SUMMARY: Allow devices that cannot communicate wirelessly to do so with a wireless Ethernet converter/bridge.
Imagine one of the following two scenarios: 1) You have a laptop or desktop that does not communicate via Wi-Fi and want to add this capability. You don't want to open up the machine to install an internal card. Plus, you have limited USB ports and don't want to use them for a Wi-Fi device, and a USB hub allowing more ports is not an option. 2) You have a device such as an old gaming system, printer, or network device that can communicate via Ethernet, cannot communicate wirelessly, and cannot be altered or expanded to do so.
Purchasing a wireless Ethernet converter (also called a wireless Ethernet bridge) may solve these problems.
A wireless Ethernet converter lets you hook up Ethernet cables from devices without Wi-Fi support and "bridges" the connection to a wireless network. To the connected device(s), they are communicating as they normally would, via Ethernet, but the converter takes the output from the connected devices and transmits it wirelessly while taking the incoming Wi-Fi signal and transmits it to the devices via Ethernet.
Several things to consider when purchasing such a device:
* How many devices can be connected to the converter? If you only have one device this may not be an issue.
* Is 802.11g supported or Draft 802.11n for optimum speed?
* Is WEP, and preferably WPA, security supported?
Companies that make such a device include (listed for informational purposes only):
* Buffalo Technology - http://www.buffalotech.com/
* D-Link - http://www.dlink.com/
* Linksys - http://www.linksys.com/
* Netgear - http://www.netgear.com/
If you have a Linksys WRT54G router, you may be able to convert it to an Ethernet bridge. The following page lists a hack you can try to make this change. It does involve modifying the router firmware, and I have not tried this personally, so neither Andrew Malek nor Envision Programming take any responsibility for trying this hack - this link is listed for informational purposes only:
Converting a Linksys WRT54G/GS Into An Ethernet Bridge: DVRPlayground
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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.