Is there a difference between a bridge and a crossover cable between two machines?

  • 1
    We need a little context. Why are you asking? Operationally, there isn't any difference, but it depends on why you're asking.
    – Ron Trunk
    May 20, 2016 at 18:47
  • @RonTrunk I'm asking because I want to learn about the difference between layer 2 and layer 3 in the OSI model, and I want to know if there's a difference. (lame I know) I thought maybe there might be a gateway with one, and no gateway with the other...but really I think that's layer 3 stuff.
    – leeand00
    May 20, 2016 at 18:51
  • A bridge is a network device that turns one collision domain into two collision domains. A crossover cable establishes one collision domain between two nodes. Neither of them are aware of anything that would be considered layer 3 in the OSI sense. May 20, 2016 at 18:52
  • I think it would be more correct to say a bridge connects two collision domains.
    – Ron Trunk
    May 20, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    Would recommend this article series on how packets move through a network. Specifically the article discussing Layer 2, Layer 3, and their differences and inter-operation, as well as the articles which describe host to host communication through a switch and through a router.
    – Eddie
    May 20, 2016 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Yes. A crossover cable approximates a hub moreso than a bridge as the hub simply forwards all frames out of all ports. The bridge will keep a mac-address table or bridge table and will forward frames to only those ports that see traffic from said host.

  • Yup, I tried it and it worked just fine.
    – leeand00
    Sep 15, 2016 at 18:55
  • OTOH a crossover cable allows full duplex while a hub doesn't. Dec 20, 2016 at 2:46

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