Networking Guide : Network Components


Repeater receives signal from a transmitter, amplifies it, and retransmits it to a receiver. A repeater is put in a network to extend the network to a longer distance or a greater area. There can be more than one repeater between a transmitter and a receiver, however the number of repeaters is not unlimited, because additional repeaters may introduce more interference or noise.

Picture: Repeater
A repeater extends the reach of transceivers 1 and 2.
Note: Transceiver is transmitter and receiver.

Repeater is also known as regenerator. Some vendors name it range expander or line (cable) extender.


When you have two or more networks with different layer 2 protocols, such as Ethernet, HomePNA, HomePlug, and wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) you can connect the networks using a bridge. Bridge is also used to split a network into separate segments. This is intended to filter traffic and create an efficient network.

Picture: Bridge
A network bridge enables communication between two computers at different networks.

A bridge function can be handled by a software application. In Windows XP, when you install two or more network adapters, a Network Bridge is automatically created for you. A Network Bridge icon will appear in the Network Connections folder. However in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a Network Bridge will be created only after user confirmation. This behavior is in line with SP2 main goal, that's to improve computer and network security.

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