What is the difference between a bridge and a router?
A bridge is a product that connects a local area network (LAN) to another local area network that uses the same protocol (for example, Ethernet or Token Ring). You can envision a bridge as being a device that decides whether a message from you to someone else is going to the local area network in your building or to someone on the local area network in the building across the street.
A router is a device or, in some cases, software in a computer, that determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination. The router is connected to at least two networks and decides which way to send each information packet based on its current understanding of the state of the networks it is connected to. A router is located at any gateway (where one network meets another), including each point-of-presence on the Internet. A router is often included as part of a network switch.
Note: Learn more about the difference between a bridge and a switch in this expert Q/A.
Dig deeper on Network Administration
Related Q&A from Amy Kucharik
Learn what network latency is in this expert response.continue reading
Learn what the true definition of a download is and whether going from one Web site to another falls under this category in this Q&A with Amy ...continue reading
In this Q&A with Amy Kucharik, learn what the difference is between a patch and a service pack.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.