Difference Between Hub and Bridge

Both Hubs and Bridges are network connecting devices and both of them broadcast data to every node on a network. Hubs operate at the Physical Layer and they do not perform packet filtering or addressing function; they send the data packets to all the connected devices. Bridges connect various devices in a network.

A bridge operates at the data link layer to connect multiple networks. It can read the outmost section of a data packet to tell where the message is going. A bridge can be programmed to reject packets from a particular network, so it can be used to reduce the traffic on other network segments.

Read through this article to find out more about hubs and bridges and how they are different from each other.

What is a Hub?

In the context of networking, a hub is a hardware device that transfers communication data. A hub transmits data packets (frames) to all devices on a network, regardless of whether the data packet contains any MAC addresses or not.

A switch varies from a hub in that it keeps track of the MAC addresses of all connected devices. As a result, a switch can tell which device or system is plugged into which port. When a data packet is received, the switch understands exactly which port it should be sent to.

A 10/100 Mbps switch, unlike a hub, will distribute the full 10/100 Mbps to each of its ports, ensuring that users always have access to the maximum bandwidth – a significant benefit of a switch over a hub.

Network hubs, passive, intelligent, and switching hubs are all standard hubs used in networking.

  • Network Hubs − These are popular network device connection points that connect parts of a LAN (local area network) and may contain several ports – an interface for connecting network devices, including printers, storage devices, workstations, and servers. A data packet arriving at one Hub's port may be replicated to other ports, allowing the data packet to be accessed by all network segments.

  • Passive Hubs − Passive Hubs act as conduits or channels for data to travel from one device or network segment.

  • Intelligent Hubs − Also called managed hubs, allow system administrators to monitor data flow and configure each port, allowing them to determine which devices or network segments are connected to each port. Some ports may be left open even if there is no connection.

  • Switching Hubs − These hubs are responsible for reading the properties of each data unit. After that, the data is transmitted to the proper or intended port.

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is a computer network device that links with other bridge networks that use the same protocol. Bridges connect two separate networks and provide communication between them at the data link layer of the Open System Interconnect (OSI) model.

A bridge combines numerous communication networks or network segments into a single, aggregate network. Network bridging is the term for this function.

Bridges, like repeaters and hubs, broadcast data to every node on the network. Bridges maintain the media access control (MAC) address table as soon as new segments are discovered, ensuring that subsequent transmissions are sent only to the intended receiver. Layer 2 switches are also known as bridges.

Bridging is not the same as routing. Routing allows several networks to interact freely while remaining distinct, whereas bridging links two separate networks together as if they were one. Bridging is done on the data link layer of the OSI model (layer 2).

The device is called a wireless bridge if one or more parts of the bridged network are wireless.

Simple bridging, multiport bridging, and learning or transparent bridging are the three primary types of network bridging technology.

Difference between Hub and Bridge

The following table highlights the major differences between a Hub and a Bridge −

A hub is a network device that allows several devices to communicate with one another.
A bridge is a network device that connects two distinct LANs that utilize the same protocol.
Hubs do not perform data filtration.
Bridges filter the data.
Hubs make use of several ports.
However, with a bridge, there is one port for entering traffic and another for outgoing traffic.
A hub connects the LAN portion.
A bridge, on the other hand, joins two distinct LANs that use the same protocol.
The physical layer of the OSI Model is where the Hub functions.
A bridge, on the other hand, works at the data link layer.


A bridge is a device that links two separate LANs. Bridges are useful for segmenting the networks and extending them. Hubs, on the other hand, are basic networking devices that operate at the Physical Layer and they are used to send the data packets to all the connected devices, without any filtration.