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What is a Wireless Bridge

What is a wireless bridge? A wireless bridge, or point to point wireless bridge kit connects two remote networks together using Wi-Fi.  The easiest way to understand how a wireless bridge works, is to think of it as an invisible, cat5 Ethernet cable connecting your two locations.  A wireless bridge can connect your home to remote barn, or your home office to your business, all using license free Wi-Fi antennas.  Although there are hundreds of scenarios where a wireless bridge can be implemented and configured, the concept remains the same.  A wireless bridge operates as a transparent, layer 2 bridge, connecting your two, or more locations.  If your main location has a DHCP server, the wireless bridge will pass all DHCP traffic from that main location modem/router, to the devices in the remote location.  If you would like a router in the remote location to offer Wi-Fi inside, you can connect that as well.

For example, if your home has cable/dsl internet access, and you want to share that internet access with a neighbor, or you want to get internet access inside a remote building that is less then 1/2 mile away, you would use a wireless bridge.

A similar scenario would be when you have your network, or internet connection in one location, like your home, and you want to view network cameras in your barn, that is 1000ft. away.  You would install a wireless bridge to connect the barn network of cameras, to your home.  This would create one network between locations, and you would now have access to the cameras in either location.

A wireless bridge typically consists of the following:

  • Broadcast Antenna for the Source Location
  • Receiver Antenna for the Destination Location

These antennas point at each other, and are each powered via a individual power adapter.

The broadcast antenna connects to your existing router, switch, PC, or other network device.  The broadcast antenna of the wireless bridge uses a cat5e or cat6 cable to provide power and data to the network.

The receiver antenna connects to your remote router, switch, or other network device the same way.  It uses a single, cat5e cable to get power and data.

The two antennas then communicate between each other, and only each other to establish a secure reliable wi-fi connection.

Variables for choosing the correct wireless bridge:

There are many different scenarios for choosing the correct point to point wireless bridge.  Packages like the GNS-1162N will connect any two locations up to 1/4 mile apart, however you need clear, unobstructed line of sight.  This means no obstacles can be in the way, between the two antennas.  No land mass, no trees, no buildings, no rooftops, etc.  The GNS-1162N would be your basic wireless bridge, where only a small amount of data is being transferred between the two locations.  An example where this wireless bridge would be useful is when you need to share only internet to a family member, or neighbor, or maybe viewing a single network camera to a nearby location.

As you go further in distance, the bigger the wireless bridge required.  Also, data rate, processing power, and obstructions will play a part in which wireless bridge package you choose.

For sharing large amounts of voice or video between buildings, you want to choose a wireless bridge that is full duplex.  This means data is transferred at the same time, in both directions.  This reduces latency, and increases performance of your wireless network bridge.  It acts very similar to having a physical cable connect your two locations.

If you have two locations that have trees or other obstacles in the way, you would require a non line of sight wireless bridge, or 900MHz Wireless Bridge.  This frequency allows better penetration of objects and will maintain a more reliable connection between your two locations.  In most instances, non line of sight wireless is restricted to 1/4 or less.

For more information on line of sight wireless bridges, and non line of sight wireless bridge packages, please contact a GNS Wireless network specialist prior to ordering, at 877-209-5152, or send an email describing your scenario to support@gnswireless.com