What's the difference between a router and a layer 3 category switch? Isn't the cat switch working at layer 3, making it a router?
Correct. A layer 3 switch is able to route packets between networks it connects to. While most such products are commonly named "layer 3 switches," they are, in fact, routers. The main difference between the two is that a router's job is to route packets between similar or dissimilar networks, while a switch connects local network nodes together so the network can function. The routing performed by a switch is only (in most cases) for local network traffic, so I guess you could say that a layer 3 switch is the answer for a local network router!
Dig deeper on Network Hardware
What is the difference between a circuit switching and packet switching? Our networking fundamentals expert gives examples of packet switching and ...continue reading
Learn how to build a database server farm using different topologies, from network fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis.continue reading
Understand how TCP/IP and HTTP protocols are related in this networking fundamentals expert response.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.