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Create a wireless network bridge Network
In OS X 10.2, Apple has added the new "share your Internet connection" function, and I am sure that a lot of users are going to use it as a software AirPort basestation. But I thought, why couldn't you go the other way? So that is just what I did, created a wireless network bridge.

Here's how I did it...
  1. Wire connect your wireless base station to your WAN. This works with any 802.11b Basestation I've tried, Apple or otherwise.

  2. Wire connect any Ethernet computers to your base station for your first network node.

  3. Wirelessly connect your AirPort based computer to the wireless base station. I call this computer the "Ethernet Basestation," and it will form the point of your second Ethernet node.

  4. On the "Ethernet Basestation"0 computer, do the following:
    1. Open the Network pane in the System Preferences
    2. On the "Show:" pop-up menu, select 'Network Port Configurations'.
    3. Change the precedence order by moving 'AirPort' above the 'Ethernet' port you are going to connect your sub-net.
    4. Click 'Apply Now'.
    5. Switch to the Sharing preferences pane.
    6. Click the 'Internet' tab.
    7. Click 'Start'.
    8. A message will state "You are connected to the Internet over AirPort. This connection will be shared with computers connected to Built-in Ethernet."

  5. Connect your wired Ethernet device (or devices via a hub) to the "Ethernet Basestation". I say devices because I am thinking that they could be a printer, PS2, etc.

  6. Set the Ethernet computers to use DHCP. Reboot if you are using Mac OS 9.

  7. You're done! Surf the net on you wired Ethernet computers!
I can now have my own wired network that is connected to the Internet without stringing any wires to connect to my landlord's network or the WAN! Wired -> Wireless -> Wired again! This wiring method has a number of interesting possible uses, including:
  • Print to Ethernet laser printers wirelessly w/o having to have it by your basestation.

  • Protect your sub-net with the new 10.2 Firewall

  • Avoid drilling holes or stringing wires through vents to connect your Ethernet only devices

  • Share your Internet connection with your neighbours and allow them to have wired networks in their apartment, dorm or house!

  • Have your neighbour share your Internet connection with their neighbour using another hardware or software AirPort basestation and so on for a wireless neighbourhood!

  • Cross rough terrain that your High-speed ISP won't cross using boom antennas
[Editor's note: Some of these uses may violate the terms of your contract for internet services; you might wish to read your paperwork before attempting to do some of these things!]
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (6 votes cast)

Create a wireless network bridge | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: davidnorton on Sep 14, '02 07:35:47PM

This is exactly what I was thinking of doing, only I don't have my brother's iBook around to test it with. When he comes home from college this will be perfect for it.

Thanks for the article!

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non dhcp?
Authored by: seven5 on Sep 15, '02 07:36:17PM

This is what i have been trying to do too. I am useing an iBook, and airport, and i am trying to get my xbox downstairs to be online using this method. I have the xbox hooked to a hub, and then the ibook hooked to the hub. The xbox doesn't have settings for dhcp though, so i have to set it up manually, and what was confusing me is: is this is an Internal-Internal network? or do i have the same ip settings as the ibook, but a new ip? i can't get it to work so far. thanks......

do i plug this into the uplink or a normal port on the hub?

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RE: non dhcp? and port mapping.
Authored by: skippingrock on Sep 17, '02 03:36:25PM

I am not to sure on the specifics of hooking up an XBox as I don't have one and I don't know anyone who has one.

I would assume that if the XBox would be able to be used on the Internet that it would have the ability of doing DHCP. I tried doing a search on Google for XBox and DHCP, but since I don't have a console, I really couldn't verify.

But as for you question about the hub. You would want to connect your iBook that is being the Ethernet Basestation to the uplink port of the hub.

Basically your iBook would be giving your XBox or whatever was connected to it a dynamic IP and your iBook would be getting a dynamic IP from the Wireless Basestation (unless you set it up for a static IP.)

I guess the trick that you would have to do is find out what ports that your console box uses an somehow create a path for the network to follow coming in by setting the network ports.

I don't know how to set port mappings with the software based DHCP servers on our Macs. I will try and find out and post it as a separate tip.

Cheers, Skipping Rock.

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non dhcp?
Authored by: tidrion on Oct 17, '02 11:39:36AM

You do not want to put the ibooks connection into the uplink, place it in a regular slot in the HUB. The manual settings when using Internet sharing for a computer on it is

ip: 192.168.2.(2-255)

Don't forget some ISP's require DNS to be entered in all computers an your LAN.

Port Mapping is going to be an adventure....

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Authored by: carsten on Sep 16, '02 05:33:10AM

Theoretically, once everyone has Airports (and I mean every house and apartment on the block), they could all be linked together. We wouldn't need The Internet anymore. ;)

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not bridging
Authored by: seven5 on Sep 20, '02 12:59:00AM

this does not bridge the network, by using dhcp, the computer getting the shared internet, gets an ip of

This is NOT on my network, sure, it can see out, but the rest of my computers on 192.168.1.* cannot see it. Only the computer shareing the internet to it can see it.

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not bridging
Authored by: skippingrock on Sep 20, '02 04:34:13AM

Yes, I agree that bridging was the wrong word to use, but I had already submitted the tip when I realised the confusion that may cause. I was at a loss of words as to what I should call the thing and sadly I forgot that bridge has a slightly different meaning.

But this is fun none the less and it works.

I assume that if we could figure out a way to do port mapping that you could use it to see in.


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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: ekerkhoff on Apr 01, '03 05:05:39AM

I could be wrong, but I don't think it is possible to create a software base station by using the sharing feature under the sharing preference panel. I know that the above solution does work, but I do not think it does in reverse (a.k.a software wireless base station).

I've tried numerous ways to create a software base station (using mac os 10.2.4 and the supplied gui features) and have been unsuccessful on each attempt. Additionally, there is not any documentation to support the existence of its possibilities.

It is quite possible that I am wrong, but has anyone been successful on creating a software base station without using third party software or doing some tweaking from the command line?

If I am wrong, I appologize, but if I am correct, I think it might be best to remove the reference of software base station (for solution accuracy purposes).

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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: ekerkhoff on Apr 01, '03 05:10:44AM

From the looks of it, the feature I am speaking of might be available very soon.

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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: chinasunflwr on Jul 18, '03 02:27:14PM

Everything works great! thanks!

I just have one question that I am having trouble finding an answer for.... is there anything I can do to help boost the signal of my wireless card for people who are using me as a bridge.

-- I love my powerbook

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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: Firefishe on Apr 20, '04 01:37:04AM

Hello. I am using my G4 1GHz powerbook to connect to my linksys wireless router which is connected to my cable modem and the Internet.

I have an IBM laptop with a pcmcia network card that I am using to connect to the powerbook's ethernet port, so the ibm laptop can share the apple's internet connection. However, I have run up against a snag.

I can ping out via the command line on the ibm laptop to various sites such as,, and, my choices for a "ping" test. I get ping replies back, indicating that the ibm is able to ping out to those sites through the mac.

Problem is, I can't bring up a web page on the ibm. Is there any reason why I would not be able to do this? I have Internet Connection Sharing and Windows Sharing enabled on the powerbook.

Kind regards,

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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: pawz on Oct 24, '08 02:12:17AM

For what it's worth, if you found this article because you were after an ACTUAL NETWORK BRIDGE.. rather than the crazy overcomplicated NAT that the OP has detailed, I'll save you a little bit of time (sort of):

OS X's kernel does NOT have bridging support compiled in. The code is there, but it's not enabled in the config. you have to add "enable BRIDGE" and also set a sysctl variable. How you actually bridge the devices I have no idea, because I couldn't be bothered going to the trouble of actually doing it. While I could recompile my kernel, the fact that you have to makes my potential use for it moot, as most other users would not be willing to do this.

Sad but true. What Windows can do with three clicks... OSX cannot do without recompiling the kernel and doing some manual configuration. Where's the GUI Steve ? Why have you got a pretty GUI for aggregating interfaces but not bridging them ? Very unimpressed :"(

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Create a wireless network bridge
Authored by: atshoom on Dec 06, '09 04:15:02PM

are you sure of what you say ?
if it's true, what method is used by VMWare and Parallels Desktop to bridge their virtual machines ?

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