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Difference between switch and bridge in computer networking?

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Answered 2014-05-23 14:10:09

Switches and Bridges are pretty similar, both operate at the Data Link layer (just above Physical) and both can filter data so that only the appropriate segment or host receives a transmission. Both filter packets based on the physical address (AKA MAC - Media Access Control - address) of the sender/receiver although newer switches sometimes include the capabilities of a router and can forward data based on IP address (operating at the Network Layer) and are referred to as IP Switches. Often the desired results could be achieved using either a switch or a bridge but *in general* bridges are used to extend the distance capabilities of the network while minimizing overall traffic, and switches are used to primarily for their filtering capabilities to create multiple, smaller virtual LAN's out of one large LAN for easier management/administration (V-Lan's).

The main difference between them is --->

Bridge can connect only TWO networks/ LANs/ Hosts, means bridge has only TWO ports. While...

Switch can connect more than TWO networks/ LANs/ Hosts because switch has more than TWO ports.

Or you can say that a bridge with more than TWO ports is known as a Switch.

The IEEE specs define bridges... and those bridges have tons of ports, not just two. The difference bridge/switch is mainly marketing.

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