When configuring your router, you may come across a setting known as “bridge mode.” In nearly all routers, it’s disabled by default. With a few clicks, though, you can enable it. Being that the router serves as the central hub for your business’s Wi-Fi, you shouldn’t blindly enable bridge mode without first understanding how it works.
What Is Bridge Mode?
Bridge mode is a networking feature that allows two routers together. When it enabled, it essentially turns the respective router into a switch. The bridge-enabled router will still transfer data, but it won’t perform traditional Network Access Translation (NAT) processes. Instead, the bridge-enabled router will extend its port access to the connected devices.
Benefits of Using Bridge Mode
By using bridge mode, you can extend the range of your business’s Wi-Fi. If your business operates in a large office or other large commercial space, a single router may not suffice. You may get coverage near the router. When venturing to the outskirts of your business’s workspace, on the other hand, coverage may become sparse or nonexistent. A simple and effective solution is to use bridge mode.
Bridge mode allows you to leverage two routers so that your business’s Wi-Fi extends across a larger area. In turn, you’ll experience faster speeds and better reliability.
You might be wondering why you can’t just set up two routers without using bridge mode. Well, when two routers perform NAT processes, conflicts may occur. The two routers will essentially compete with each other, resulting in a common problem known as Double NAT. Each router will create its own unique Wi-Fi. Therefore, some of your devices may connect to one router, while the others connect to the second router.
Bridge mode prevents Double NAP by eliminating the NAP processes performed by the router on which it’s enabled. The bridge-enabled router will simply connect to the other router while extending its coverage. Both routers will share the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, and only one of them will perform NAP processes.
You don’t need to use bridge mode in all instances. If your business’s Wi-Fi works fine and doesn’t suffer from performance issues, there’s really no reason to use this feature. Nonetheless, you may want to use bridge mode if your business has spotty or otherwise unreliable Wi-Fi. When enabled, it will turn one of your routers into a switch, allowing it to extend the coverage of your Wi-Fi.