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conference bridge

A facility within a service provider or carrier that connects multiple callers together and monitors the conference call session. It is used to electronically balance the lines so that each caller can hear and speak to all the others no matter how many people hop on or off the call. Note: this is not the same as a "network bridge." See bridge.


(1) To cross from one circuit, channel or element over to another.

(2) See Wi-Fi bridge, wireless bridge and conference bridge.

(3) A device that connects two LAN segments together. Bridges are inserted into the network to keep traffic contained within the segments to improve performance. By monitoring which station acknowledged receipt of the address, bridges learn which nodes belong to the segment and maintain their own address tables. Multiport bridges have more than two ports and perform a switching function like a LAN switch.

Bridges Vs. Routers
Bridges work at the non-routable data link layer 2 and are not concerned with the network protocol (typically IP). Routers work at the routable layer 3 and inspect the network protocol. Since bridges do not have to glean routing information, they are faster than routers.

A type of bridge that connects disparate networks, such as Ethernet and Token Ring, is called a bridge router. See LAN, transparent bridge, repeater, router, gateway and hub.

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