Lonworks Routers, Bridges, Repeaters comparison
The physical repeater
A physical repeater is an infrastructure device which has at least 2 sides. It transmits every signal received on one side to the other sides, regardless of the shape, timing and data validity. This is the cheapest device, however it does not provide logical isolation between interconnected segments, and noise on one side will be propagated on other sides, possibly making the whole network useless.
Physical repeaters do not require any configuration, they are plug and play devices
The bridge is like a physical repeater in the sense that it interconnects several segments and transmits all packets from one side to the other sides, however only the valid LonWorks packets will be transmitted. All bad packets or noise will be discarded.
The bridge provides thus an isolation barrier between the different segments.
Bridges do not require any configuration, they are plug and play devices
Routers interconnect two segments. Like the bridge, they recognize good and bad packets. The difference is that they have a configured or learning table describing some rules to decide whether or not the packet has to be transmitted on the other side.
LonWorks routers make decisions based on the subnet information: this means that logical subnets can never be split over the two sides of a router; therefore the installator has to know exactly where the routers are located and create the configuration according to this information.
In some cases, the routers are configured in “bridge” mode, in which case they behave like the bridge described earlier