Windows XP’s Network Bridge feature can combine two or more local area networks (such as wired and wireless) into one logical network. Computers on each network can communicate with computers on all of the other networks, sharing files, printers, and even an Internet connection.

To create a bridge between two or more network connections, open the Network Connections folder. Hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the desired connections, then right click one of them and select Bridge Connections. In this example, I’m bridging a wireless network with a wired Ethernet network.

This window appears while the bridging process is in progress.

The Network Bridge then appears in the list of network connections, along with the connections that are included in the bridge.

The Network Bridge takes on most of the attributes of a normal network connection. To configure it, right click the Network Bridge and select Properties. You can add or remove connections from the bridge, enable protocols and clients, assign an IP address, create a connection icon in the notification area, etc.

When a network connection is added to the Network Bridge, it loses its individual attributes. It no longer has an IP address, clients, protocols, etc. Here’s the Properties sheet for the Ethernet Network connection, which is now included in the network bridge.

Windows XP-Internet Connection Sharing
Network Setup Wizard
Wizard Server Setup
Manual Server Setup – Broadband
Manual Server Setup – Dial-up
Wizard Client Setup
Network Bridge
Internet Gateway

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