In computer system networking, a bridge signs up with two networks so they can communicate with each other and serve as a single network. As Wi-Fi and other wireless networks expanded in appeal, the need to link these networks with one another and with older wired networks increased. Bridges make inter-network connections possible. Wireless bridging innovation consists of both hardware and network protocol support.
Types of Wireless Bridges
Hardware that supports wireless network bridging includes:
- Wi-Fi to Ethernet bridge: This hardware permits Wi-Fi customers to connect to an Ethernet network. This hardware is integrated with Wi-Fi wireless access points (APs) and works for older computers or devices that do not have Wi-Fi capability.
- Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi bridge: This joins two Wi-Fi networks, often to increase the coverage area of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Some wireless AP hardware supports bridging in both Ethernet and Wi-Fi modes.
- Bluetooth to Wi-Fi bridge: This connects devices that interact with customer Bluetooth gadgets and user interface with a Wi-Fi home network.
Note:Some wireless bridges support only a single point-to-point connection to one other network, while others support point-to-multipoint connections to a number of networks.
Wi-Fi Bridge Mode
In Wi-Fi networking, bridge mode permits two or more wireless gain access to indicate interact and join their respective regional networks. These APs, by default, link to an Ethernet LAN. Point-to-multipoint AP designs support wireless customers while operating in bridge mode, however others can function just point to point and prohibit any clients from connecting while in bridge-only mode; a network administrator manages this alternative. Some APs support bridging with other APs only from the exact same manufacturer or product household.
Changing a setup alternative can enable or disable AP bridging capability if it’s readily available. Typically, APs in bridging mode find one another through Media Access Control (MAC) addresses that must be set as setup specifications.
Important: While running in Wi-Fi bridging mode, wireless APs can produce considerable network traffic; the amount depends upon how much cross-network communication is occurring. Wireless customers linked to these APs generally share the very same bandwidth as the bridge devices. As an outcome, customer network efficiency tends to be lower when the AP is in bridging mode than when it’s not.
Wi-Fi Repeater Mode and Wi-Fi Range Extenders
Repeater mode is a variation on bridging in Wi-Fi networking. Rather than connecting separate networks in such a way that allows devices in each one to interact with each other, repeater mode extends the wireless signal of one network to longer distances for greater reach.
Customer items known as wireless range extenders work as Wi-Fi repeaters, broadening the series of a home network to cover dead spots or areas with weak signal.
Most new broadband routers are developed to work in repeater mode as a choice that the administrator controls. Having the flexibility to pick between complete assistance of a 2nd router and Wi-Fi repeater assistance is attracting numerous homes as their home networks continue to grow.