Difference between routing hardware

I'm interested in knowing the following

1. wat R the difference between a managed switch and a unmanaged switch?
2. Wat's the diference between a managed switch and router?
3. Does managed switch have a similiar routing table as a router?
4. What's the difference between a router and a firewall? (interface, features and prices)

If u have any URL for further reading. I'll appreciate it too.

With Rgds,

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A managed switch is one that you can configure with a IP address, subnet mask and default gateway. Then you can telnet onto the switch and configure it.  An unmanaged switch is one where you cannot change any configuration options.

A switch operates at layer 2 and a router at layer 3. Switches makes forwarding descissions based on MAC addresses that it learns. Routers makes forwarding descissions based on IP addresses.

A switch use a table that maps MAC addresses to switch ports. A router maps destination network addresses to next hop router addresses.

A router decides where a packet must go based on destination IP address. A firewall filters and inspect packets and keep intruders out.


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kebeenAuthor Commented:
If i want to connect 100 pcs together, can i connect it using a managed switch instead of a router?

would the managed switch have a routing table?
how many interfaces can a managed switch have?
kebeenAuthor Commented:
If i want to connect 100 pcs together, can i connect it using a managed switch instead of a router?

would the managed switch have a routing table?
how many interfaces can a managed switch have?
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That depends on what make and model switch you buy...

You would use a switch to connect 100 PCs together and a router connecting the internal netowrk to the internet or remote office.   Typically this is what it will look:

Internal Network 100  PCs------Switch----Router-----------------------WAN Link---------------------Router----ISP or remote office

kebeenAuthor Commented:
I'm trying to do this...

100pc --->router--->firewall------>bondary router(firewall)----> Internet / remote network

i figure it is going to be expensive, i m thinking of using a managed switch instead.
between the firewall and the boundary router is the DMZ. I think I wish to put my web, proxy and other stuff there.

can the router have so many ports????
is it stupid to have a router den a firewall?

I've been told that a router is a firewall.
but I've also been told that a firewall with more than 2 interfaces are very expensive.

Last i know, most routers have more than 2 interfaces and r not expensive. so it's confusing to me... if that makes sense.

firewall does not seem to equal to router afterall.


100pc ---> managed switch---> firewall ---> boundary router---> Internet / remote network

same thing, between the firewall and boundary router is the DMZ.

pardon my questions... might look trivial.. but i'm pretty new at this.

thanks for ur help.

p.s increased the points since I'm asking so much more.
OK, strickly speaking, what you have there is not a DMZ - can work as one, but theoreticaly it's not.  You need a firewall with with 3 interfaces to have a proper DMZ.  One interface is connected to Internet (high security interface), one connected to Internal network (low security interface) and then you DMZ interface (Medium security interface).
100 ports on a router is not going to work for you. You need a switch there.

You would then connect it like this:

100 PC --- switch ---- firewall ----- router-------------------------------------------ISP

The Cisco PIX 515e is an example of a firewall with 3 interfaces (cost= about $3600)  If your budget does not allow for this, considder the PIX 506 (cost = about $1000) Only 2 interfaces though.
You can have one switch with 100+ ports or multiple switches with less ports connected to each other by the uplink ports.
A firewall and a router are worlds apart. Some routers have firewall functions built into them, but it is obviously not as good as a full blown firewall like the PIX/Checkpoint FW1  etc.
Also, from the 1600 and 1700 series, the routers become flexible in terms of hardware configuration. You can add WICs (WAN Interface Cards) to them if you have a spare slot available.
kebeenAuthor Commented:
Cool, that's a lot of help......

If i use a managed switch,  will the managed switch have a routing table??

so if I do this...

100pcs ---> switch -----> firewall-------> router

do u know anything abt routing tables?
kebeenAuthor Commented:
wat i mean was that......
the firewall will have a routing table for all 3 routers right? n a default?

will the managed switch have a routing table?
probably not?

saw that there are now L3 switches....
these technologies R merging so quickly.... it's getting complicated and getting harder for noobs like me to understand.....
Switches typically operate at layer 2, and do not have routing tables. Only routers and layer 3 switches have routing tables. All routing descissions are made by the routers here.  Layer 3 switching is a whole different scenario with other hardware involved.

Yes, you can do that. You will just need a router with at least 2 WAN interfaces. Will look more like this:

100pcs ---> switch -----> firewall-------> router

What about routing tables??

They consist of:
destination network address             mask            next hop address/interface

No, the firewall will have a default route that points to the router directly connected to it. All traffic not destined for the local network will be routed to the router. The router will make further routing descissions regarding the other routers on the network/internet.
kebeenAuthor Commented:
so say

boundary router  (subnet A)
         |----------firewall 1--------switch  (subnet B)
         |---------firewall 2---------switch  (subnet C)

so say I'm at firewall 1.

if I wanna get to Subnet A (A.0)
it will be

A.0      eth 0


B.0     eth 1


C.0         IP of firewall 2?

default    IP of boundary router

it is correct?

or is C.0 going to eth 0

been told that i can use eth 0 and eth 1 for subnets that are directly connected to the firewall.
kebeenAuthor Commented:
when u say layer 3 switches are a different?
wat do u mean different?
y is it different?
n is the routing table similiar to one of a router?
Typically, a switch connects segments of a LAN together, and a router connects different networks together.  Layer 3 switches work much like routers do, but the purposes are different.  Typically, a layer-3 switch is used to create virtual LANs within your LAN and to allocate bandwidth (switching priority) based on the IP QOS flag - you usually won't use a layer3 switch to connect to the Internet or to connect 2 parts of a WAN together.
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