How to build a Wireless LAN Bridge

What is a Wireless LAN Bridge

A wireless bridge connects wireless devices to devices connected to Ethernet LAN. Wireless LAN bridge is created by connecting two or more wireless routers, through 802.11N/G/B wireless link. Once connected, the routers act as wireless bridge adapter for the local devices connected to their LAN ports. In a local wireless bridge network all the connected devices are configured in same subnet. They share the common Internet connecting and are served by a common HDCP server.

wireless ethernet bridge of two wifi routers

wireless ethernet bridge of two wifi routers

The setup shown above has two separate wireless bridges connected through wifi. Gateway router is connected to the internet through DSL/Cable Modem.  Other wireless router is located at the Media Center. This router is connected to the gateway router through wireless link.  A Network Printer , DLNA Media Server NAS driver is connected to the LAN ports of the gateway router.  A PS3, Home Theater PC, Satellite TV DVR box are connected to the LAN ports of the second wireless router. Machines at the Media center are connected to other wired,wireless devices in home through wireless bridge connection betwen two wireless routers.

Why Do I need Wireless LAN Bridge

Wireless LAN Bridge can be useful in many scenarios. If you want to setup a home network where there several devices which need to be connected to the Internet . If the device have only Ethernet ports then it needs  to be kept near the main wireless router. Alternatively you can use one wireless bridge adapter per device to connect the main wireless router. Instead of using several wireless bridge adapters  you can get another wireless router and connect it  to the main wireless router. The additional wireless router will provide several ports.

Router to Router wireless bridge also enables you to share videos,music and pictures between computers acting as DLNA servers and DLNA clients like XBOX, PS3, DLNA enabled Tvs and DLNA enabled Cable,Satellite Settop Boxes.

In the home netwrok example shown in the above picture, all the Media are stored in external Media Server NAS driver. Audio,Video and pictures from the NAS driver can streamed through wireless bridge connection to PS3.

How to setup router as a wireless bridge

In order to setup a wireless lan bridge as shown above please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. All wireless routers are not created equal. Most of the wireless routers do not support wireless network bridging. Most of the routers from major manufactures do not support wireless bridging. You will have to pickup routers which support DD-WRT . See Selecting Wireless Bridging Routers. Or you can also pick routesrs with built in access point modes. These routers do not require special Firmware to create Wireless Bridge. See  Wireless Routers with Wireless AP/Bridge/WDS Functionality
  2. In order to connect the routers you need set main router which is connected to Internet as DHCP server. Setup the second router in Wireless Client Bridge. Program the SSID and Security key same as the first router. Once this is done correctly second router will find the first router. For detailed demonstration see the article Connect two wireless routers using wireless network bridge.
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2 Responses to “How to build a Wireless LAN Bridge”

  1. My situation is that in my hotel I have three different wifi networks that I want to combine as one. I want to do this so it is less confusing to visitors. Currently they have to choose between 3 different access point names depending on where they are in the building which is not ideal. Is the guide above for me or is it something else I need to look for? Many thanks.

  2. The above scenario only uses a single WiFi network, not three. Although, from what I’ve been reading and learning in the past few weeks, you might want to cut down to just one network, and then you can use the above example to connect different parts of your hotel to the one network. Hope this helps.

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