Gathering data is now stress-free thanks to the Internet. Shopping without tackling the queue is very comfortable. You must admit it you love it. But the technical matter involving a network is ambiguous to you. Looking at the tangled wires, you will feel confused and uneasy. You are not alone. Most of the population feels the same way. Only telecommunications engineer, computer engineer and information technology people can appreciate.
You do not need to know the intricacies of computer networking but a basic knowledge will do you good. A computer network is also called data network. It consists of network nodes or data links that share resources. The data links are connected through wires. Network nodes include routers & switches, repeaters, hubs, bridges, modems, and firewalls.
Network nodes seem to have the same role for others who don’t know. As long as there is the Internet, nothing else matters. In this case, you can start by identifying the distinction between a router and a switch. Basically, a router and a switch allow one or more computers to be connected to other computers or networks. Beyond that, they have different roles to play. Here are the distinctions:
A router connects local networks to other available local networks around you. The router manages the traffic on top of other functions for an efficient network. A switch, on the other hand, is used to link many devices on a particular computer network. Do not confuse switch and hub though. The switch is more advanced and intelligent than the hub.
A router is a smart device that has the power to direct data in your network. What it does is pass the data between computers and the modem. A switch can manage the ports so it can connect many devices.
Routers are used in Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN) and Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Switches are only used in LAN.
The router has a wireless speed of up to 100 Megabits per second when wired it can reach up to 1 Gigabits per second. The switch can also reach up to 1 Gigabits per second.
In terms of routing decision, a router tends to take quick decision compared to switches. Switches take more time because it has intricate routing decision.
Routers can connect computers to the Ethernet or WiFi. Switches, on the other hand, can connect through Cat5 cables.
Routers can provide security measures necessary to protect the network. As for the switches, it only provides port security.
There are different manufacturers of routers and switches like Cisco, Netgear, Linksys, Asus, TP-Link, and D-Link. When you buy, make sure to ask questions that bother you. If not, you can get technical answers from experts who can help you set up.
Now that you have the basic knowledge, you can use it to your advantage one day. Who knows you can also help other people become aware. If the concepts are new to you, you won’t understand instantaneously but give it time and it will be familiar.