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Solved: Bridging wired and wireless in XP

Discussion in 'Networking' started by TechHobbiest, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    So in a nut shell
    • I have a desktop connected to a wireless network.
    • I have a router that will be used to allow open access to the internet without allowing direct access to the existing network,
    • There is no ethernet connection in the area and this router was ree with limited features. So no Wifi as WAN
    • I want to use the desktop's ethernet NIC to obtain a WAN connection.
    • For now I can not setup a VLAN and must configure the two networks as poorly described.

    Sadly I am not familiar with bridging connections in XP and am unsure about specifics. Also, as a quick test, I bridged the connections and lost wireless connectivity. Did not have enough time to really look into it but will be back on Wednesday the 16th to finish the job.

    From what I can tell, if I successfully bridge the connections I should be able to point the router to the existing gateway as it's WAN connection through the desktop.

    What recommendations do you guys have?
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You won't accomplish this by connecting the router to the existing network.

    Make sure the ethernet connection is using dynamic addressing and then bridge the wireless and ethernet. Some older routers have a bug that causes them to assign the same (as the wireless/bridge) IP to whatever device is connected at the other end of the ethernet cable; otherwise there should not be a problem with the bridging.
     
  3. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    The new network will only be active for five to ten hours a week. During that time the only devices connecting are tablets/smartphones. On top of that we are located far from any other buildings or roads. To go further the power output will be drastically reduced and confined to a single room. The people connecting have no idea how to work between networks even with a router. Having this second network will be enough to keep people from stumbling onto the printers from the other lol.

    So now my question is if a dynamic IP could not be obtained what would be the best configuration for a static address between the wireless, wired, and router? Just in case I run into it.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    A static IP address needs to be in the router's (the primary router, not the one you are adding) LAN subnet but not equal to the router's LAN address and outside the Dhcp server's address range. For example, my router's LAN address is 192.168.2.1, the Dhcp server's address range is 192.168.2.2 thru 192.168.2.100, so I could (and do) choose from 192.168.2.101 thru 192.168.2.254 for a static IP.
     
  5. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the advise but I already know how to work with static IPs with a DHCP server in place. What I really need to know is besides entering the static address in the new router do I also need to enter it in the wired connection on the desktop?

    I suppose I a having a problem understanding the relationship between the wireless and wired NICs in the bridge. Because of the type of setup I'm working on I keep getting the mental picture of the wired connection becoming a "slave" of sorts to the wireless one making itself transparent. I'm guessing that in general the new router doesn't look at any IPs of the two interfaces on the desktop and talks "directly" to the existing router.

    I am VERY interested in learning about this. Thank you for your patience.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If you want to know technical details of how a bridge of multiple network connections works in a computer you'll have to look elsewhere. I have developed my own image of how it works based on observations, and use a plumbing analogy. Just remember that such analogies can only be taken so far, as water should be flowing in only one direction while the bits in a network "flow" in both directions.

    Consider the T joint above a water heater. Cold water comes (let's say from the left) from the main supply and at the T continues to the right to other parts of the house and down to the water heater. Without the T the water would simply come from the main supply and just go to the water heater. That is your wireless connection to the computer. Bridging the ethernet with the wireless is the same as adding the T joint, with the wireless being the main supply from the left, the computer being the water heater and the ethernet being the pipe going to the right to the rest of the house.

    More to the point w.r.t. IP addresses as soon as you create the bridge the bridged connections lose their individual identities and the newly formed bridge will (in your case) have the IP address that was previously assigned to the wireless connection. If you have a static IP configuration for the wireless the bridge will probably work (haven't tried it), but if you have a static for the ethernet the bridge will fail.

    Does this help or just hopelessly confuse? :)
     
  7. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    Actually this helps a ton. Though I'm a visual person, the analogy didn't help at all. But the second part was perfect and explains why I was having problems the first time around.

    So the last bit I need to know is do I need to provide the new router with any IP information from the wireless interface or does the traffic just get blindly forwarded without directly interfacing with anything on the desktop?
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    This is the case.
     
  9. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    Woot! I'M NOT HOPELESS!!!

    Thanks TerryNet, you rock!!!

    Will leave this thread open until after I get everything setup. If all goes well then I will close it.
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You're welcome. :)
     
  11. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    No dice.

    Both ethernet and wired connections are set for automatic IP, but when they are bridged they can not obtain one. When I give a static IP to the bridge I get IP conflict errors which, of course, prevents me from talking to anything. I tried using the XP network setup wizard. Told it other computers connect to the internet through the desktop, marked the wireless as the gateway and the ethernet as the connection to the "other" systems. It came back saying it had errors and didn't give me specifics. I couldn't find anything useful in the Windows logs either.

    So any ideas as to why my bridged connection can't obtain an IP address?
     
  12. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    From post # 2:
    If this is the problem a router firmware update may fix. Else have to use a static IP for the router's WAN.

    Don't know why the ICS didn't work, unless the connections were still bridged or the router uses the 192.168.0.x LAN subnet.
     
  13. TechHobbiest

    TechHobbiest Thread Starter

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    Actually I tried bridging with and without the router connected. Both times I couldn't obtain an address and received the conflict.

    Though I will try configuring the router's IP before connecting and creating the bridge, but because I received the errors even without the router connected I fear it won't work. I'm not for giving up, when people found out I was trying to get this setup they got excited.... The pressure is on lol
     
  14. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Getting that error when bridging with nothing connected to the ethernet is something I haven't seen before.

    I just tried it (but with Windows 7) and it worked fine. Was surprised to see that the bridge got an IP different from the previous wireless one, but that's not an issue.

    The following three ipconfig commands are before the bridge, while bridged, and after deleting the bridge ...

     
  15. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    On second thought, that could be an issue in some cases--for example if the router had MAC Address filtering enabled then the bridge would probably not be accepted.
     
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