When should I use the LAN ports on my router vs a switch?

When should I use the LAN ports on my router vs a switch?
When should I use the LAN ports on my router vs a switch?
2022-07-09 21:10:30
Tags: #VLAN
Hardware Version: V1
Firmware Version: 1.2.1 Build 20210205 rel. 12759(5553)

I have a pretty decent size home network and, overall, it tends to run well/smoothly.  I have about 40 devices connected to my network but 75% of them are very low bandwidth or 'on demand' network usage (ie: security system, thermostat, idle TV's, Amazon echo's, etc.)

I have two switches (both 100mb) connected to the router and one file server (QNAP).

One area of concern I have is a "weather computer"  which runs software that manages a surveillance system (Blue Iris) with 14 cameras, each set to record when triggered.

Most of the cameras connect directly to both switches, a couple of them are lower bandwidth and wireless.

So the weather computer should be getting some decent traffic, especially on windy days, when many of the cameras are triggering and 'uploading' the video to record.

I understand the bulk of the "downward" traffic from the cameras are coming through both switches to the weather PC.

The weather PC writes the recorded videos "upward" to the QNAP file server and that happens as any/each camera is triggered.


Is there any benefit in connecting the weather computer network cable directly to the router to keep the extra traffic off the switch?

Or maybe an easier, more direct question, is there any benefit in connecting any network device directly to the router over a switch, or is it all the same?


I was considering switching out one of my switches for a managed VLAN switch now that they are more economically priced but upon researching this I'm seeing that seperating all of my camera traffic may not really make any real difference.

Thoughts and suggestions to consider are appreciated.


1 Reply
Re:When should I use the LAN ports on my router vs a switch?
2022-07-12 00:04:29


There will always be a difference in the quality of a connection when you are adding and removing devices from a network. The best way I can explain it is to think of the wires between your devices as water pipes. By Connecting your Weather Station Directly to your Router, you are giving that device a designated pipeline for its network traffic. 

When using a switch, the size of the pipe does not change, but the amount of "appliances" using that pipe does. This means that if the line was operating at full capacity and pipes were full, a device may have trouble establishing a consistent and stable network stream.


When it comes to communicating with the internet, the ports on the router will provide the best quality and connection, as this is now the most direct path and the least amount of stops along the way.



When dealing with large amounts of data such as this, the best way to configure your network is to try and find the most direct path to your storage device or location. This can sometimes mean setting up a designated switch so that a computer and the storage device can establish a direct local connection. I do not know how much data your network is actually transmitting with all the cameras, however, I would start with trying to build your network around your storage system.