You have two main choices when it comes to adding more devices to your current network or setting up another network altogether - an Ethernet switch or an Ethernet splitter. Both offer similar benefits, though each one has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages over the other.

While the choice of one over the other really depends on your specific needs, there are some key differences between switches and splitters that will help you make the best decision possible in your situation.

Here is everything you need to know about Ethernet splitters and Ethernet switches so that you can choose the right solution for your home or business network!

What is an Ethernet Splitter?

An Ethernet splitter is a device that allows you to connect two or more devices to one Ethernet port. This is useful if you have multiple devices that you want to connect to the internet but only have one available port.

To put simply, you can have wired connections with more devices using the Ethernet splitter, because it splits one port into two.

Advantages of Ethernet Splitter

An Ethernet splitter allows you to connect multiple devices to a single network connection, which can be helpful if you have a limited number of ports on your router or switch.

It is best to use splitters to reduce the number of long cables that travel from one room to another in a household or office. In contrast to hubs and switches, splitters are passive devices that need no power supply.

Plus, splitters are typically less expensive than switches. Another advantage is that they're easy to install; simply plug one end of the splitter into your router or switch and then connect your devices to the other ports.

Disadvantages of Ethernet Splitter

While Ethernet splitters are relatively inexpensive, they have a major downside: they can only handle half of the bandwidth of a single connection. A splitter makes sense only when connecting fewer devices and not otherwise.

This means that if you have two devices connected to your splitter, each will only be able to use 50% of the available bandwidth. Another downside is that they are not very flexible - if you want to add or remove a device, you'll need to reconfigure the entire system.

What is Ethernet Switch?

An Ethernet switch is a device that connects multiple devices on a local area network (LAN), allowing them to share data and resources. An Ethernet switch allows you to connect multiple devices to a single network, giving you more flexibility and control over your network traffic.

Through packet switching, switches divide the network into smaller and less congested pathways. The method allows smaller segments of data to be transferred across a network faster and more efficiently.

Other network traffic does not interfere with the bandwidth needed by devices. Consequently, the overall network is not slowed down by the connection to each entity.

Ethernet switches provide full-duplex communication, which speeds up the overall network by allowing data to be sent and received simultaneously.

A switch can also be used to segment a large network into smaller subnets, which can improve performance and security.

Using switches allows you to communicate between devices more efficiently, which increases your speed. Ports on standard switches run at 100 Mbps, but you can get up to 1,000 Mbps with a gigabit switch.

Advantages of Ethernet Switch

An Ethernet switch is a hardware device that enables computers to connect to each other on a local area network (LAN). Ethernet switches provide better performance than hubs because they can reduce collisions by segmenting the network into separate collision domains.

Depending on the speed and size, Ethernet switches can have anywhere from five to 52 ports. You can connect the switch to the router using one port, while your network devices can use the remaining ports. Network addresses allow the switch to identify each client easily, allowing traffic to be directed efficiently and effectively

In addition, switches can improve security by isolating devices on different segments of the network. Switches also provide greater flexibility than hubs because they can be configured to support different types of applications such as voice and video.

Disadvantages of Ethernet Switch

An Ethernet switch is a more expensive option than an Ethernet splitter, and it also requires more setup. If you're not familiar with networking, an Ethernet switch can be tricky to configure. Plus, switches are typically larger than splitters, so they take up more space.

Ethernet Splitters vs. Ethernet Switch: Comparison Table

Comparison Basis

Ethernet Splitter

Ethernet Switch
Speed Low High
Ports Up to 8 ports or more 2 ports
Uses Ideal for connecting 2 devices Can connect multiple devices

Ethernet splitter or switch: what should you buy?

Ethernet switches are more commonly used than Ethernet splitters. They are great for increasing available bandwidth and the ability to use more computers in the same area without sacrificing signal strength.

Switches provide you with more Ethernet ports, each with a much faster speed than what you had originally, so you can take advantage of the full potential of your network. Thus, Ethernet switches should be your first choice.


While there are subtle differences between these two, in the end, both will get the job done; and the biggest difference is port quantity. Your specific needs will determine which one you should go for, but it's safe to say that you'll want to get an Ethernet switch if you need more ports than any Ethernet splitter can offer.

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