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what's the difference?

Posted on 2006-05-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-17
what is the difference between a router and a switch?
can i connect a 4 port router with wireless to the larger switch in order to add 4 extra ports and wifi?
will this cause problems?
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Question by:captainrichard
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 16641054
In some cases, expensive switches are routers, but in the case of home/small office switches and routers, a router connects two different networks - typically your home network and the internet.  A switch is a device that connects multiple computers to the same network.

You can use a Wireless router as JUST a wireless access point (WAP) and switch - disable it's DHCP server and DO NOT plug anything into the WAN port.  Then it's basically just a Switch and WAP.  Note: some switches may need you to use a special "uplink" port to connect to another switch.  Most new ones DO NOT, but older ones sometimes do.
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by:ECNSSMT
ECNSSMT earned 500 total points
ID: 16641635
classical sense,

routers work on layer 3 - which is IP addresses / the network layer in the OSI model
Switches work on layer 2 - which is MAC addresses / the data link layer in the OSI model.

depending on which end of the SOHO router you are talking about, it may be an issue of symantics and ease of setup.  if you want everything to be on the same subnet; do it via Leew's way.  

If you want to do a NATed subnet for all the wireless devices, connect via switch to the router's WAN port.  The SOHO router's switch ports will be on the same NATed subnet as the wireless.

Regards,
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