Switch Vs Router: 15 Top Differences between Switch and Router

What is the difference between switch and router?

These are computer networking devices that help to link one computer to other computers or other networks.

The main difference between switch and router is that a switch help to connect various devices in a network whereas a router is a device that helps to connect various networks.

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Comparison Table (Switch vs Router)

Basic Terms Switch Router
Main Role Connect various devices in a network Connect various network
Layer Work in data link layer Work in the network layer
Application Only in LAN Both LAN and MAN
Data Format Send data in form of packets and frames Send data in form of packets
Collision No collision in full-duplex mode Less collision
NAT Compatibility Not compatible Tend to be compatible
Type Circuit, Packet, and Message Switching Adaptive and Non-adaptive routing
IP Address Storage Store MAC address in the lookup table Stores IP address in the routing table
Ports A multi-port bridge 24/48 ports. Networking device 2/4/8 ports
Mode of Transmission Full duplex Less duplex
Speed Limits 10/100Mbps 1-10 Mbps for wireless and 100 Mbps for wired connection
Broadcast Domain One broadcast domain except for VLAN implementation Every port has its own broadcast domain
How it Works Tend to be restricted to wired network connections Work within both wired and wireless network situations
Security Port security Provides security measures to protect the network
Manufacturers Cisco and D-link Juniper Cisco, Netgear, Linksys, Asus, TP-Link, D-Link

What Is A Switch?

Switch Vs Router

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It is a network switch that connects various devices together on a signer computer network. The device is also known as a bridging network device.

It is typically used to route information in form of electronic data sent over networks. The networking can decide which computer message is intended for and send the message straightaway.

Keep in mind that a faster network can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the network switch after bridging.

Advantages of a Switch

  • Can make use of CAM tables for Port to MAC mapping
  • Help reduce the number of broadcast domains
  • Support LAN to enhance Logical segmentation of ports

Disadvantages of a Switch

  • Tend to limit the number of the broadcast domain
  • Tend to be difficult to set up
  • Require an intermediary for proper communication

What Is A Router?

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It is a computer networking device that serves the following functions:

  • Create and maintain a local area network
  • Manage data entering and leaving the network

Routers are an ideal instrument for managing multiple networks and routes network traffic within them. Modern routers contain a built-in switch to allow the connection of multiple weird devices.

Advantages of Routers

  • Increase productivity due to sharing of connection
  • Help to lower data loads
  • Offer a steady and reliable connection between network host
  • Have alternative parts in case of data transfer failure

Disadvantages of Routers

  • Connection tends to be slow
  • Tend to lower the speed of the internet

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Main Differences between Switch and Router

  1. A router is a three-network layer whereas a switch is a data link layer
  2. Router direct data into a network whereas a switch allow connection of multiple devices
  3. Switch transmit both packets and frames whereas router transmit packets only
  4. The switch has multiple port bridge whereas routers have 2/4/5/8 ports
  5. The switch is both an active and networking device while the router is a networking device
  6. Router transmission mode full-duplex while that of the switch is less duplex
  7. The router has a broadcast domain in every port whereas a switch has a single broadcast domain
  8. Switch use MAC addresses whereas a router uses an IP address
  9. The router has bandwidth sharing whereas the switch has no bandwidth sharing
  10. The switch has a complex routing decision while the router has a faster routing decision

Similarities between Switch and Router

  1. Both fall under intelligent devices
  2. Both are computer networking devices
  3. Both can be used interchangeably

Comparison Video


The switch and router are both connecting devices. The main difference between router and switch is that a router tends to find the shortest path of packet whereas a switch tends to connect various devices in a network.

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