why do an interface bridge?
what point does an interface bridge serve? other than turning your PC into an overpriced switch (well mabee a little better than a switch, but still)
how does one turn their PC into an internet gateway for other PC's on a local network, is this done by interface bridging? or is this done in some other way, if so, how?
PCs do a lot of tasks that "maybe" cheaper hardware could otherwise do. However, is is also possible to interface bridge and firewall in the same box. This can be useful in a case where you want a firewall but not a Network Address Translation group (i.e. a DMZ). For my case, I have a cable-modem with 5 IP addresses. I want to firewall, but I want my various machines to also offer individual services. I could set up Port Forwarding over NAT at the firewall, or I can bridge. Both have advantages and dis-advantages.
simply put a switch works at the mac level and a bridge works at the tcp level.
this means a bridge can be used to fix a badly designed network.
I notice that 90% of people thing that a switch will fix network problems by reducing redundant transfer. And if that does not work they buy a more expensive switch. :)
There is an old rule which says a network path should never be longer then 3 hops. This is due to network delays which increases packet collisions, and cannot be fixed with a switch.
so the only method of fixing a large badly designed network is to split it up into subnets and use a router to clean up the network, or simply put a bridge in the middle.
even though Microsoft uses bridging to increase network throughput for a server, it is generally not used for servers. the UNIX way to do that is bonding
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