Router and Switch Comparison

Mar 30, 2016

Routers and switches comparison

Routers and switches are both computer networking devices that allow one or more computers to be connected to other computers, networked devices,or to other networks.

The functions of a router, switch and hub and are all different, even if at times they are integrated into a single device. Routers connect two or more logical subnets, which do not necessarily map one-to-one to the physical interfaces of the router. The term layer 3 switch often is used interchangeably with router, but switch is really a general term without a rigorous technical definition. In marketing usage, it is generally optimized for Ethernet LAN interfaces and may not have other physical interface types.

comparison chart

Router versus Switch comparison chart
Used forConnecting two or more networksConnecting two or more nodes in the same network or different network
FunctionDirects data in a network. Passes data between home computers, and between computers and the modem.Allow to connect multiple device and port can be manage, Vlan can create security also can apply
Transmission TypeAt Initial Level Broadcast then Uni-cast & MulticastFirst broadcast; then unicast & multicast as needed.
Data Transmission formPacketFrame (L2 Switch) Frame & Packet (L3 switch)
LayerNetwork Layer (Layer 3 devices)Data Link Layer. Network switches operate at Layer 2 of the OSI model.
Ports2/4/8Switch is multi port Bridge. 24/48 ports
Device TypeNetworking deviceActive Device (With Software) & Networking device
TableStore IP address in Routing table and maintain address at its own.Switches use content accessible memory CAM table which is typically accessed by ASIC (Application Specific integrated chips).
Transmission ModeFull duplexHalf/Full duplex
Broadcast DomainIn Router, every port has its own Broadcast domain.Switch has one broadcast domain [unless VLAN implemented]
DefinitionA router is a networking device that connects a local network to other local networks. At the Distribution Layer of the network, routers direct traffic and perform other functions critical to efficient network operation.A network switch is a computer networking device that is used to connect many devices together on a computer network. A switch is considered more advanced than a hub because a switch will on send msg to device that needs or request it
Device CategoryIntelligent DeviceIntelligent Device
Bandwidth sharingBandwidth sharing is Dynamic (Enables either static or dynamic bandwidth sharing for modular cable interfaces. The default percent-value is 0. The percent-value range is 1-96.)There is no sharing port can be 10, 100, 1000 and 10000 Mbps individual
Speed1-10Mbps(wireless),100Mbps(wired)10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps
Routing DecisionTake faster routing decisionsTake more time for complicated routing decisions
NAT (Network Address Translation)Routers can perform NATSwitches cannot perform NAT
FasterIn a different network environment (MAN/ WAN), a router is faster than an L3 switch.In a LAN environment, an L3 switch is faster than a router (built in switching hardware)
FeaturesFirewall VPN Dynamic hadling of BandwidthPriority rt range On/Off setting of port VLAN Port mirroring
ExamplesLinksys WRT54GL Juniper MX & EX series Cisco 3900, 2900, 1900Alcatel's OmniSwitch 9000; Cisco Catalyst switch 4500 and 6500 (10 Gbps)
Address used for data tramsmissionUses IP addressUses MAC address


Previous:Wireless Auto Vending Machine

Next:Difference bettween Modem and Router