Bridging versus LAN Switching

Layer-2 switches are really just bridges with more ports. However, there are some important differences you should be aware of: Bridges are software based, while switches are hardware based because they use an ASICs chip to help make filtering decisions.



Bridges can only have one spanning-tree instance per bridge, while
switches can have many.
Bridges can only have up to 16 ports, whereas a switch can have
hundreds.



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