Network Devices: Switch, Router, Bridge

Network devices also known as network equipment or networking hardware, are used to interconnect computers in a computer network. As we know vendors like Cisco, Arista, NVIDIA produce and sell networking devices all over the world.


In computer networking, computers need to connect with other computers and devices. The switch is a device to connect computers and devices with other computers in computer networking. A switch makes an interconnection between the host and every device in the network and transfers data between the network. Switches are working on the data link layer(second layer)  in the OSI model. Every computer and device has connected to the switch by using cables. Every device that connects to the switch is addressed by a network address called an I.P. address. So switch can easily find the right way to transfer data. Switch transfers data as data packets between the network. While transferring data as data packets, sometimes data packets can collide, and data loss may have occurred. But the switch can transfer the data to the exact location, so the data collision is reduced. Switches are primarily used in smaller networks like LAN. Switches are mostly used in school laboratory networks, small office networks.

Advantages Of Switches

  • Reduce the data packet collision.
  • Switches can send and receive data at the same time.
  • Fast data transferring speed.

Disadvantages Of Switches

  • Expensive.
  • Connectivity issues are difficult to be traced.


The router is a device used to interconnect two networks and transfer data in a network. Bridges are working on the networking layer(third layer)  in the OSI model. A router sends data as data packets by using the Internet, such as a web page or email. When a router receives data, it will identify the destination of the data packet by reading the network address of the destination and quickly forwarded the data packets to the destination or to another router. Suppose the data transmission network is too busy or it has network traffic. In that case, the router will temporarily store the data packets and forward the data packets after the problems are solved. Small office and home routers, sophisticated routers, core routers are some different types of routers.

Advantages Of Routers

  • Router can filter data packets, and the routers will not allow passing unnecessary data packets through the network.
  • Reduce network traffic.
  • Can connect to different networks.

Disadvantages of routers

  • Expensive than other network devices.
  • Slower.


Some different networks or a few parts from a network (segments) can be linked together by using the network device called bridge. Bridges are working on the data link layer(second layer)  in the OSI model. Network bridges can identify the path to send the data packets through the IP address. When a bridge receives the data packets from a computer, it will search for the destination and quickly send it to the destination. This process is called forwarding. If the destination is not founded the bridge will reject and discard the data packets. This process is called filtering. A network bridge can control the incoming network traffic because of this forwarding and filtering mechanism. Also, the bridge can prevent data traffic from a specific segment from passing to another segment of the network that also connected to the bridge.

Advantages of bridges

  • Network bridges can extend the server by connecting different networks together.
  • Reduce the traffic of the network.
  • High reliability.

Disadvantages of bridges

  • Bridge does not filter broadcasts.
  • Bridge is expensive.

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