Ways to bridge network connections in Windows® 7
Network bridging delivers an easy way to connect two or more networks to become a single big network without using a router in order to share files, printer or Internet connections. You have to note that all computers in different networks that need to be bridged must sit in the same logical IP network. Windows 7 provides the capability of connecting or bridging two different network types through software. This can eliminate the need to buy a hardware device to connect two separate networks. For example, let’s say you have two networks: in one, the systems are connected with cables; and in the other, the computers are connected using wireless technology. The wired systems can only communicate with other wired computers, and the wireless computers can only communicate with other wireless computers. With a network bridge, all the computers can communicate with each other.
Following points are the steps to bridge network connections:
- Physical settings
- Modem as a bridge
The initial settings are related to the physical settings in the system. You need to power up the bridge then plug one end of the AC power adapter with which the device was shipped, into the power jack on the bridge and the other into an electrical wall outlet. If the device can function as both a bridge and an access point, set the device to 'bridge' mode, by proper manufacturer instructions. Then press the device's power button if necessary; instructions for finding it will be provided in the device's user guide. After this is done, enable the connection to Ethernet. For this you have to plug one end of an Ethernet cable into an Ethernet port on the bridge. Ethernet ports are usually placed at the back of the bridge and then plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into the system that had previously been connected directly to your Internet access device.
The configuration of the network connection is to be done after the physical settings. For this open a web browser and navigate to the address for the bridge's configuration management interface. The address will vary depending on the manufacturer. For example, to configure the D-Link DAP-1522, you have to type as http://DLINKAP in the browser's address bar.
You can create a wireless bridge by using the modem in the system also. For this you need to open the Control Panel in the system. You can see the network and sharing center and select 'manage network connections'. By pressing this, the wireless network connection can be bridged. By right clicking on any of the network connections and then select 'Bridge Network Connections'. This allows you to bridge the network connection.
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