Pros and Cons of Bridges & Network Bridging


Bridging is used to connect multiple parts of the network that separated by some distance.

If any of the network segments are wireless, then it is termed as the wireless bridge, and the phenomenon is called wireless bridging.

A wireless bridge is also used to convert wifi signals to a wired ethernet conection.

In this article, you will get to know all about network bridging.


Some of the main topics covered in this article are:

  • Network Bridge Definition
  • Routing vs. Bridging
  • Types of Network Bridging
  • Advantages and disadvantages

Network Bridge Definition:

It is a networking device that uses the bridge tables to send frame through different network segments.


It takes traffic from one network segment and then broadcasts it to the other one.

It also manages the network segments.

It works on the data link layer of the OSI model.

Bridges provide communication between different networks by connecting them.


They contain a database that contains the information about transmitting and discarding the data frames.

Types of Network Bridging:

These are:

1) Simple Bridging:

It connects two segments of a network by operating transparently.

It decides on the frame by frame basis about forwarding from one network to another.

Thus it uses the store and forward technique.

The frame integrity is also checked on the source network during the forwarding process.

2) Multiport Bridging:

It connects multiple networks.

It decides on the frame by frame basis as to where to forward the traffic.

It serves as the basis for the switches.

3) Transparent Bridging:

It sends the frame to the networking segments by forwarding tables.

The database is empty in the initial state.

As the bridge receives frames, the entries get built.

If an address entry is not in this database, then the flooding of frames to other ports of the bridge occurs.

This bridging can also work on devices that have more than two ports.

4) Source Route Bridging:

Here most of the bridge functions are done by end systems.

It is used on the token ring networks.


Routing vs. Bridging:

These two are entirely different terms.

Bridges connect multiple networks as if they were a single network while the routing connects various networks for independent communication by remaining separate.


These include:

1) Greater Power:

Its one main benefit is the higher power.

This refers to the greater distance and the much better throughput.

2) Prevents Distributing Traffic:

It stops the distributing traffic.

It decreases the network traffic with the help of minor segmentations.

3) Extending the Network:

Bridges work in extending the physical network.

Thus they can act as repeaters.

4) Collision Detection:

It reduces collisions.

It does this by partitioning the collision domains.

5) Connecting Multiple Network Architectures:

Some bridges also connect networks of different architectures.


These are:

1) Slow Speed:

Its speed is slow as compared to that of repeaters.

This is because of the filtering.

2) Cost:

Its price is higher than that of repeaters.

3) Security Risks:

Network bridging posses some security risks too.