Switches create a network. Routers connect networks. The two pieces of equipment look similar and perform some similar functions, but each has its own distinct function to perform on a network.
To understand basic networking, you first need an answer to the question, What is a network switch?
Most business networks today use switches to connect computers, printers, phones, cameras, lights, and servers in a building or campus.
A switch serves as a controller, enabling networked devices to talk to each other efficiently. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save businesses money and increase employee productivity.
An unmanaged switch works right out of the box. It's not designed to be configured, so you don't have to worry about installing or setting it up correctly. Unmanaged switches have fewer features and less network capacity than managed switches. You'll usually find unmanaged switches in home networking equipment.
A managed network switch is configurable, offering greater security, flexibility, and capacity than an unmanaged switch. You can monitor and adjust a managed switch locally or remotely, to give you greater network control.
Switches create a network.
Routers connect networks.