Comparison -Router vs Switch

Router and switch are the most important devices in computer networking here we give a comparison between router vs switch which is most important to understand for the student of networking. If somebody understands the router vs switch comparison, he can manage network easily.

Definition of Router

A network device that forwards data packets from one network to another. Based on the address of the destination network in the incoming packet and an internal routing table; the router determines which port (line) to send out the packet (ports typically connect to Ethernet cables). Routers require packets formatted in a routable protocol, the global standard being TCP/IP, or simply “IP.”

Definition of Switch

 A switch is a networking device that is used to connect many devices together on a computer network. A switch is working in a single network. it also connects multiple devices. The port of the switch can be managed.

Comparison Router vs Switch

  • Router work in layer 3 and switch available for both layer2 and layer3
  • Router transmit data in the shape of Packet but switch transmit data in both in frame and packets
  • Transmission type of router at Initial Level is Broadcast then Unicast & Multicast but the switch, first broadcast then unicast & multicast as needed.
  • Routers are available in different ports. ports can be added as needed and Switch is multi-port Bridge. 8/16/24/48 ports and available in modular form
  • The router can be used in LAN, WAN, and  Switch is mostly used for LAN
  • Router store IP address in Routing table and keep up the address on its own but Switches use content accessible memory CAM table which is typically accessed by ASIC (Application Specific integrated chips).
  • The router is full-duplex and the switch is working on both have and full-duplex 
  • In Router, every port has its own Broadcast domain but the switch has single broadcast domain [unless VLAN implemented] and each port has its own collision domain.

  • The router is used to connect two or more networks and the switch is used to connect two or more nodes in the same network.
  • Switch and router both are intelligent devices
  • Router bandwidth 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.) but the switch made sharing according to ports that can be 10; 100, 1000 and 10000 Mbps. 
  • Both speeds are 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • The router can take faster routing decisions but switch takes more time for complicated routing decisions.
  • The Routers can do NAT but switch can’t
  • In a different network environment, a router is faster than an L3 switch.
  • Example of Router as Linksys WRT54GL Juniper MX & EX series Cisco 3900, 2900, 1900 and the Example of Switches as – Alcatel’s OmniSwitch 9000; Cisco Catalyst switch 4500 and 6500 (10 Gbps)
  • The route Uses IP address and the switch uses make address
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