Adding New, Managed Network Equipment To Your Existing LAN Infrastructure

Example: A Wireless Ethernet Bridge

When adding a Wireless Ethernet Bridge, Print Server, File Server, WiFi Access Point, or an additional NAT Router to your existing LAN infrastructure, you can always follow the same, basic pattern. Each such device always contains its own tiny web server with menu-oriented web pages designed to let you configure and manage it. Each is always shipped with a preconfigured "Default Management IP Address", and you must use a web browser on a directly-connected PC to communicate with that IP address to begin device configuration. Don't connect the new device into your existing LAN yet; just hook a single PC directly to it, using a short Ethernet cable.

If the new device's Default Management IP address is not on the same subnet that your PC is already using, you will need to reconfigure your PC temporarily, to change it to the appropriate subnet. Sometimes this will happen automatically, as a consequence of the DHCP protocol, but you can't always rely on that. You can ALWAYS configure your PC with a static IP address from the new device's subnet. Once your PC has a unique IP address from the same subnet as the new device's default management IP address, you will be able to begin to communicate with it by directing your browser to that default management IP address. You'll also need to know the default management username and password that the manufacturers always hard-code into these devices.

Once you've begun configuration under those circumstances, you can begin to make changes. You'll generally want to reconfigure the IP addresses used by the new device so that they come from the same subnet that's in use in your pre-existing LAN. Of course, as soon as you make that change, your browser's connection will immediately be broken. At that point, you can connect the new device into your existing LAN infrastructure (and return the PC that you had temporarily configured for default management to its usual IP subnet and address).

The video clips below illustrate this activity. For purposes of illustration, they describe connection of a Wireless Ethernet Bridge. Although every device has its own unique configuration and integration details, most of the steps are very similar no matter what kind of equipment you are adding. The first clip is very general in nature, and you should find it useful any time you want to expand your LAN infrastructure with new, managed equipment. Subsequent clips are more specific to Wireless Ethernet Bridges.