Sunday, August 31, 2008

Network Bridge Wired and Wireless Connections not working

If you have issues in getting to work after trying to the bottom

The Basics ....

The first question to be answered is why would someone want to bridge a wired with a wireless connection. Well the situation in my case was that I have a small network with a router connecting 4 machines. I also have a netgear wireless router serving a couple of laptops elsewhere close by. Now the idea in my mind is that why can't I have internet access for the this small network for basic stuff such as Email, Antivirus etc

So I get myself a USB wireless card which plugs into the USB port of one of the laptops. Now this allows this computer to be part of the LAN as well as part of the wireless network with the laptops but this does not allow the remaining computers to have access to the internet or to the other computers part of the wireless network.

Fortunately Windows XP has an solution for the problems and its called a network bridge. It allows you to create a network bridge on the computer that has access to both networks and allows for cross traffic across both. The concept is well documented in many sites and if you want to set it up would recommend a google search for a more detailed explanation with screen shots. I will briefly explain here.

Assume that the router acts a DHCP Server and is setup to allocate IPs in the range of 196.168.0.x so the systems on that network would have IPs such as / etc The desktop connected through the USB wireless will also have an TCP/IP automatically setup with an IP as

Do a ipconfig in DOS or properties of the connection and note down the DNS settings of this connection.

Now the other network (wired) since its a router you have to physically set up the TCP/IPs. On each of the systems setup the IP as / etc with the subnet as and the gateway as Now the system which has the USB connection as well as the lan connection will be having two networks connected with two IPs say and

In the network connections page select the two networks right click and select network bridge. You will be required to enter the details of the bridged network. Use the same setting of the LAN TCP/IP settings for IP , subnet and gateway.

Additionally now the DNS settings need to be setup since the connection has been manually setup. Use the DNS settings you have captured earlier and plug it in here as well as all the other computers that are part of the wired LAN.

Ideally doing all the above should work but unfortunately it didn't after lots of search I came across this setting to force a certain mode on the computer

In DOS type in the following commands

netsh bridge show adapter

ID AdapterFriendlyName ForceCompatibilityMode
1 Wireless Local Connection disabled
2 Local Area Connection disabled

if you get the above output then type the two statements below ...

netsh bridge set adapter 1 forcecompatmode=enable
netsh bridge set adapter 2 forcecompatmode=enable

The "
netsh bridge show adapter" command nows shows the following

ID AdapterFriendlyName ForceCompatibilityMode
1 Wireless Local Connection enabled
2 Local Area Connection enabled

This finally got my bridged network working :)

If you found this useful, do drop me a line.

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