Layer 3 switches combines the functionality of a switch and a router. It acts as a switch to connect devices that are on the same subnet or virtual LAN at lightning speeds and has IP routing intelligence built into it to double up as a router. It can support routing protocols, inspect incoming packets, and can even make routing decisions based on the source and destination addresses. This is how a layer 3 switch acts as both a switch and a router.

Often referred to as a multilayer switch, a layer 3 switch adds a ton of flexibility to a network.

There is a ton of confusion about the use of because in a traditional setup, routers operate at layer 3 of the OSI model while switches operate at layer 2. So, how does this layer 3 switch fit into this model? Also, the name “layer 3 switch” causes confusion because switches typically operate from layer 2.

Originally, they were conceived to improve routing performance on large networks, especially corporate intranets. To understand the purpose, let’s step back a bit in time to see how these switches evolved.

Layer 2 switches work well when there is low to medium traffic in VLANs. But these switches would hang when traffic increased. So, it became necessary to augment layer 2’s functionality.

Also, a layer 3 switch’s router will not have WAN ports and other WAN features you’ll typically see in a traditional router.

Finally, Cackle Telecommunications is proud to provide layer 3 switches to NZ businesses. Explore our selection to find the solution that’s right for you.

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