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1st Published, Dec. 2004

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Wirelessly Bridging Home / SOHO Network.

Connecting two parts (segments) of one Network, or two Networks became a common need in Home/SOHO Networking.  In order to avoid long wires of CAT5e many people opt to Bridge Wirelessly.

Connecting  two Networks Wirelessly is called Wireless Bridging. The term Bridging is a rather precise term in professional Wireless Networking. Unfortunately in order to “lure the mass” the Marketers of Entry Level Wireless Hardware do not adhere to terminology.  As a result it is important to understand the simple principles of Bridging rather then to adhere to words that might be misleading.

I would suggest that if you are not savvy in issued of Wireless Hardware Configuration Modes read first this simple page.  Wireless Configuration Modes.

There are few ways to do Bridging, since we are dealing here with Home/SOHO networks, we will describe what is relatively easy to do with minimal cost.

The following principles are the same for Bridging two places inside your house/office or between two building. However placement of Hardware and or Antennae might be different according to the envioroment.

We would call the part of the Network where the Internet connection is coming in Source and the part that need to be Bridged Destination.

Situation One: Source and Destination need to have Local Wireless too.

First configure the two part of the Network independently and make sure that the both local Wired and the Wireless connections working correctly in each part.

Use the same subnet and IP band on each part. I.e. Source might be 192.168.1.x where x is 1-50, and Destination might be 192.168.1. y where y is 51-100.

Once each part is working correctly. Get a Driverless Client Card (Consumer Bridge like Linksys WET11, WET54. D-Link DWL-G810). They come in 802.11b and 802/11b/g "flavors".

A more flexible solution can be achieved by using one of these Wireless Routers that can be modified to do more flexible Bridging.


Configure the Wireless Router in the Destination part as an Access Point with a Switch, plug it to one of the ports of the Router in the destination and plug the Consumer Bridge into a regular Port on the Wireless Cable DSL/Router.

Link to:  How to Configure a Wireless Router as a Switch with an Access Point.

Configure the Wireless Source and the Wireless Destination to different Wireless Channels so that they do not interfere one with the other.

Situation Two:  Local Wireless in the Source.  Only Wired computers in the Destination.

Use at the Destination Network a Simple switch and plug a Consumer Bridge Wireless card into the Switch (Example: Linksys WET11, WET54. D-Link DWL-G810). You can Configure IPs manually or let the DHCP server in the Source to take care of IPs assignments.

Situation Three: No Local Wireless in either Source or Destination. Wireless only between the two parts.

This situation is what classically called Wireless Bridging among Professionals.

You have to get two Access Points that are capable to work in Bridge Mode (Almost all Stand Alone Access Point can do it). Plug One Access Point to an available Regular port on a Switch (or the switch part of a Router) in the Source part,  plug the second Access Point into a simple Switch at the Destination, and Configure the Access Points as Bridges (read the instruction manual). IPs setting as in Situation Two.

Although Situation Three has the least capacities, it is more expensive than the other configurations.  Access Points are relatively expensive (Due to marketing “Ploys”).  So be flexible in your solutions. It might be less expensive if you set for local Wireless and not use it.

Note** All of the above assumes that the combination of your envioroment and the Hardware in use can cover the bridging distance.

For Extending the Converge Distance of Local Wireless see here: Extending Distance of Wireless.

Outdoor Bridging can be done using similar Methods. The main difference would be the way we are closing the distance between the two parts of the Network.

While Directional Antennae are not very beneficial Indoor they can be very helpful in outdoor Bridging.

Putting two directional Antenna facing one the other (using facing Windows, or rooftop) in an envioroment with direct line of sight (no obstructions) might result in Wireless range of 200'-300'.

Example for such Antennae: Cantenna

Be careful, Wireless equipment that is used Outdoor must be adequately protected from the Weather elements, otherwise one lighting storm and “your are back to the Future”.

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