Difference between Router and Bridge

Both Routers and Bridges are network connecting devices. Routers work at the network layer and are responsible to find the shortest path for a packet, whereas Bridges connect various devices in a network. Routers connect devices across multiple networks.

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

What is a Router?

A router is a networking device that receives, processes, and sends data packets from one computer network to another. On the Internet, routers are in charge of traffic steering. Data packets are used to send data across the Internet, such as a web page or an email.

Two or more data lines from separate IP networks are connected to a router. The router examines the network address information in the packet header to identify the final destination when a data packet arrives on one of the lines. Then, using the information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey.

  • A router identifies the destination or target IP address of a packet, and the optimal method for transmitting the packet is decided by forwarding tables and headers.
  • A packet is sent from one router to another across the networks that make up an internetwork (such as the Internet) until it reaches its destination node.
  • The local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) domains are where routers are most often utilized.
  • Routing protocols are used to transport data across the network.
  • It is far more expensive than other network equipment such as hubs, switches, and routers. D-Link, Cisco, and Nortel are some of the router manufacturers.

What is a Bridge?

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

Bridges connect two separate networks and provide communication between them at the data link. 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 Router and Bridge

The following table compares and contrasts the various features of routers and bridges.

Key Router Bridge
Objective The main objective of a Router is to connect various networks. The main objective of a Bridge is to connect various LANs.
Layer The router works at the network layer. The data link layer is where the bridge operates.
Address Routers scan a device's IP Address. Bridges scan a device's MAC Address.
Data Format Routers send data in the form of packets. Bridges too send data in the form of packets.
Routing Table Routers use routing tables. Bridges do not use routing tables.
Domain Routers work on more than one broadcast domains. Bridges are limited to a single broadcast domain.
Ports A Router has more than two ports. A Bridge has only two ports.
Cost Routers are pretty costly equipment. Bridges are less expensive than Routers.


A bridge is a device that links two separate LANs, whereas routers are utilized for both LAN and MAN connections. Bridges are useful for segmenting the networks and extending them, while Routers are useful for connecting faraway networks. Routers store the data and deliver them in the form of packers.