Difference between Bridge and Repeater

Repeaters and bridges are both networking devices, both used to extend the range of a network, more specifically bridge provides the facility to combine various LANs (Local Area Networks) to develop a larger LAN. While repeaters are mainly used to amplify signal strength when the signal comes to the repeater it regenerates, which would be an amplified signal of the same and retransmits. Repeaters are commonly used in LANs to extend the range of a network more than the 100-meter limit of Ethernet.

Bridge works at the Data Link Layer (DLL) of the model named OSI and they use MAC address to control traffic between the two LANs.


The bridge is digital in the computer network, which is used to connect two network segments or most cases LANs. It consists of two ports incoming port and an outgoing port. it does data filtering of the frames, and it checks the destination MAC address of the router if both are in different network segments then only it forwards the packet. And if the bridge doesn’t find the destination MAC it won’t send the data packet. The bridge is used to handle network traffic, and it works on the Data Link Layer of the OSI (Open system Interconnection) Model.

Types of Bridges

In computer networks, there are three kinds of bridges, which are listed below −

  • Translational Bridge

  • Source routing Bridge

  • Transparent Bridge

Translational Bride

It is used where the requirement of converting from one networking system to another networking system, is generally used to translate the data it receives, suppose we want to connect two different networks one is the token ring and another is Ethernet.

Transparent Bridge

In these kinds of bridges adjacent stations are unaware of the bridge's existence, they have the capability of learning MAC addresses, it is mainly used for forwarding, and blocking based on the MAC (Media Access Control). And these are the most popular type of brides.

Source Routing Bridge

It had built by IEEE 802.5 committee and token ring-based networks would be interconnected by this network. Each source station chooses the path to the destination and inserts routing information into the frame.


It is 2 port device one is incoming and the other is outgoing, it doesn’t do any kind of filtering. When one signal is sent after some distance strength of the signal decreases, and communication is weakened, formally this is called attenuation. To avoid this networking companies uses repeaters between two networks. So that strength of the signal remains of the same amplitude. One very important thing is repeaters and amplifiers are different they are not the same.

Types of Repeaters

Analog Repeaters

The receiver voice is filtered and sent straight to the transmitter modulator via an analog repeater. Any sounds picked up will be transmitted to the transmitter.

Digital Repeaters

A digital repeater increases the range of digital radios that use the same digital technology. Ritron produces a digital repeater that employs NXDN digital technology and enables NXDN communication. This repeater downlink will have noise additions from both the uplink to the repeater and the downstream from the repeater, regardless of what a radio gets.

Wired Repeaters

A Wired Repeater is a computer network communication module that is used in Ethernet Distance and WAN technologies in tandem to transparently drive Ethernet LAN communications beyond today's twisted pair wiring distance limit of 328 feet. (100 meters).

Bridge Vs Repeaters





It works on the Data Link Layer of the ISO/OSI Model.

It works at the Physical Layer of the ISO/OSI Model.

Frame Analysis

The complete frames are analyzed by the bridge.

It doesn’t understand the complete frame.


It is not transmitted to another segment if the collision only affects one segment.

Repeaters send the collision from one segment to another segment.


A bridge connects two or more networks in an orderly fashion.

The network's transmission limit is increased by repeaters.


The bridge is responsible for traffic filtering in the network.

Repeater cannot perform packet filtering.


Bridges are comparatively expensive devices that are used to extend LANs.

A repeater is also used to expand a LAN, but it is less expensive than a bridge.


In summary, both bridges and switches are networking devices that extend the reach of a network. But they differ in the functionality layers of OSI at which they operate. A repeater is a passive device that extends the reach of a signal, whereas a bridge is an active device that connects two networks and forwards traffic based on MAC address. Knowing the pitfalls of both we can decide which to use and where to work optimally.

Updated on: 03-May-2023


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