Routers and switches are both networking devices that are used to connect devices on a network, but they serve different purposes and operate at different layers of the network stack.
A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. It connects devices in different networks, such as a home network and the internet, and it uses routing tables and protocols to determine the best path for the data packets to travel. Routers also perform network address translation (NAT), which allows multiple devices on a private network to share a single public IP address.
A switch, on the other hand, is a networking device that connects devices within a single network. It operates at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model, and it uses MAC addresses to forward data packets to their intended destination within the same network. Switches are used to connect devices such as computers, printers, and servers within a local area network (LAN).
As for brands, some popular router brands include Cisco, Netgear, and TP-Link. Some popular switch brands include Cisco, Netgear, and HP. It’s important to note that there are many other reputable brands available, and the best choice will depend on your specific needs and budget.