Network bridges and routers are networking devices that are used in converging or distributing network data packets from one place to another. To begin with network bridges, these are networking devices that are used to create a single network segment from amongst different networks. On the other hand network routers are networking devices that allow different networks to receive data packets from it simultaneously without interfering with their performance (Goransson, Black, & Culver, 2016). This, therefore, means that the network bridges converge different networks into one while the routers do the opposite of passing network to different devices at the same time. The world has become very technological whereby companies are using the internet to conduct their day to day activities. Some decide to use bridges, others use routers, and others have both, and this choice depends on the purpose the organization intends to achieve. Discussions have been doing rounds on the issue of bridging vs. routing, and this topic has had its fair share of views and arguments.
Network bridging versus routing
Routers came into place to try and reduce the data trafficking that would be experienced when each device used to use its data packets. With routing all devices in an organization or even in a large area network (LAN) can access the internet from one source. One of the advantages of this is that the cost of having to purchase data packets for every entity or internet using devices is reduced. With a router, all of them can get internet services from one device. However, there are different types of routers, and each depends on the bandwidth and speed which is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). The higher the strength and the speed the more extensive the coverage of are that the internet will cover. To fix the issue with the existing wireless network system, the institutions need to increase the wireless strength to enable the data speed is shared across the board and therefore guarantee sufficient reliability of information. Having the routers installed, the institution internet devices and personnel can access the data simultaneously (Azim et al., 2017). This might be done through the hub network of the wireless connection which is done using the routers. Secondly, evaluate areas where the wireless strength is weaker. Additionally, check on the functional specification as well as the technical aspect to enable the work to be done appropriately. Routers are formulated in such a way that they can accommodate the different bandwidths, and it all depends on the preference of the user and the area they want it to cover.
Network implementation is the phase that comes after the network design process. This involves the installation of the routers in an institution or an organization to make sure that data packets are accessible in it. The first step is to plan the actual implementation plan. This consists in introducing the computer room where the network switches and routers and servers will be stored. This will depend on the size of the business. Next is the downloading and compiling of the MIB according to the vendor instructions stipulated. Pre-configuration of the MIB follows, and this is the critical part of network implementation. The configuration is done through the Internet-Standard Management Framework, SNMP which develops the configuration management system. The next step is IP assigning and last configuration for fault management. The IP address is used to provide the exact location of the host network device in a system. IP assigning also helps the network to transmit packets directly to the network host. The last step is configuring the NMS for fault management (Perlman, & Koning, 2014). This step ensures in case of network failures; there is a structured procedure for troubleshooting the network.
On the other hand, bridging involves the creation of a single network aggregate that is obtained from multiple network segments. This is very different from routing because routing involves a single entity that allows different entities to perform independently. Just like in routing, bridging also uses both cables and wireless connections through the data link layer. In the process of installation of network bridges an efficient plan is required to be devised to assist in the implementation of the current wireless such as identification of the campus requirements by knowing the coverage, speed, and reliability (Seifert, 2018). Additionally, planning the bandwidth utilization and understanding the hardware functionalities and requirements are considered. Finally, implementation of the security as the option to correct the problem and prevent intruders through hacking is done. From there the bridging is completed, and the converging of different networks into one is done
There are different types of bridging which include, transparent bridging, simple bridging, multiport bridging, and shortest path bridging. To begin with transparent bridging, this involves the using of the forwarding information base which is a platform which controls that forwarding of frames from different networks into one. Simple bridging is the most used type of bridging which involves the connection between two segments by determining the right time to forward networks in between them (Perlman, & Koning, 2014). Any system connected across the central wire can receive all the transmitted information. Ethernet systems use bus technology. Multiport bridging involves connects more than two network operators and also determine the moment to forward data and traffic in between them. Lastly the shortest path bridging functions by the simplification of the creating and configuring of networks, while at the same time making it possible for the converging of network and data from different segments.
With the identification of the user preference and purpose, a decision is reached on whether to use the routers or bridges. However, it is important to note that the rate at which the distribution of data whether by cable or wireless networks depends on the package that the user has subscribed. Network in simple terms is an interconnected system. Topology is a layout description of a locality. Network topology, therefore, is defined as the description of the arrangement of operations on a computer network that defines nodes and how computers are arranged in connection with each other. Routers and bridges have simplified the overall use of networks across all technological and business divides. For a long time, people have been incurring a lot of costs in their different organizations since they had multiple sources of data packets. Every department used to have its source of internet, but with the coming of routers and bridges, this problem was solved. It is also worth noting that wireless networks have also been made accessible through routers which supply the LANs and WANs with data packages.
For any organization or institution that is planning to venture into routers or bridges to access network packages and is in a dilemma, there are different factors to consider. Both routers and bridges have been proven to be data distributors and one factor to consider is the purpose. A second consideration is that of the resources available in the organization. Some installations of these devices require a lot of cost and maintenance that the company might find itself unable to raise. To end the debate of routers versus bridging I would recommend that a background check to be done to determine the kind of installation to be done because all the networking devices depend on the purpose and amount of resources available.
Azim, N., Majid, A., Khan, F., Tahir, M., Safdar, M., & Jabeen, Q. (2016). Routing of Mobile Hosts in Adhoc Networks. Algorithms, 11, 14.
Goransson, P., Black, C., & Culver, T. (2016). Software-defined networks: a comprehensive approach. Morgan Kaufmann.
Perlman, R. J., & Koning, G. P. (2014). U.S. Patent No. 5,309,437. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Seifert, W. M. (2018). Bridges and routers. IEEE Network, 2(1), 57-64.