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In wood working, a router is a device we use to carve edges or patterns in wood. A switch is either the device that turns the router off and on or a long narrow stick that corrects bad patterns of activity in children.
I am sorry, I could not resist,
Seriously, what type of router are you looking for?
It sounds like something in electronics.
This may not be the forum for this type of router or switch but we have some pretty smart guys here that probably can answer your questions.

David
 

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Doug
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What Is a Network Switch versus a Router? Actually not a bad question, because I am sure a lot of folks don't know the difference. Basically it is switches create a network. Routers connect networks. To make it more confusing, most home routers have a switch built into them!

The drawing below highlights this best, and the article linked might give you some more insight.


Selecting a Router or Switch for a Home Network - dummies
 

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What Is a Network Switch versus a Router? Actually not a bad question, because I am sure a lot of folks don't know the difference. Basically it is switches create a network. Routers connect networks. To make it more confusing, most home routers have a switch built into them!

The drawing below highlights this best, and the article linked might give you some more insight.


Selecting a Router or Switch for a Home Network - dummies

Good post Doug I learned something today. :smile:
 
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Routers route, and switches switch. Routers are OSI model layer 3 and switches are OSI model layer 2.
Routers route packets to outside the network. Switches switch within a network. To add some confusion some switches can route. However, let routers route and switches switch is the best recommendation from "most" any IT person.
 

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What Is a Network Switch versus a Router? Actually not a bad question, because I am sure a lot of folks don't know the difference. Basically it is switches create a network. Routers connect networks. To make it more confusing, most home routers have a switch built into them!

The drawing below highlights this best, and the article linked might give you some more insight.


Selecting a Router or Switch for a Home Network - dummies
See, I told you there are some very smart people on this forum.
Good job Doug
David
 

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Everyone’s pretty much covered the distinctions between a router and a switch. Another generalization that can be made is that switches connect devices (computers, TVs, tablets, other switches) on a Local Area Network (LAN) — which would be ‘local’ to your home or office; whereas a router connects to devices (modems, telecommunication’s switches, other routers) on a Wide Area Network (WAN) — which could be ‘widely’ dispersed across the city, state, country, or globe).

A typical switch for the home or small office moves data at 1Gbps (gigabit per second), some are slower and in business most are faster with ‘backbones’ capable of 10 or 100 Gbps. A typical router moves data at the rate of the plan you’ve chosen (or is available) from your Internet Service Provider (ISP); this could be anywhere from a slow connection of 1 or 2 Mbps (Megabits per second), up to 1 Gbps in a well connected city environment, most services are somewhere in between. It’s a good idea to know what you’re service plan specifies, and run an App like ‘SpeedTest’ or visit a site called ‘OpenSpeedTest’ to see that you’re actually getting what your paying for; if you’re not getting that open a ticket and find out why.
 

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Routers which we use at home are mainly just NAT devices.

The switches we use are not capable of NAT unless you work in a big IT shop.

If you owned registered IP addresses then you would be able to connect to the internet directly using a switch without a NAT device. You would probably want a firewall but it would not be necessary.
 

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First thought that occurred to me was to tell him, routers shape wood, and switches turn routers on and off. I don't speak computer well.
 

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What Is a Network Switch versus a Router? Actually not a bad question, because I am sure a lot of folks don't know the difference. Basically it is switches create a network. Routers connect networks. To make it more confusing, most home routers have a switch built into them!

The drawing below highlights this best, and the article linked might give you some more insight.


Selecting a Router or Switch for a Home Network - dummies
Good to see a reasoned response, Doug, rather that the comments regarding the ability of the OP to see what forum he was on.

Learned something new today....👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
 
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One last thing I’ll throw in, DHCP. Each device that wants to participate on a network needs an IP address, while it is possible to manually assign an address we normally want all this background stuff to be done automatically so we don’t have to think about it. Most routers offer a service called DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). When your device joins a network it broadcasts a request for an address and the DHCP service responds with a unique IP address; it also keeps track of which addresses it’s assigned, who has them, and how long it’s been in use (typically you ‘lease’ the address for a day or two and then ask again). Routers usually offer DHCP, switches don’t.

Just for clarification, NAT that was mentioned above stands for Network Address Translation, it translates your local address into one that can be ‘routed’ around the Internet and back.
 

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Bruce home switches can run DHCP server also. I run a Cisco SG300-28 switch in layer 3 mode which handles all my DHCP needs. I also run a guess network so I run multiple networks at my house with DHCP scopes which my switch handles. My router does not run DHCP.

If you have Microsoft server it will perform DHCP server as will other servers so routers are not the only DHCP server devices on a home network. But you will want DHCP on your network to make automatic IP addressing. If you run network VLANs where all the VLANs are assigned networks then you will want DHCP on those networks as well which a lot of home routers can not handle the different DHCP scopes. Some routers probably more in the small business class type router will handle multiple networks.
 

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Yes, I spent most of my career building and administering a very large network. While our Cisco switches could also run DHCP, we normally ran it on Linux servers, but used Netware long before that, and occasionally Windows.

I was trying to describe what’s typical in the home, and not what’s possible in the vast realm of networking (but good to point out these are generalizations). In my experience, most inexpensive home and small office switches don’t offer DHCP, and It’s run on the router (including guest networks), as I imagine most do here.

If we want to continue to make this educational, some might be interested to know you can administer the DHCP service on your router (assuming you’ve figured out how to get into it). If you have lots of devices on your network you might want to use static or assigned addressing, this ensures that a given device always gets the same IP address. If for instance you wanted to remotely get into your desktop PC from your iPad, it might be helpful for it to always be at the same address. Additionally you might want to have all of your known home devices in a specific range of addresses, that way if an unknown device shows up it will be easy to spot.

For those whose eyes have glazed over and long to be talking about plunge routers, I apologize for geeking out ... but I have actually used these network features while woodworking.
 

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Yes I was a Cisco guy in a past life. So I did networking day in and day out. But it was many years ago. Seems like a different life now. All I need to know now is you use a router on wood and a switch turns it on.
 

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I actually expected this thread to be about a wood router, and maybe a cool footswitch someone had come up with.
 

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Both are computer networking devices though those have different functions. Router is for sending and receiving data packets while switch connects network devices with same work as hub.
 

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A lot of new folks come in here and ask questions without ever looking at the Name on the Forum. Even after changing the name a few years ago, we still get people asking about network stuff (routers and switches).

Fortunately, our audience is wide and divers, and well educated and skilled in a lot of fields, as is evident in the excellent replies to the OP's question.

Note: Not a skilled IT guy but I did wrastle with a couple of DLINK NAS boxes last night I have had for at least 7 years. Got em working again so more back up storage for my feeble office!
 
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