What is MikroTik and How Do You Use It?

Getting to Know Mikrotik

Ever wondered how to turn a regular computer into a powerful network router? That’s where Mikrotik comes in! Mikrotik is a software operating system that can transform your computer into a network routing dynamo. Based on Linux, it’s the backbone for network routers and is perfect for building network administration systems, whether you’re running a small home network or managing a large enterprise setup.

Despite its capabilities, many people misunderstand Mikrotik. Let’s clear that up: Mikrotik is an open-source operating system, while a router is the hardware that connects multiple networks. See the difference?

The History of Mikrotik

Curious about where Mikrotik comes from? It’s quite the story! Mikrotik is actually the name of a networking company based in Latvia, founded by John Trully and Arnis Riekstins back in 1996. The company’s inception was driven by a vision to revolutionize networking by making it more accessible and efficient.

Initially, Mikrotik developed routers and provided wireless internet services using Linux and MS DOS operating systems in Moldova with LAN or WLAN Aeronet technology, achieving speeds of 2 Mbps. This might seem slow by today’s standards, but it was groundbreaking at the time.

Over the years, Mikrotik evolved from simply offering wireless ISP services to creating a robust router program. Their dedication to innovation has made their products popular worldwide, catering to diverse networking needs.

Types of Mikrotik

Understanding the different types of Mikrotik can help you choose the right solution for your needs. There are two main types:

1. Mikrotik RouterOS: Mikrotik RouterOS is a UNIX-based operating system packed with features like routing, firewalls, bridges, proxy servers, and hotspots. It’s designed to be user-friendly, allowing you to transform a regular computer into a powerful router with ease.

2. RouterBoard: RouterBoard is a hardware solution that doesn’t rely on a software operating system. It’s compact, practical, and comes with components like ROM, RAM, a processor, and flash memory. RouterBoard devices are pre-configured for optimal performance, making network setup straightforward.

Functions of Mikrotik

Mikrotik isn’t just about routing traffic; it offers a wide range of functions that make it a versatile tool for network management. Here are some of its key functions:

1. Providing Functional Authentication Systems: One of Mikrotik’s standout features is its ability to create functional authentication systems. This helps block websites with inappropriate content, promoting a safer and more compliant internet experience.

2. LAN Network Configuration: Mikrotik simplifies the configuration of LAN networks, allowing you to connect and manage computer traffic efficiently. This makes it ideal for office environments where network reliability and performance are crucial.

3. Acting as a Hotspot: Need to set up a hotspot? Mikrotik makes it easy to configure and share bandwidth among multiple devices, ensuring everyone stays connected.

4. Internet Network Management: Mikrotik centralizes internet management, allowing administrators to oversee and process data more effectively. This ensures that networks run smoothly and efficiently.

5. Creating PPPoE Servers: Mikrotik also excels in creating PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) servers, which are essential for businesses that provide internet services to multiple customers. It supports dual-layer networking, handling both MAC and IP addresses.

6. Blocking Sites: Building on its authentication capabilities, Mikrotik allows you to block unwanted websites, enhancing network security and productivity.

7. Bandwidth Management: Mikrotik’s bandwidth management feature lets you allocate bandwidth to different computers, ensuring fair distribution and optimal performance for all users.

Benefits of Mikrotik

Mikrotik’s extensive functions translate into numerous benefits for its users. Here’s how Mikrotik can enhance your network experience:

1. Serving as an Internet Gateway: Mikrotik acts as an internet gateway for local networks, seamlessly connecting multiple networks to the internet and managing data traffic effectively.

2. Connecting Networks: Mikrotik excels at linking different networks, selecting the fastest routes to ensure efficient data transfer and minimal latency.

3. Acting as an Access Point: Mikrotik’s wireless features make it an excellent access point for public networks in schools, offices, campuses, cafes, and other public spaces, providing reliable and widespread internet access.

4. Enhancing Security: With its robust authentication and site-blocking capabilities, Mikrotik significantly enhances network security, protecting against unauthorized access and malicious content.

5. Improving Network Performance: By managing bandwidth and optimizing network configuration, Mikrotik ensures that all users experience smooth and efficient internet access, whether for browsing, streaming, or working online.

Pros and Cons of Mikrotik

Like any technology, Mikrotik has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a detailed look at its pros and cons:

Affordable pricingRequires special skills for large-scale use
Variety of advanced featuresNeeds extra Ethernet slots for extensive use
User-friendly interfaceNot ideal for internal web proxy
Space-efficient and practicalSevere damage might be irreparable
Supports many Ethernet models
Warranty on RouterBoard damage


In conclusion, Mikrotik offers a versatile, powerful solution for network management, balancing affordability with a wide array of features. Whether you’re a small business, a large enterprise, or just looking to optimize your home network, Mikrotik could be the key to unlocking a smoother, more efficient network. Its history of innovation, coupled with its extensive functionalities and benefits, make it a standout choice in the realm of network solutions.

So, the next time you think about enhancing your network capabilities, remember Mikrotik—your gateway to a smarter, more efficient networking experience.

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