How to Extend Your Network with a Wireless Bridge

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Let’s face it: Cables are a pain. But sometimes stringing lengths of cable is the only way to network wired devices — Internet TVs, Blu-ray drives, media players, game consoles — in far-flung parts of the house.

Or is it? A wireless bridge receives a signal from your wireless router and sends it out to wired devices, thereby extending your wireless network. The D-Link Wireless N Dual Band MediaBridge, or DAP-1513 and Xtreme N Duo Wireless Bridge/Access Point, or DAP-1522 are designed for precisely this purpose. These devices make it easy to expand network coverage to the far corners of your space without sacrificing wireless convenience. Here’s how to do it.

1. Position the bridge.

Place the wireless bridge within range of your wireless router’s signal, and also within a cable’s length of your wired devices.

2. Connect the bridge to your network.

If both the bridge and router support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS — look for the icon featuring two opposite-facing arrows — setup is easy. Simply press the WPS buttons on your bridge and router to link them wirelessly. The DAP-1513 and DAP-1522 support WPS, as do most D-Link routers.

Look for the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) logo on your router to make sure it supports this preferred security standard.

Otherwise, you’ll need to connect the bridge to your PC via Ethernet to configure your bridge. On your PC, open a web browser and enter http://dlinkap or to load the bridge’s web configuration screen.

Next, on the bridge’s web configuration screen, use the setup tool to connect the bridge to your wireless network. The tool lists the active SSIDs it can find. Pick your network’s identifier, enter the password, and select Finish to reboot the bridge. Now you can disconnect the Ethernet cable between the bridge and your PC.

3. Plug in network devices.

Now that your bridge is connected to your network, connect your wired devices directly to the bridge via Ethernet. The bridge will automatically connect any attached devices to your primary network over Wi-Fi. The DAP-1513 supports up to four devices over a Fast Ethernet connection, while the DAP-1522 gives you four Gigabit Ethernet ports for high-speed access.

Finally, a word about connection speeds: The Wireless-N capability found in the DAP-1513 and DAP-1522 gives you a stronger wireless connection over a greater range than a comparable Wireless-G signal. However, while Wireless-N is faster than Fast Ethernet, it’s slower than Gigabit Ethernet. The Gigabit-capable DAP-1522 will give Gigabit devices fastest access to the Wireless-N network.

This story, "How to Extend Your Network with a Wireless Bridge" was originally published by BrandPost.

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