I am not talking about the router used at home to access Internet .

I am talking about devices used in the network core.

I want to know if there are alternative devices, if any, used for forwarding and routing in any network .

  • 1
    Routers are what route packets between networks. There are devices that may be called something else that route packets between networks (e.g. a layer-3 switch), but, internally, there is also a router in the device. – Ron Maupin May 14 '20 at 13:54

If you need to forward between different L2 segments/L3 subnets then any device actually doing that is a router by definition.

So, there's no alternative to a router (which may be a classic router, software on a host, a layer-3 switch, a routing firewall, SDN hardware, ...).

  • If you design the whole network core to work on layer 2 then you use switches (which are layer-2 routers but nobody calls them that) – user253751 Nov 20 '20 at 20:01

Routers may take many forms, such as a traditional hardware box that takes packets in, and forwards/routes them, but also, a general-purpose PC that takes packets in, and forwards/routes them. A "layer-3 switch" also does routing.

As long as it is doing routing and forwarding, it can be said to be a router (based on the definition of the functionality), even though it may also be a general-purpose PC (for example).


Technically, Router can be replaced with a router only. Practically, any devices which has routing capabilities can be used replacing a router.

In your case, you can use a Firewall which will enable you for routing as well as other features like security policies, DHCP Services etc.

Hope, This is helpful !!!!!!!


Multilayer switch (layer3 switch) and firewall are used as alternative for routers

But in L3 multi layered switch NAting configuration is not feasible

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