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What difference between router and switch

Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:33 am

Cloud Router Switch is switch.
Router RB951Ui-2HnD is router.
Both have RouterOS and the same ability.
What makes a router a router and a switch a switch.

Does it make sense to buy a router?
Perhaps it is better to buy a switch for all the cases of life?
 
pe1chl
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:37 pm

A switch uses the MAC address of a packet to know where to send it. A router uses the IP address of the packet.
Many MikroTik devices have both switch and router functions. But the speed they are running can vary.
For example, switch function is in hardware and can forward packets at the full line speed (e.g. 1 Gbps), but router
function usually is in the CPU and it may max out at a lower value e.g. 400 Mbps.

When you have a single network and want to connect more computers, a switch is usually what you want.
When you want to connect some network to internet or even to other networks (VPN), you need a router or router+switch.
And you have to be careful to look at the speeds you want to achieve before buying. E.g. those two types you
mention are fine as a switch on a local network and as a router on a connection of like 200 Mbps, but when you
have a full 1 Gbps internet you may find that the router function is too slow to get the maximum speed.
 
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:42 pm

Just to add to what @pe1chl wrote: there are a few Mikrotik product lines (Ethernet routers, Switches, Wireless for home and office, ...) and placement of individual models to one of these categories is somehow arbitrary. And placement in one of those categories does not say much about device's capabilities (basically: all devices running RouterOS can do all of the tasks) but rather about their capacity. So CRS devices are best suited to be switches (because they can switch traffic at wire speed which can be even higher than 10Gbps), RB951Ui-2HnD is actually from "Wireless for home and office" because it can route and has wireless interface (plus, having only 100Mbps ethernet ports, it can actually route wire speed in certain circumstances).

So when deciding about which particular model to get for your particular use case, check the "Test results" tab in official product page and compare those figures. There are many figures present and it's hard to figure out which is the relevant one. When trying to assess routing capacity for typical SOHO use (firewall enabled, a few ports forwarded, ...) many of us are looking at figure under "Ethernet test results" -> "Routing ... 25 ip filter rules" -> "512 byte [packets]". If interested in switching, then it'll be under "Switching results" ... or sometimes under "Ethernet test results" -> "Bridging none (fast path)" (depending on configuration and/or required functionality).
BR,
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:57 pm

if I want to connect my local network to the Internet at a speed of 100 Mbit / s, does it make sense to install an additional router?
Or is Cloud Router Switch CRS125-24G-1S-IN enough for me?
 
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:17 pm

Do you need 24 ports and a full rack size device?
Buy small hEX or hAP device if you have less than 5 devices to connect with Eth ports. hAp gives you WiFi as a bonus.
100 Mb they process without any troubles.
Real admins use real keyboards.
To quote or not to quote, there is the topic: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=168474
 
pe1chl
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:37 pm

Of course never buy 'hAP mini" or "hAP lite", these are toy devices you can sometimes use for very light applications or in a lab test.
But other hAP and hEX are fine.

Indeed you need to consider how many ethernet ports you need. Those CRS devices are attractive in that they provide quite
some ports, and a little routing capability as well. For a 100 Mbps line they are fine, unless you also want to do things like
IPsec tunnels running at full rate. In that case you need to check IPsec performance specs, they are different between models.
CRS125-24G-1S-IN is an old device that will not do more than 20 Mbit/s IPsec. But newer CRS are better, e.g. CRS326-24G-2S
 
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:46 am

Last question.
Everyone writes that the switch is less efficient as a router.
Let's compare my 2 models by characteristics:
Image
which device is more efficient as a router?
Router RB951Ui-2HnD or CRS125-24G-1S-IN?
 
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BartoszP
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:41 am

Have you checked block diagrams?
https://i.mt.lv/cdn/product_files/CRS12 ... 160658.png
https://i.mt.lv/cdn/product_files/RB951 ... 180543.png

Do you need only 100Mb ports?
Do you need WiFi or not?
Do you need SFP port?

Do not compare cars checking just engine capacity and it's power :)
Real admins use real keyboards.
To quote or not to quote, there is the topic: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=168474
 
pe1chl
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:40 am

Why do you insist on comparing two obsolete devices? Is it that you already have these or can obtain them secondhand?
When you want to buy something new, you can get better specs for the same amount of money, as I already pointed out.
 
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:55 pm

I was trained by MTCNA and asked this question there.
There is no software difference. Routers and switches are one and the same equipment. The only difference is in hardware performance. Some models will do better with routing, some will do better with bridging.
In the case where bridging (switch) is needed, we buy models in which the switch chip has more capabilities, if productive routing is needed (firewall, vpn, etc.), then we buy a model with a powerful CPU.

Translated from Russian via google translator
 
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:41 pm

The main goal of a router is to link multiple networks at the same time.
A switch's main function is to connect multiple devices at the same time.
 
pe1chl
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Re: What difference between router and switch

Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:39 pm

Yes, but that was already written in posting #2 in this topic. Please do not run around in circles.

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