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ONU, Router and Switch Difference

Time : 2022-10-20 Hits : 226

We daily access the internet to meet different kinds of necessities. By curiousity you may want to know about the difference between ONU, Router and switch. In this article I’ll try to explain the difference between them in easy words. Let’s get started.

What is ONU?

Optical-Network-Terminal, in short, is ONU. Through optical fiber, ONU converts the optical signal to electrical signals. And send it to the broadband user. Furthermore, ONU can collect, combine, and groom various consumer data and send it upstream to the OLT. Grooming is the optimizing process of a data stream to send it more efficiently. The ONUs can be linked using various technologies and cable types, such as twisted-pair copper wire, coaxial cable, optical fiber, or Wi-Fi.

I suggest you this article, if you’re interested to learn about the  Basic of PON Technology: Learn OLT, ONU, ONT and ODN



What is Router?

 A router is a gateway device that joins two or more networks. It can read each packet's address and choose how to deliver it. A router is capable of understanding a variety of protocols, including the TCP/IP protocol used on the Internet and the Ethernet protocol used by LANs. The router can convert non-TCP/IP network addresses to TCP/IP addresses by examining the destination addresses of packets from multiple networks. The packets will then be sent to the specified location using the best route possible. As a result, the router can link networks that aren't TCP/IP to the Internet.


What is a switch?

 A network switch is a device that allows computers, printers, and wireless access points to communicate with one another via a network by sending and receiving data packets. It is possible to handle both physical networks with hardware switches and virtual networks with software switches.

Most network nodes in today's data networks are switches.

They are the backbone of the network, linking everything from personal computers to access points, to industrial machines, to card entry systems, and more over the internet.

They link together not only the actual servers and storage hardware in data centers but also the computers that host the VMs.

They facilitate massive data transfers in the networks of telecommunications companies.


ONU, Router and switch difference

An optical line terminal (OLT) and an optical network unit (ONU) are both pieces of hardware used to join together optical transmission networks. These are the two essential components of PON (Passive Optical Network). When an optical distribution network (ODN) is said to be "passive optical," it means that it does not employ any electronic devices or electronic power supplies. There is no need to invest in costly active electrical devices because ODN is made up entirely of passive devices like optical splitters (Splitter).

A passive optical network consists of a set of optical network units (ONUs) at the user site and a centrally located optical line terminal (OLT).

The ODN is made up of optical fibers and passive optical splitters or couplers and connects the optical line terminal (OLT) to the optical network unit (ONU).

A router links many computers to the Internet and other networks.

Signals are sent in the most efficient order and through the best paths, which are chosen and set up automatically based on how the channel is right now. The router acts as the "traffic cop" of the Internet. Routing devices are now used in every industry, and routers of varying quality have led to the development of many different types of internal connections within backbone networks and links between backbone networks and the Internet. Routers work at Layer 3 of the OSI reference model, which is the network layer. Switches work at Layer 2 of the model, which is the data link layer.


Routing and switching must use different pieces of control information so that they can reach their different goals. Through the use of a "switch," numerous computers can share an Internet connection at the same time. Because each machine has its own independent broadband connection, they cannot affect one another in any way.

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