What is the difference between the switch and the router in relation to the OSI model?
A traditional Layer 2 switch is dealing with Ethernet frame data -- specifically, MAC addresses. A switch has a CAM (content addressable memory) table that is used to hold MAC addresses and then make a decision as to what switch port to forward to. Routers are Layer 3 devices and are concerned with routing protocols, such as OSPF, and routable protocols such as IP. Another distinction is that while switches look at physical frames, routers deal with routable addresses like 188.8.131.52.
Dig deeper on The OSI Model
Related Q&A from Michael Gregg
Enterprise security expert, Michael Gregg answers a question regarding port 3389 issues when a user tries to open port 3389 RDP on their router to ...continue reading
Expert Michael Gregg answers a reader question about Snort and the interfaces it uses.continue reading
Security expert Michael Gregg discusses the disadvantages to a layered approach to enterprise security.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.