Wireless Ethernet Bridge – Connect Legacy Devices and Boost Smart Appliances

Ethernet Bridge – Extend Your Wired Network, Wirelessly!

Many households have at least one electronic appliance (TV, DVD, Game Console, etc.) that either has no built-in wireless connectivity or suffers from poor wireless performance. Network cables are reliable, but cables are expensive to install and may not be aesthetically pleasing. Fortunately there is a simple, inexpensive way to extend your wired network by using an ethernet bridge.

What Is An Ethernet Bridge?

An ethernet bridge adds a wired connection to the network without having to run cables back to the router. This is a great solution for connecting electronic appliances that have no built-in wireless and cannot use a standard USB wireless adapter. Bridges can also be used to improve  performance and reliability for wireless-enabled devices or provide connectivity for appliances with unreliable or defective integrated wireless radios.

How Much Does A Bridge Cost?

MikroTik, a Latvian manufacturer of networking equipment, sells a small access point for under $40 USD. The mAP Lite access point/router is the size of a matchbook, comes with its own power supply, and can be configured to function as a high quality ethernet bridge.

Can I Configure The MikroTik Myself?

While MikroTik equipment is designed to be professionally installed, here are sample instructions for configuring the mAP Lite as an ethernet bridge:

Power on MikroTik mAP Lite
Connect to MikroTik wireless network (Mikrotik-xxxx)
From browser, connect to access point using IP address of 192.168.88.1
Username: admin
Password: (blank)

From web interface, click WebFig at top right

/* Configure for wireless ethernet bridge */

On left click ‘IP’, then ‘Addresses’
Click ‘Add New’
Address: 192.168.77.1/24
Network: 192.168.77.0
Interface: Ether1
Click ‘OK’

On left, under IP, click ‘Pool’
Click ‘Add New’
Name: EthPool
Addresses: 192.168.77.100-192.168.77.254
Click ‘OK’

On left, under IP, click ‘DHCP Server’
Click ‘Add New’
Name: EthDHCPSvr
Interface: Ether1
Address Pool: EthPool
Click ‘OK’

From DHCP Server, click ‘Networks’ tab
Click ‘Add New’
Address: 192.168.77.0/24
Gateway: 192.168.77.1
Click ‘OK’

On left, under IP, click ‘Firewall’
Click on row beneath ‘Drop All From WAN’ and change ‘In Interface’ to ‘wlan1’. Click ‘OK’
Click on row beneath ‘Drop All From WAN Not DSTNATed’ and change ‘In Interface’ to ‘wlan1’. Click ‘OK’

From Firewall, click ‘NAT’ tab
Click on row beneath ‘Masquerade’ and change Out Interface to ‘wlan1’. Click ‘APPLY’

Connect to access point using ethernet cable
Using browser, navigate to 192.168.77.1
Log in using same credentials as before

On left, click on ‘IP’ ‘DHCP Client’
Change client to wlan1 and click ‘OK’

/* Let’s do some clean-up */

On left, click ‘IP’ ‘Addresses’
Delete 192.168.88.x (click -)

Click ‘IP’ ‘DHCP Server’
Delete defconf (default 192.168.88.x server)

From ‘DHCP Server’, click ‘Network’ tab
Delete 192.168.88.x network

Click ‘IP’ ‘DNS’ ‘Static’
Delete 192.168.88.1

Click ‘IP’ ‘Pool’
Delete 192.168.88.x pool

/* Connect to wireless network */

On top left, click ‘Wireless’
Click ‘Security Profiles’ tab
Click ‘Add New’
Name: ‘Home’
Authentication Types: Check ‘WPA PSK’ and ‘WPA2 PSK’ (typical)
Check all ‘Unicast Ciphers’ and ‘Group Ciphers’
Pre-Shared Key: Password for your wireless network
Click ‘OK’

On left, click ‘Interfaces’
Click ‘wlan’ to change
Mode: Station
SSID: SSID of your network (network name)
Security Profile: ‘Home’, or whatever you entered as your new security profile
Click APPLY!

Wait a minute and you should be connected to the internet. A reboot may be required.

Once connected to the internet don’t forget to check for mAP Lite updates and change the admin password

Skagit Signal can pre-configure an mAP Lite to work as an ethernet bridge on your network. Give us a call today!