A bit about wireless bridge mode.
Wireless bridge mode allows the extension of the wired network via a wireless link between two Wi-Fi access points. This is really a last resort in the event that it’s not feasible to run ethernet cabling.
Something to note is that in a wireless bridge the remote or “bridged” access point will not accept Wi-Fi connections from devices as its dedicated to bridging the remote side of the network to the wired network.
At the time of writing this article the following access points support wireless bridge:
1 – Go to www.gwm.cloud, set your zone and either login if you already have a GWN Cloud account or click Sign up to create one.
2 – If you intend to manage Wi-Fi for your customers its best to create a new network for each customer. If not just use the Default network. As an example, I’ve created the Demo 2 network for this article.
3 – Click on the network you want to use and navigate to Access Points, Configuration and click Add to add your GWN 76xx series Wi-Fi Access points.
***NOTE*** Its best to take a photo of the silver label on the rear of your GWN access points as it shows the Serial Number, the MAC address, the SSID, the Wi-Fi password for the default configuration and store them somewhere. These details are important and are required to add devices to your cloud account and may be required in the future.
4 – Give your access point a name, I normally use the name to identify its location, enter the MAC address and Wi-Fi password from the label on the rear as mentioned above
5 – Add the second access point in the same way as above
6 – You should now have the two access points showing in your GWN Cloud account
7 – Next go to SSIDs, Configuration, Add inside the network you’re using. Enter an SSID for the Wi-Fi network you’re creating and be sure the tick Enabled.
8 – Click on Access Security and scroll down to enter the Wi-Fi password for the new SSID
9 – In the same dialogue box click on Device Membership
10 – Select your access points from the Available Devices list and click the right-arrow to add the devices to the SSID and click Save
11- You can now power up both access points using POE injectors or a POE switch. If using POE injectors be sure to use an ethernet cable from the POE port on the injector to the POE port on the access point and another ethernet cable from the LAN port on the POE injector to a LAN port on an ethernet switch or to a free LAN port on your internet router. You will need to do this for both access points and of course either your ethernet switch and/or your internet router will need to be connected to the internet.
12 – Both access points will now power up and green LEDs will stay on for a few minutes while they start up and call home to your GWN Cloud account. Once they’ve reached your GWN Cloud account they will download the configuration details you set when you created the SSID and password in steps 7 to 10 above. The LEDs will turn solid blue when the configuration has been applied from your cloud account.
13 – Next, we need to configure the SSID to enable the Client Bridge Feature on the access point that will be moved to the remote location.
14- Go to the SSID you created in steps 7 to 10 and edit it
15 – Click on Advanced
16 – Tick the Enabled box beside Client Bridge and Save
17 – Next both access points need to be configured with a static IP address on the same network as the other devices. A common small network is 192.168.1.0/24 however you’ll need to verify your network by checking an IP address of a connected device. You should also ensure that the static IP addresses you use are not being given out by your DHCP server.
Go to Access Points, Configuration and edit each one to add the static IP addresses
18 – On each access point, once the static IP address is configured scroll down to change the 5GHz channel and ensure they are on different channels before clicking save
19 – Once you’ve configured the static IP addresses and made sure that each access point is on a different 5GHz channel, you’ll see the IP Type has changed from Dynamic to Static
20 - Select the access point that will be moved to the remote location and click the To Be Bridged icon
21 – Once you click the To Be Bridged icon you may get the following message depending on whether or not your access point was power up, just click OK.
22 – Once the access point reboots if you hover your mouse pointer over the To Be Bridged icon you will see that it is “Already in bridge mode”.
23 – You can now move your bridged access point to the remote location and power it up with a POE injector. If only one wired device is required at the remote end it can be plugged directly into the spare ethernet port labelled NET on the bridged access point. If only two wired devices are required you can plug the second one into the spare ethernet port labelled LAN on the POE injector. If more that two wired devices are required you'll need to plug an ethernet switch into either the spare ethernet port on the bridged access point or the spare ethernet port on the POE injector.
24 – To verify everything is working go to Status, select the bridges access point and click on Info where you should see Client Bridge Mode say “Bridged successfully”