Wireless Ethernet Bridges

Sometimes you need to concentrate a lot of network equipment in each of 2 or more separate areas of your house or small office. If all of those locations are within WiFi range of your Wireless Router or Access Point, you could just use individual WiFi connections for every device, but that tends to subdivide your limited WiFi bandwidth between every task, demanding relatively long-range, relatively slow connections even between adjacent equipment. If some of your tasks are bandwidth intensive, everybody will suffer.

It usually makes sense to use hardwired Ethernet cables, all connected to an Ethernet Switch in the same room, between adjacent devices. This allows them to exchange files, media, and information reliably, at maximum speed, without impacting other network users. But you'll still want to merge that roomful of computing equipment into your larger WiFi Infrastructure to share your Internet connection and to interact with other computers or rooms full of modern networked equipment elsewhere.

That's where "Wireless Ethernet Bridges" come in. Once it's been set up, a Wireless Ethernet Bridge works just like a long Ethernet cable: it extends an Ethernet segment physically, as if one end were plugged into your WiFi Access Point, and the other end into an Ethernet Switch somewhere else in your house or small office.

Most homes or small offices can benefit from one or more Wireless Ethernet Bridges. For example, suppose a home has an office upstairs that's equipped with 2 computers and a printer, all hard-wired with Ethernet Cables plugged in to the Ethernet Switch portion of a Wireless Domestic Gateway device for shared Internet access. Then suppose that a downstairs media room contains a big-screen TV connected to an adjacent PC and a nearby File Server containing the family's collection of digital media. By plugging the downstairs PC/TV and File Server into another Ethernet Switch in the media room, it will be possible to enjoy high-performance, "High Definition" movies there. By adding a Wireless Ethernet Bridge in the media room, it will also be possible for that PC/TV to get wireless Internet access to download more movies onto the File Server. Other WiFi-equipped computers anywhere in the house could also enjoy good Internet access. They could also access the movies from the media room's File Server, but their bandwidth would be limited to WiFi speeds. This kind of architecture allows you to concentrate the highest bandwidth and performance where its needed most.

The video clips on this page and on subsequent pages introduce these concepts and show you exactly how to get it working.