(also Wi-Fi bridge, network bridge)
Wireless bridge definition
A wireless bridging apparatus serves as a medium or method for linking two or more distinct local area networks (LANs) utilizing a wireless connection. This component establishes a connection between networks, enabling devices within each network to interact with those in another network without necessitating a direct physical connection. Frequently, wireless bridging systems are employed to expand the scope of a current network or to connect devices that do not possess a wired network interface.
Wireless bridge examples
- Point-to-point bridge: A wireless bridge that connects two networks or devices directly, without any intermediary devices or networks. This setup is common in long-distance, outdoor networking scenarios.
- Point-to-multipoint bridge: A wireless bridge that connects a central network or device to multiple remote networks or devices. This setup is often used to provide internet connectivity to multiple buildings on a campus or to share a single internet connection among multiple users.
Comparing wireless bridges to other technologies
Wireless bridges differ from wireless access points and range extenders. Wireless access points provide Wi-Fi connectivity to devices within a network, while range extenders amplify an existing Wi-Fi signal to extend its coverage. In contrast, wireless bridges connect separate networks, enabling communication between devices on different networks.
Pros and cons of wireless bridges
- Eliminates the need for physical cabling, reducing installation costs and improving flexibility.
- Enables communication between devices on separate networks without requiring a physical connection.
- Wireless connections are generally slower and less reliable than wired connections.
- Interference from other wireless devices or environmental factors can reduce signal quality and range.
Tips for using wireless bridges
- Ensure that both networks have compatible wireless standards (e.g., 802.11a/b/g/n/ac).
- Place the bridge devices in locations with minimal obstructions and interference.
- Use encryption and security measures to protect the wireless connection from unauthorized access.