I have always used a "dumb" (unmanaged) switch as the entry point and distribution to my LAN network. ISP's copper goes into the switch and about six or 8 other connections come out of the switch to various devices ("main" firewall, a few other firewalls/routers protecting different networks, a "public" wireless network, etc.)

Whenever I see a network schema for a network similar to mine, it typically shows a router at the edge of the network as opposed to a switch like I'm using. Is a switch poor form? Why would I need a router? Are there any other alternatives to distributing my WAN connection?

1 Answer 1


In your case, you don't need a router. The most common reason for having one is to convert from one kind of network media to another. Your ISP may use DOCSIS (cable), DSL, T1, or something else to connect you to the Internet, while your internal media is Ethernet. In your particular case, since your ISP provides an Ethernet handoff, you don't need a router.


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