Router vs Bridge: Difference and Comparison

In modern times, the internet has become a powerful resource of information. Without the internet, a person can’t lead a normal life. Everyone is engaged with the internet in some way.

Also, such information needs to be sent or received. Router and bridge provide facilities to connect several devices to the network.

Key Takeaways

  1. Routers connect multiple networks and route data packets, while bridges connect two segments within the same network.
  2. Routers operate at the OSI model’s network layer (Layer 3), whereas bridges work at the data link layer (Layer 2).
  3. Routers can choose the best path for data transmission using dynamic routing algorithms, while bridges forward data packets without considering alternative paths.

Router vs Bridge

The difference between routers and bridges is that various types of networks are facilitated by routers to be connected. At the same time, a bridge receives data from several points and links them to a single point of the network. But the data remains independent and separate while efficiently communicating with each other.

Router vs Bridge

A router is a hardware that mainly works to provide a route for network packets. TThe process of making network routes is wholly based on their address.

A network packet needs a router to travel from one device to another. Internet access is one of the essential requirements for a router to work.

The bridge in computer networking is considered a device that uses multiple segments to create a single bundle of the network.

In other words, it connects several separate and independent networks of a single or shared point. A bridge can connect to another bridge using a computer network.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonRouterBridge
Layer usedThe layer used by a router to perform several operations is called a data link layer. A router can read MAC addresses of various devices that transmit data sets.
ReadabilityA bridge can read IP addresses of various devices that transmit data sets. The type of network used to establish a connection by the router is LAN and WAN.
Connection typeThe data transmitted by a router is mainly in the form of packets. The type of network used to establish a connection by the bridge is only LAN.
Form of dataThe data transmitted by a bridge is mainly in the form of frames. Bridges do not use the routing tables. They use the table for protocols known as forwarding information bases.
TablesThe table used by the router is known as a routing table. It consists of several protocols. The routing tables are not used by bridges. They use the table for protocols known as forwarding information bases.

What is Router?

The device known as the router is required to make packet-switched network travel from one point to another. It is used to forward packets of data to the given address of computer networks.

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A router is a device that can be switched off and on according to the need. The most common use of a router is to enjoy the fast internet service.

The router also works to connect the branch and central offices using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A router uses multiple access protocols to provide communication, such as ATM, Ethernet, DSL, etc.

A router registers the IP address of the network so it can send the required data packet to the right place.

The router comes with many interfaces that are used in receiving the dataset. By evaluating the specification and IP address of the data packet, it selects a specific interface to store or analyze that particular data packet.

The process of decision-making for the router depends on the local routine table. BGP or OSPF are the two such regular protocols that are dynamic and used for statically configuring and calculating the local routing table.

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What is Bridge?

Multiple segments of different networks get connected via a bridge. A bridge is also known as a computer networking device. This process is considered to be network bridging.

A bridge can be denoted as a wireless bridge if one to two networks that are bridged are wireless.

The technology of network bridging can be divided into several categories, such as transparent bridging, multiport bridging, learning bridging, simple bridging, etc.

A table known as the forwarding information base is used in the transparent bridging so that the frames being sent between network segments can be controlled.

If the destination’s IP address can not be located in the table, it floods the data frame to multiple ports except for the port it received from.

Also Read:  LAN, WAN, vs MAN: Difference and Comparison

While in simple bridging, two different network segments get linked with each other. This operation is transparent and is based on a frame-by-frame structure. This process is also used to decide whether to send the data.

Multiple bridging, as the name suggests, has various ports to connect different networks. Unlike simple bridging, the process of forwarding data packets is entirely decided by multiple bridging. The forwarding method used by bridges is layer-2.

Main Differences Between Router and Bridge

  1. The routers are mainly used to link multiple networks. On the other hand, LANs are the primary types of networks connected by bridges.
  2. There are various ports in the router to send and receive data packets while bridges have only two ports except for the multiport bridging.
  3. The workspace of the router can expand to many broadcast domains while a bridge uses only one broadcast domain to be operated.
  4. The routing tables are used by routers that provide protocols. On the other hand, bridges do not use a routing table.
  5. Routers do the data transportation in packets while bridges do the data transportation in the form of frames.
Difference Between Router and Bridge
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/62882.62892
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6917023/

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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