Windows 7 provides the capability to connect or bridge two different network types through software. This can eliminate the need to buy a hardware device to connect two disparate networks. Figure 17.1Q shows an example of what bridging can do. In the figure, one Windows 7 computer serves as a bridge between an Ethernet LAN and a phoneline LAN.
Phone Line Network
Phone Line Network
Bridging a phoneline and Ethernet network with Windows 7. Computers on either network can communicate as if they were directly connected.
Bridging is similar to routing, but it's more appropriate for small LANs because it's easier to configure and doesn't require different sets of IP addresses on each network segment. Technically, bridging occurs at the physical level of the network protocol stack. Windows forwards network traffic, including broadcasts and packets of all protocol types received on either adapter to the other. In effect, it creates one larger network.
To enable bridging in your Windows 7 computer, install and configure two or more network adapters, as described under "Installing Multiple Network Adapters," earlier in this chapter. However, don't worry about setting up the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) parameters for either of the adapters yet. Then do the following:
1. View the connection icons by clicking Start, Control Panel, View Network Status and Tasks (under Network and Internet), Change Adapter Settings.
2. Select the icons you want to bridge by clicking on the first, holding down the Ctrl key, and clicking on the second.
3. Right-click one of the icons and select Bridge Connections.
4. A new icon named Network Bridge appears. Select this new icon and, if you want, rename it appropriately—for example, "Ethernet to Phoneline."
5. Double-click the new Network Bridge icon. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and configure your computer's TCP/IP settings. You must do this because any TCP/IP settings for the original two adapters are lost.
Bridging Two Network Types
Was this article helpful?