While switches and routers perform very similar tasks, they are individually unique and crucial to successful and efficient business network. Switches create networks and tie devices together, while routers connect networks together.
Switches connect individual devices (computers, telephones, cameras, etc.) and create a network. Switches act as a control unit and can allow devices to share files and information, or deny specific devices from accessing any information at all. This can save you money and increase productivity, by allowing employees to send and share information with just a click of a button.
Managed switches allow control over incoming & outgoing network traffic, while also monitoring and recording network traffic.
Unmanaged switches do not allow any management changes, do not allow control over your network traffic, and do not monitor or record network traffic in any way.
Routers connect existing networks together (i.e. your LAN to the Internet).
Routers act like dispatchers and route network traffic in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Routers can be defined to prioritize network traffic to specific devices over others.
Routers can also monitor and analyze incoming & outgoing traffic to the Internet, and may include features such as: