To Bridge or Not to Bridge...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Absberg2k, May 13, 2008.

  1. Absberg2k macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    I think I need a little advice. I have been reading other posts and I am a bit confused. I am working on my home network with the following devices: iMac (wireless N); Macbook (wireless N); Mac Mini (wireless G); HP printer (wireless G); Windows laptop (wireless G).

    Right now I have just a Linksys WRT54G broadband router with everything connected to it.

    I am thinking of getting a Time Capsule to back up my Macs and assist in sharing files.

    Here is the basic question: Is it better to add a wireless N adapter to each device on my network that is a wireless G device and connect them all to a TC? Or is better to just bridge the TC to the existing wireless G network and only connect the wireless N devices to that bridged network?

    I understand the advantage to using a bridge is that wireless G devices on a wireless N network tend to slow down the network. I guess I am thinking it would be better to bring the wireless G devices up to wireless N with adapters. Maybe I am missing something and that either can't be done or would not be a good idea.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. minicoop503 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Ok, I understand your first idea, but not so much your second one. By bridging, do you mean buying a network bridge and putting that in your network? If so, I'm not that familiar with wireless bridges, so I can't help you much there.

    However, upgrading each component to wireless would work, but would probably get expensive. You could probably just get two seperate wireless routers, one G and one N and run those into another router or switch and only connect the G's to the G router and N's to the N router. I wouldn't see why that wouldn't work.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    It's cheaper (and probably a lot less headaches) to bridge.

    I run two wireless networks in my house (one b/g, one n-only) that are bridged and it works perfectly.

    The part about bridging that threw me for a loop was that you'll end up with two separate wireless networks in your house, but they'll function as one, meaning devices on either network can talk to each other, as if it were just one big happy wireless network.
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The question to ask yourself is would your G devices benefit from N speeds? If you're going to be transferring huge files from computer to computer, then yes that would probably be your best bet. However I do agree that it's probably going to get quite expensive and fast. I say bridge anyway and if you really need to get your speeds up on any G devices, THEN get the adapter.

    I have a TC running as my main router in 802.11n only 5 GHz with a Linksys WRT54GS b/g bridge and it's working great. If you need help with the setup you could always give me a message.
  5. Absberg2k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks, Skorpien. That probably makes sense and is a good place to start. If I'm not happy with the speed of the G devices, I can upgrade them later.

    One more question, does it make any difference which wireless router is the main router? The TC versus the WRT54G?
  6. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    I have the opposite setup as skorpien, Linksys WRT54G as the main router and TC setup in bridge mode serving only n traffic.

    I'd say go the bridge route.

    As for which one is the primary, Apple makes it super easy to put the TC in bridge mode. Not sure about the other way...although I'm sure skorpien can help you out with the Linksys setup.

    Some people would argue that using a TC as the main router would make Apple related things like Back to my Mac easier. Others would argue that the Linksys has better filtering features, and it can stealth the ports whereas the TC only shows them closed (really doesn't matter, but some people care).

    Either way, unless you are really transferring tons of files, I think having your 'g' and 'n' network separate would be fine.

  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    kbmb is dead on. I went with the TC as the main router because I really like the reserved IP feature. It allows me to always have a specific IP address for my devices without setting a static IP. This is really useful if you travel with your laptop as you don't need to reset your IP settings whenever you want to join a network abroad.

    I've also had separate networks before finding out I could bridge them and I had no problems with that. It just irked me that I couldn't access my TC's HD on my Linksys network :p And most certainly if you need further clarification to set up the Linksys in bridge mode, just give me a msg and I'll be glad to help out.
  8. katorga macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    I use my AEBS as the secondary router because it has a weak logging, a non-SPI firewall and does not support dynamic DNS. Bridging works great and greatly speeds up the AEBS. Devices on the G router can see the airdisk and printer plugged into the AEBS.

    I --> D-Link DGL4300 G (2.4Ghz G) <----> AEBS (5Ghz N)
  9. Absberg2k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks to all for your advice. I picked up the TC today and will try setting up the bridge tonight.
  10. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    slight tilt on the question from me.

    I have a modem router which does all the DCHP stuff. I had a belkin wireless router plugged in but acting just as an access point, and I've just replaced that with a time capsule doing the same thing (Access point only)

    But I do live in a crowded wifi area, so would like to soup up my macbook-timecapsule-apple TV connection.

    Is it as simple as just plugging my belkin wireless router back in, setting it to b/g mode and access point?

    then effectively I have a wired LAN to my modem with DCHP, and two wireless access points - one b/g and one 5GHz 'n'? everything will live together in harmony on the same network?
  11. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Is your modem/router wireless? If it is, maybe you can just use that to transmit b/g and your Time Capsule to transmit N. If not, what you described should work just fine. I think you could even connect the Belkin into a port on your TC if your modem/router's ports are all taken up (but don't quote me on that). Also, to make sure you get the best speeds, be sure to set the radio mode on the TC as 802.11n only (5 GHz). You probably already know this but I thought I'd just mention it anyway.
  12. Absberg2k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    I set it up tonight (Linksys is the main router and the TC is bridged from there). It really was quite easy. Network utility indicates my connection speed with my iMac is up from 130 to 270.

    Thanks again to all for their help.

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