Difference between switch and bridge

It is apparent that both bridges and switches in computer networks are of great importance. However, they differ from each other in a certain way. Here this article gives a information about the difference between switch and bridge to better understand this topic.

What is a bridge?


The bridge is known as the network bridge, it is a network interconnection device used to connect two or more local area networks. This bridge network is a responsible for network bridging, which is received and amplifies signals from a network cable and then sends them to the next table. It connects multiple networks of the network at the data link layer.

What is the switch?


A switch is a network device that is used for electrical or optical signal forwarding. It provides an exclusive signal path for any two network nodes and that access the switch. It has multiple ports, each with a bridge function that can be connected to a LAN or some high-performance server or uses workstations.

The main key difference between switch and bridge are listed below:

  • Switches have a higher no of ports while the bridge gave a lesser number of ports.
  • Packet forwarding in switches is performed using ASICS. Thus a switch is hardware-based, While the packet forwarding in the bridge is performed using the software. These bridges are software-based. Thus switch is hardware-based while the bridge is software-based.
  • The switch is generally used for connecting single topology while the bridge is generally used for connecting two different topologies. 
  • Switch segments a large LAN into many smaller segments, While the bridge segments a local area network into a couple of smaller segments.
  • Switch contains many ports for LAN connectivity, While the Bridge contains only a few ports for LAN connectivity. 
  • Switch contains many instances of spanning tree, Bridge contains only one instance of spanning tree. 
  • The switch has a buffer for each link connected to it which is missing in a buffer.
  • Methods
  •  of switching of a switch can be store and forward, cut through or fragment free, while the method of switching of a bridge is a store and forward. 
  • Switches are used to connect the work stations or computer systems. If there are 20 workstations connected to a switch then will be separate collision for each of the nodes while the bridges divide the collision domain into two parts. The bridge can create a collision domain but not the broadcast domain.
  • The switch performs error checking which is not done in the buffer, while the bridge does not perform for error checking.  
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