today the vast majority of available routers allow to be configured both in single or multi-user, so it is up to the user to choose which one to use. If our router has been supplied by our Internet provider, it is advisable to leave the configuration type that comes by default, although I personally opted for the multipuesto, in the long run only brings advantages and time spent in the correct configuration of the network It is not long.

    It is increasingly common to see more than one computer at home, in addition to the latest generation consoles that have connection to the network, so if what we want is that all our machines are connected in a harmonious way with the Internet, the optimal solution It is the multipuesto.

    On the other hand, if we only have one computer at home and there are no sights to acquire any more, the monopuesto will be an easy solution to facilitate access to the network of networks. That is, whether monopuesto or multipuesto our choice, we must take all security measures that are in our hands to avoid possible external attacks or feared virus infections.