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router, switcher and bridge

Posted on 1998-06-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
dear sir,

l've read a lot of articles about the router, switcher and bridge. but they said this tree hardware are funtioning the same. may l know what's the main difference between this tree hardwares and how do l know at what situations suitable for which hardware ?
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Question by:e_aks
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jhance earned 10 total points
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These three network hardware devices certainly don't do the same thing:

1) Router - is an intelligent network device that looks at each data packet on the network and determines if it is destined for the local net or a remote net.  If it's local, it does nothing.  If remote, it transfers the packet to the "other side" so that it can reach it's final destination.  The definition of what is "local" and "remote" is programmable by the person who sets up the router and it's intended use.  Most routers also offer packet filtering, address filtering, and other housekeeping functions.

2) A bridge is a network device that just echos everything it hears on one side to the other side.  These may look like routers but they don't have intelligence.  They just transmit all data across.  Usually these are used to connect two sections of a local network together.

3) Switch (or switching hub) - these are now being used more and more to replace non-switching hubs.  A hub is a device used to connect a number of workstations together.  A non-switching hub will just echo each data packet it receives out to all the other ports. It's kind of like a bridge.  The problem is that if two of the computers on the hub are talking a lot, everyone on the hub is bogged down by the traffic.  A switching hub has some intelligence in it and works like a simple router.  It "learns" the addresses of the devices hooked to it's ports and then will only route traffic to the port that has the destination device. This helps reduce traffic for the other users of the hub.
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by:e_aks
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so you meant bridge just act as an device that connecting LAN - LAN. but router more intelligent than bridge that can done lot of works. if then why people wanna came out with bridge ? people can just choose the router then every thing is done. must be some idea behind that. so what make people to choose bridge or router ?
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by:jhance
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A router can do everything a bridge can do, but, a router costs much more than a bridge.  If you were paying the bill, you wouldn't want to pay for a router where a bridge would do the job.
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