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Router To Firewall Link , Cross-cable or Switch link ?

raedaljarrah asked
Last Modified: 2008-03-10

When connecting two Ethernet devices directly together like router-to-firewall or firewall-to-firewall which is better to use a cross-cable or a switch in between.The switch will only be usually dedicated just for the purpose of linking only these two devices together?

Please explain

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Here are the advantages and dis-advantages of using both scanarios:

Cross-over cable:

Direct link to device minusing a point of failure.

Limits scalability

Switch link:

1.  Let's say you want to create a DMZ then plugging it directly to the switch will do this.
2.  Let's say you have VoIP like Vonage, you can plug the VoIP router directly to the switch avoiding a lot of hassle and interference
3.  Let's say you have a wireless router that you wish not to be included on your local LAN, this gives you extra security.  I use this for my x360 connectivity. as well.
4.  Let's say you want to have a total new network for testing which will give you true testing from network-to-network

One more device to worry about for a point of failure.

As you can see, depending on your requirements you have to consider what works best for you.  I have always done a switch link because of the flexiability that I require, at home or at a enterrprise work environment.  :)




Thanks for the prompt response.

In our case , its only a point-to-point connection between a router and a firewall and another point to point connection between a firewall and another firewall so I just thought that since there is going to be no devices in between then its better to keep the link as simple as possible , as secure as possible and as worry-free as possible!

Am I right ?


Your current setup works just fine, keeping it simple and secure as well.  Some of my contracts I had done the same setup as what you have right now.

Hopefully my list will give you some ideas later on the future if you do decide something else.



Thank you all
Top Expert 2004

Just want to throw in that if you put a switch (or hub) in the middle capable of mirroring/spanning then you can easily connect in a packet capture/sniffer device for troubleshooting, statistic gathering, load analysis, and other uses such as redirection with a web filter.

You can always add this in later, but it would involve a service interruption.


Thank you all for the prompt response

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