Ethernet Bridges: Wireless Ethernet Bridges, operating in
pairs or in conjunction with a Wireless Access Point, can interconnect
two separate Ethernet LAN segments.
For example, suppose a DSL Internet
connection enters a home office equipped with an appropriate router and
Ethernet Switch, where a printer and three separate computers reside:
Suppose that a distant bedroom at the opposite end of the same house
has 2 more computers and another printer, all plugged into a separate
We would say that this home has 2 separate Ethernet
LAN segments. The 2 computers in the bedroom could both use the bedroom
computer, but they couldn't use the office printer, or share its
It is possible to string a long Ethernet cable
between the office Ethernet Switch and the bedroom Ethernet Switch, but
usually it is more convenient to do this without wires.
By installing a
Wireless Access Point in the office and a Wireless Ethernet
Bridge in the bedroom, both LAN segments are joined.
Once the bedroom's
Wireless Ethernet bridge and the office's Access Point are configured
to communicate with one another, all 5 of the computers and both
printers can be given IP addresses from the same subnet and shared,
along with the Internet connection. Because modern console gaming
hardware like "X-Box" and "Playstation" generally contain wired
Ethernet connectors without any provision for WiFi, it is commonplace
to use them with a Wireless Ethernet Bridge. This functionality is
sometimes marketed as a "Wireless Game Adapter". Some Wireless Game
Adapters are specifically "crippled" with technology that prevents
their general-purpose use by PCs and other Ethernet devices, but most
are fully compatible and can bridge Ethernet LAN segments for use by
any kind of Ethernet equipment, in spite of their game-oriented names.
Wireless Print Servers: A Wireless Print Server allows you to
access your printer without wires. The most basic Wireless Print Server
would have a single USB or Parallel Printer port for connection with a
single, nearby printer, and a radio transceiver with antenna for
connection to a WiFi LAN through a nearby Wireless Access Point. It
converts the appropriate radio signals into printer commands and data
so that the printer can be located at any convenient place within WiFi
radio range of the Wireless Access Point. Today's basic Printer Servers
understand the IP protocol and are able to receive and interpret IP
messages containing printer data so that IP-equipped computers
throughout the home or small office can share the printer, even if the
printer was not originally designed with WiFi in mind. If the home or
small office router is appropriately enhanced with "Port Forwarding",
it is even possible for the printer to receive and handle printing
instructions from all over the Internet. You can learn a lot more about
"Port Forwarding" from the video segment entitled "NAT Routers Part 3:
Port Forwarding", which is available in the "Networking Fundamentals"
section at AskMisterWizard.com.