Bridge Mode VS Router Mode (Detailed Comparison)

You might have noticed that your router has a bridge mode alongside a router mode. Hence, it is natural for you to wonder what these two modes are and how they operate. Their understanding might seem quite technical at first, although it gets familiar very quickly.

This article will go through both bridge mode and router mode. And also, check out a bridge mode vs. router mode comparison where we check their differences. This article will help you figure out the working of both these modes and how you can use either one to best suit your needs. 

Bridge Mode VS Router Mode

Router mode is your router’s primary or default setting or working, whereas bridge mode has special applications and features. Before we check out the specific differences between the two, let us understand the basics of both the modes and their working and uses. 

What Is Bridge Mode?

You might have two separate routers that use two different wifi routers, causing inconvenience. For example, this would not be possible if you had to connect your speakers to your TV wirelessly, and both were using other wifi from a separate router. This could be called a Double NAT scene

Bridge mode comes in handy in such situations where you’d like both of your routers to share the same wifi network. Bridge mode is used to connect two different routers. This connection is usually very secure and free of performance issues. The router works as a DHCP server without any IP Address-related problems when bridge mode is on. 

This is because the Bridge route disables the NAT configuration of the modern, and hence easily connects two. This eliminates the double NAT situation described in the example above. 

What Is Router Mode?

When you turn on the router mode on your router, it means that you are using your router as the main LAN. Hence if you connect it to any other devices, they would extend to the main LAN, that is, your router. The router interlinks your internet and home network. 

With the router mode on, you can enjoy some additional features. It allows you to filter IP addresses and block websites. If you block a specific website or IP address from the router, it will not show up on your devices when they’re using a wifi network from that particular router. 

With router mode, you can create a guest network and form a tunnel to a VPN service. VPN service helps you access certain IP address websites that may be blocked or unavailable in your country. VPN also protects your data by encrypting it to be less prone to data theft and attacks from hackers. Router mode can give you easy access to VPN.

Alongside this, router mode allows you to operate the router through a remote location with the help of the internet. The critical thing to remember is that rather than typing the router’s LAN IP Address in the web browser’s Address Bar, you will need to type its Internet IP Address to access it. 

Comparison Between Bridge Mode And Router Mode

First, let us compare the essential properties of bridge mode and router mode. This is more of a technical discussion. Then we will look into the differences between these two modes in terms of how you can use the two modes or what will be available to you. 

Basic Function:

Bridge mode connects two or more routers to a single wifi network. You can also say that it combines two halves of a single subnet in a more technical language. 

Router mode connects the home network with other devices. Hence, we can say that it can connect to wireless connections on each interface. 

Data Path IP Address:

In the case of bridge mode, the data path is not assigned to LAN or WAN interface, and it is assigned to BVI Whereas, in the case of router mode, the data path address is assigned to LAN or WAN interface. 

Ports Used:

Bridge mode uses two or four ports, whereas router mode can use two or up to 6 ports. Bridge mode is more used in simple setups with fewer devices, whereas router modes are more provisional for complex layouts. 

Deployment Type:

Bridge mode supports only in-line deployment, whereas router mode supports both in-line and out-of-path. Out-of-path- deployment uses PBR, WCCP, or VRRP

Having seen the differences in the essential properties of the two, let us now see the fundamental differences you will encounter while using the two modes. 

The modern firewall cannot take its own routing decisions in bridge mode. It can not use specific port numbers to block traffic; it cannot modify data or zip codes. Bridge mode also stops the router from initiating or tearing down sessions. It cannot modify HTTP layers etc. In bridge mode, the existing IP Address is used, and hence fewer network changes are required. 

Whereas if your router is in router mode, it can take its routing easily. This effectively means that it can perform all the above tasks that it cannot function with bridge mode. Router mode allows you to modify the data path from the device. 

Final Thoughts:

Bridge mode and router mode are two completely different ways of using your router. This article helps you understand what the two modes are in detail. We look into the technical differences in terms of properties and paths they use, and then we also see how these differences affect the features of both modes. You can look into your router manufacturer’s website for more information on these two modes and how you can switch between the two.

David Peter
Hi, this is David Peter from California, USA. By profession, I am working as an Telecommunication engineer with a reputable Telecommunications Company here in California. I am a tech savvy person, and that is why I love my job. This blog is my part time hobby, and I love to write reviews about different products based on my own knowledge and experience. When you go through my reviews, you will feel that they are unbiased reviews as they come direct from my heart for tech lovers. The purpose is to help and guide people who are looking to buy or upgrade their electronic gadgets like modems and routers etc. Enjoy and give your feedback in comments!
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