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Wireless Basics

Case 5

Case 5) Bridging the Gap

A true Access Point won't communicate with another Access Point. So if you want to use wireless technology to connect two parts of your network together, say the LAN in your garage or basement office with the bedrooms on the second floor, you'll need to use a pair of Wireless Bridges, or Access Points with bridging features added.

As Figure 5 shows, the setup is conceptually simple. Just buy a couple of wireless bridges, plug 'em in and turn 'em on, right?

Figure 5- Two Ethernet LANs with Wireless bridge

Figure 5 - Two Ethernet LANs with Wireless bridge

Well it can be that simple, but there are plenty of potential "gotchas". So let's take a closer look at what's going on:

  • First, note that there are no wireless clients in this setup. That's because pure Wireless Bridges only talk to other bridges.

  • There's a separate router for handling Internet sharing. Wireless Bridges don't do anything for sharing your connection.

  • Each bridge uses an IP address. That's so that you can set them up from any LAN client.

  • Everything is in the same subnet (i.e. 192.168.1.X). This means that File and Printer sharing will work just fine for all clients, no matter which side of the wireless bridge they're on.

  • Although any 802.11b bridge should be able to communicate with any other 802.11b bridge, for the best chance of success, use the same make and model bridge for both units

But with all that wireless capability sitting there, can't you get a wireless client to work somehow? Sure! Just go on to the next page...

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