Router and switch are both basically considered as the main components of any computer network because these devices provide a gateway for information to pass between different nodes. Although both are used in a network for communication, there is a difference between router and switch.
There are many differences between router and switch, but some of the main differences are explained below
Router is basically a layer 3 device, which means it works in the OSI model’s layer three known as the network layer. It has the ability to store and work on IP addresses. A router can route the information between different networks. It is considered faster in making its routing decisions. It can be used in both LAN (local area network) and WAN (wide area network). The router transmits in the form of packets. It can perform NAT (network address translation).
Traditional switch is basically a layer two device because it works in the OSI model’s layer two known as the data link layer. It can store and works on, MAC addresses. It cannot route the information outside its network. A switch is considered slower as compared to a router in making decisions. It can only be used in WAN (wide area network). It transmits data in the form of frames. It cannot perform NAT.
Although, the router seems more efficient as compared to switch there is also a layer three switch which has some features of the router, and as a result, it can also work in OSI model’s layer three and works on IP addresses. It also has the ability to transfer information between different networks. It is less costly as compared to the router but layer three switches do not have the full ability of routers.