What is the difference between an optical modem, a switch, and a router?

With the popularization of Internet technology, the network has been completely infiltrated into our work and life, surfing the Internet has become one of the things we must do every day, light cat, switch and router are necessary equipment for surfing the Internet, do you know the difference between them? Read on to find out.

Light cat

An optical modem (also known as an optical modem) is a device that converts digital signals to analog signals by modulation at the transmitter end and converts analog signals to digital signals by demodulation at the receiver end. It has the function of modulation and mediation, and is the "translator" of analog and digital signals.

Electronic signals are divided into "analog" and "digital" signals. Telephone lines transmit analog signals and PCS transmit digital signals, so if you want to connect a computer to the Internet over a telephone line, you have to rely on optical cats to modulate the two different signals.


A switch (multi-port bridge, data storage and forwarding) is a network device used for electrical/optical signal forwarding. It can provide a unique electrical signal channel for any two network nodes connected to the switch. Switches are classified into WAN switches and LOCAL area network (LAN) switches. A WAN switch is a device used to exchange information in a communication system and is generally applied to the data link layer. Each port on the switch has a bridging capability to connect to a LAN or a high-performance server or work.

What is the difference between an optical modem, a switch, and a router?The router

A router (gateway device) is an interconnected device that connects local area networks (Lans), wide area networks (Wans), and metropolitan area networks (mans) on the Internet. Generally, it is applied to the network layer. It automatically selects and sets routes according to signal conditions, and sends signals in the optimal path in sequence. A router can connect multiple logically separated networks (a single network or a subnet), determine network addresses and select IP paths, and act as the "traffic police" of the Internet.

When data is transferred from one subnet to another, routers need to establish flexible connections, connecting the various subnets with completely different data grouping and cut-off access methods.

Differences among optical modems, switches, and routers

The following describes the differences among optical cats, switches, and routers in terms of their functions, functions, and roles.

1. Effect of different

The function of the light cat is to convert the signal of the telephone line into the signal of the network cable for the computer to use the Internet;

The function of the router is to connect multiple computers through a network cable to achieve virtual dial-up Internet access, with automatic identification of data packet sending and address allocation, and with firewall function, where multiple computers share a broadband account, Internet interaction;

The function of a switch is to connect multiple computers to the Internet at the same time through a network cable. There is no function of a router, but each computer has its own broadband account, and the Internet does not affect each other.

2. Use different

Optical cats are generally used to connect to optical fibers at home. Both switches and routers work on lans, but switches work at the data link layer and routers work at the network layer.

3. Different roles

To put it simply, lightcat is the equivalent of a sub-assembly factory, router is the equivalent of a wholesale retailer, and switch is the equivalent of a logistics distributor. Generally, analog signals transmitted through network cables are converted into digital signals through optical modems, and the signals are forwarded by routers to PCS. When the number of PCS exceeds the number of routers, switches need to be added to expand ports.

How to select an optical modem, switch, or router?

1. When connecting to optical fiber for home use, choose optical modem and router, because the number of home network computers is small, the router can meet the needs of users;

2. When the number of PCS connected exceeds the number of router interfaces (that is, the construction of enterprise networks and lans), you need to select both routers and switches and rely on the switches for port expansion to meet user requirements.


Understanding the differences between optical modems, switches, and routers will help you find devices that are better suited for your network. This document introduces optical modems, switches, and routers to help you better understand the differences between optical modems, switches, and routers, and select appropriate devices for network deployment.

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