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Bridge in Computer Network

Author Sandeep kamila
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Computer Networks
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A network bridge is a computer network device that combines multiple communication networks or segments into a unified network. This process, known as network bridging, is facilitated by the network bridge in computer networking.

bridge in computer network

What is Bridge in Computer Network?

A bridge is a network device that connects two or more LANs (local area networks) to form a larger LAN. Network bridging refers to the process of aggregating networks. A bridge connects the various components, making them appear to be part of a single network.

In the OSI model, a bridge operates at layer 2, or the data link layer. This is primarily to inspect incoming traffic and determine whether it should be filtered or forwarded.

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Types of Bridges in Computer Networks

There are generally two types of Bridges in Computer networks:

  • Transparent Bridge
  • Source-Route Bridge
  • Translational bridge

Transparent Bridge

It's an invisible computer network bridge, as the name implies. This bridge's primary function is to block or forward data based on the MAC address. The other devices in the network are entirely unaware that bridges exist. These are the most common bridges, and they work transparently for all networks connected to hosts.

This bridge keeps MAC addresses in a table similar to a routing table. When a packet is routed to its destination, this calculates the information. As a result, it can also combine several bridges to monitor incoming traffic better. Typically, these bridges are used in Ethernet networks.

Source-Route Bridge

It decides the route between two hosts.  The entire frame route is contained within a single frame in this bridge. As a result, the bridge will make precise decisions about how the structure will be forwarded over the network. 

The data link layer is connected to two similar network segments using this method. It can be done in a distributed manner wherever the bridging algorithm combines end stations.

Translational bridge

Translational bridges are a type of network bridge that can translate between various network protocols. This enables devices on different networks to communicate with one another, even if they are using different protocols.
It can connect different types of networks and helps in improving network security and performance. The only downside to them is that they area difficult to configure and manage.

How does a bridge work?

A bridge takes all packets and amplifies them for transmission to the opposite side. Bridges are clever devices that enable just specific packets to travel through them. A bridge only transmits packets addressed from one network node to another network node.

A bridge functions in the following ways:

  • All packets or frames from both LAN (segment) A and B are received by a bridge
  • A bridge creates a table of addresses from which it may determine which LAN (or segment) is sending packets to which LAN
  • All packets from LAN A sent to a computer on LAN A are discarded by the bridge, whereas packets from LAN A sent to a computer on LAN B are retransmitted to LAN B
  • The packets from LAN B are treated in the same way

Functions of Bridges

  • In an OSI model, bridges connect and enable communication between two distinct networks at the data link layer
  • Bridges can also expand the physical size of a network
  • Bridges are also used to connect a LAN segment to another LAN segment in another location via a synchronous modem connection
  • Bridges are used to split large, busy networks into smaller, interconnected networks to improve performance
  • Bridges broadcast data to every node, like hubs and repeaters. however, continues to update the MAC (media access control) address table to identify new segments
  • To create a larger virtual LAN (VLAN), bridges can also link smaller VLANs
  • To connect wireless networks or networks with a wireless segment, a wireless bridge is employed

Uses of Bridge in Computer Network

Following are the uses of Bridge:

  • Bridges are used to divide large networks into smaller groups, networks or segments which helps to reduce traffic in each segment
  • Bridges are used to extend the range of the network by connecting two or more physically separated segments
  • Bridges provide security as it separates different parts of networks from each other
  • Bridges provide network redundancy by connecting two or more paths between different network segments
  • Bridges are used to forward frames without changing the source or destination addresses
  • Wireless bridges connect various parts of a wireless network, enabling communication without the need for cables and getting around barriers to point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections.

Advantages of Bridge in Computer Network

Following are the advantages of Bridge:

  • It serves as a network extender by acting as a repeater
  • Subdividing network traffic into network communications can reduce network traffic on a segment
  • Collisions can be reduced to a minimum
  • Some types of bridges use architectures and different types of media to connect networks
  • Because fewer network nodes share a collision domain, bridges increase the available bandwidth to individual nodes
  • It reduces BW waste (bandwidth)
  • The network's length can be extended
  • It connects various network transmission segments
  • Bridges have simple installation. There is no requirement of any extra hardware or software except the bridge itself. 

Disadvantages of Bridge in Computer Network

Following are the disadvantages of Bridge:

  • It cannot assist in the construction of the network between the various network architectures
  • Because it is more concerned with MAC addresses, it cannot read specific IP addresses
  • When compared to repeaters, these are more expensive
  • It cannot stop the flow of messages because it transmits all types of broadcast messages
  • It can't handle the more variable and complex data loads from the WAN

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bridge network device?

bridge is a network device that connects two or more LANs (local area networks) to form a larger LAN. It connects the various components, making them appear to be part of a single network.

What is an example of a bridge device?

A network switch is an example of a bridge device.

What is the purpose of a bridge in a computer?

The purpose of a bridge in a computer is to connect and manage traffic between two different network segments, improving network performance and efficiency.

Why network bridge is used?

A network bridge is used to connect two or more network segments, allowing devices in different segments to communicate and exchange data with each other.


This article discussed an overview of Bridges which are networking devices that connect two or more LANs (local area networks) to form a larger LAN. We also learned about their working and types, including transparent and source-route bridges and their uses, and we also learned the advantages and disadvantages of bridges in Computer networks.

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Mesh Topology
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Repeaters in Computer Network