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Turning A Router Into A Switch – Comprehensive Guide 2023

Turning A Router Into A Switch

Unleash the full potential of your network without the need for extra hardware costs! Our step-by-step guide on “Turning a Router Into a Switch” empowers you to optimize connectivity effortlessly. Learn the DIY process, demystify the intricacies, and transform your router into a switch for enhanced network capabilities. Streamline your setup and discover a cost-effective solution to expand your network seamlessly. Unlock connectivity possibilities today!


We are embarking on a strategic endeavour in the realm of networking ingenuity when we embark on a journey to turn a router into a switch. Technology is evolving, and we need to optimize our connectivity without breaking the bank. Using a seamless step-by-step approach, we will guide you through the intricacies of repurposing your router into a switch.

With this DIY transformation, you can address port limitations, maximize resource utilization, or streamline your network setup at a cost-effective and efficient cost. As we demystify the router process, we will empower you to unlock its latent capabilities and improve your network experience, enabling you to unlock your router’s latent capabilities.

Understanding Router and Switch Basics

It is essential to understand the fundamentals of routers and switches in order to understand how seamless connectivity is accomplished. Each of these devices has its own unique capabilities that contribute to the symphony of a well-organized network as a whole. Embark on a journey to uncover the mystique of routers and switches by exploring their distinctive features and discovering the magic they bring to the networking world.

Differentiating between Routers and Switches:

Imagine a bustling city with roads connecting various neighbourhoods and streets. Routers are the traffic directors for this vast cityscape in the digital sphere. Their primary function is to route data between different networks. It is the router that ensures that the data reaches its destination efficiently if your computer wishes to communicate with another device connected to a separate network.

The switches, on the other hand, are similar to intersections within those neighbourhoods. When devices within a network are in need of communication, switches are used. By acting as intelligent connectors, they ensure that data is efficiently delivered to the appropriate device. As opposed to routers, switches are operated within a local network, facilitating seamless communication among devices located within that network.

Explaining their Primary Functions in a Network:

Routers: The Digital Navigators

In the Internet, routers are the unsung heroes responsible for ensuring data packets reach their intended destinations. They operate at the network layer of the OSI model, making decisions based on IP addresses. The router determines the most efficient path for your data to travel when you click on a link or send an email, navigating through the complex web of interconnected networks that make up the internet.

Routers also provide a layer of security by implementing Network Address Translation (NAT) and acting as firewalls. NAT allows multiple devices on a local network to share a single public IP address, providing enhanced privacy and security.

Switches: Local Maestros of Connectivity

The primary function of switches is to connect devices within the same network, creating a seamless pathway for data exchange. They operate at the data link layer of the OSI model. As compared to older technologies such as hubs, switches are intelligent enough to send data only to the devices that require it, reducing unnecessary traffic and improving network performance.

There are many types of modern switches, from unmanaged switches that simply connect devices to managed switches that offer advanced features such as virtual LANs (VLANs) for network segmentation and quality of service (QoS) for prioritizing specific types of data.

Why Turn a Router into a Switch?

Repurposing a router into a switch has emerged as a savvy manoeuvre in the ever-evolving landscape of networking, offering a cost-effective and resource-efficient solution to certain connectivity challenges. Let’s delve into the intricacies of why one might choose to transform a router into a switch, exploring the scenarios where this transition makes strategic sense and the tangible benefits it brings to the table.

Identifying Situations for Repurposing:

Limited Ethernet Ports:

A common reason for converting a router into a switch is a shortage of Ethernet ports. It is common for routers to come equipped with a limited number of ports, which can become a source of frustration when additional devices need to be connected within a local network. To expand the number of ports available, repurposing the router as a switch facilitates seamless connectivity between additional devices.

Transition to a Wired Network:

In certain setups, the need for a wired network may arise, especially in scenarios where a stable and high-speed connection is paramount. Routers, by default, come with built-in wireless capabilities. However, if the emphasis shifts towards a wired infrastructure, repurposing the router into a switch allows for the utilization of its existing hardware in a more wired-centric configuration.

Resource Optimization in Small Networks:

It can be a pragmatic move to repurpose a router as a switch in small office or home office environments when resources are limited. The router typically has a greater processing capacity than a basic switch, so leveraging this capability ensures effective network traffic handling without the need for additional hardware investments.

Cost-Effectiveness and Resource Optimization:

Turning A Router Into A Switch
Turning A Router Into A Switch

Utilizing Existing Hardware:

It is an advantage to be able to make the most of existing hardware by repurposing a router into a switch. In contrast to investing in a separate switch, which may be an unnecessary expense, this approach allows a strategic reuse of resources, aligning with the principle of cost-effectiveness.

Optimizing Processing Power:

Typically, routers are equipped with robust processing capabilities for handling complex tasks such as routing data between different networks. Due to their inherent processing power, these routers can efficiently manage local network traffic when transformed into switches. Optimizing network operations without compromising performance, ensures smooth network operations.

Simplified Maintenance and Management:

It is easier to maintain and manage a network when functionalities are consolidated within a single device. Repurposing a router into a switch streamlines the administration process by eliminating the need to maintain separate routers and switches. If simplicity and ease of management are important objectives, this can be particularly advantageous.

Turning A Router Into A Switch

You can enhance your network’s capabilities without the need for additional hardware by unlocking the latent potential of your router by converting it into a switch. In this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to repurpose your router seamlessly into a switch, demystifying the intricacies and empowering yourself to accomplish it.

Step 1: Gather Essential Information

You should gather pertinent information about your router prior to beginning the transformation process. For example, you should write down the default gateway IP address, login credentials, as well as any specific information regarding your router model. In order to access the router’s settings, this information will be crucial.

Step 2: Access Router Settings

Using a web browser, enter the router’s default gateway IP address into the address bar. This typically looks like “” or “” Log in to the router’s administration console using the provided credentials. If you haven’t changed these credentials, you can find them in the router’s manual or on a sticker attached to the device.

Step 3: Disable DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

Navigate to the DHCP settings inside the router settings. DHCP assigns IP addresses to devices on the network and is responsible for assigning them. In order to avoid conflicts with DHCP, you will need to disable it as soon as possible. Locate the DHCP settings and disable them. If prompted, reboot the router to save the changes.

Step 4: Assign a Static IP Address

To avoid IP conflicts in your network, you should assign a static IP address to your router. In the router settings, you can find the option for a static IP address, and input the desired value. Save your settings.

Step 5: Connect Devices to LAN Ports

Once DHCP has been disabled and a static IP address has been assigned, the next step is to connect your devices to the LAN (Local Area Network) ports of the router. Plugging your devices into these ports will extend your network.

Step 6: Disable Wi-Fi (Optional)

You may wish to consider disabling the Wi-Fi functionality on your router if you prefer to use a separate wireless access point in order to streamline your network. This step is optional and dependent upon your personal preferences.

Step 7: Test the Network

Your network needs to be tested after the necessary changes have been made. If everything works as expected, congratulations – you have successfully turned your router into a switch. Ensure that all connected devices can communicate seamlessly. Verify internet connectivity and look for any issues.

Step 8: Secure Your Network

The final step is to confirm that you have updated your network security settings. Change the default usernames and passwords, enable encryption for wireless networks if applicable, and implement any additional security measures necessary to protect your newly configured network.


Can I run a switch from my router?

The option of connecting a WiFi router to an Ethernet switch is definitely available. By utilizing an Ethernet cable, you will be able to connect your router and the switch. This configuration allows you to connect a greater number of devices, accommodating them according to the switch’s ports.

Can you replace a router with a switch?

Although routers can connect to both the internet and local devices, switches are exclusively capable of connecting to local devices. Technically, a switch can be substituted for a router to establish a LAN and internet connection, however, this would require additional configuration, result in suboptimal performance, and lack critical security features.

Is it OK to use a router instead of a switch?

A router is essential for establishing an internet connection, while a switch is primarily responsible for interconnecting devices with one another. In most cases, a router is necessary to access the internet in homes and small offices, and a network switch is not necessary unless a substantial number of Ethernet ports are required.

Can a router have a built-in switch?

Integrated switches are available on certain routers, allowing multiple devices to be connected to the router, and thus facilitating the sharing of a single network connection among many devices. As part of the OSI model, a switch is used to interconnect various devices within a local network by operating at the data link layer (layer 2).

Do you lose speed with an Ethernet switch?

An internet connection should not be impeded by a switch when the equipment is of high quality, such as Gigabit Ethernet, and properly used. If you are using an older switch, employing subpar cabling, or exceeding the switching speed capacity with your internet connection, it may affect performance.


Using existing hardware as a basis for repurposing, “Turning a Router Into a Switch” provides an efficient and cost-effective method for expanding your network capabilities. By addressing port limitations, improving resource utilization, or streamlining network setups, this process allows for a more flexible and efficient networking environment, demonstrating that innovation can flourish without hefty hardware expenditures. With this empowering transformation, you can enhance the dynamics of your network.

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