How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys

Written by christopher capelle
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How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
Sometimes wireless doesn't work well for all computers in a building. (wireless home network image by jaddingt from Fotolia.com)

A powerline Ethernet bridge is a computer hardware product that allows computers to be networked by using the existing power wires inside a building. Though not a hugely popular technology, it is helpful in cases where wireless networking is impossible, due to a long distance, interference by a chimney, built-in appliances or the layout of the building, and where drilling a wire or installing a network isn't a good idea. An Ethernet bridge is usually priced between £38 and £129 for a pair of devices and two Ethernet RJ-45 cables.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Linksys Router
  • Ethernet bridge hardware (set of 2)
  • 2 Ethernet RJ-45 cables

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Confirm that your network is fully functional, and that all computers connected to the Linksys router (both wired and wireless clients) are able to successfully connect to the Internet. In most cases, your Linksys router is situated near your DSL or cable modem, so make sure there is a free power outlet available. With an Ethernet bridge, it's best to plug the hardware directly into the wall and not into a power strip or surge protector.

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    First, confirm your network is functioning. (ADSL Router image by Phil2048 from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Plug one of the Ethernet bridge components into a power outlet close to the your router, making sure it's out of the way and not obscuring the other outlet or anything else. Plug one end of an Ethernet RJ-45 cable into the port on the bridge and the other end into one of the numbered ports on the Linksys and not the "WAN" port.

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    An Ethernet bridge uses a standard outlet. (plug in image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Plug the second bridge into a free power outlet near the computer that is to be networked. Using the second Ethernet RJ-45 cable, plug one end into the jack on the bridge and the other into the network jack on your computer.

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    Connect the bridge to your computer. (monitor image by Orlando Florin Rosu from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Open the network settings on your computer. For Windows users, click on "Start" and select "Control Panels." Open "Network and Internet" or "Network Connections" (depending on your version of Windows) and right-click on the "Local Area Connection" icon to confirm you're connected. Mac users should select "System Preferences" from under the apple on the upper left area of the screen, and then click on "Network." Confirm that "Ethernet" indicates that it is "Connected" and that there is a green dot to the left of it.

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    An Ethernet bridge uses a standard RJ-45 cable. (Ethernet crossover cable image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Launch a browser to check that you're able to connect to the Internet and confirm that you're able to access any other network resources (other computers, servers, printers).

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    Confirm You're Online (online image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Troubleshoot your network by checking all of the hardware components and confirming that all wires are properly seated. Each hardware item indicates a successful connection with a green light; reboot any items (including computers) that are having trouble seeing the network.

    How to Set Up a Powerline Ethernet Bridge in Linksys
    Stone walls can block wireless signals. (mansion image by Felix Chen from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • You can use a longer Ethernet cable if the one supplied isn't long enough.
  • Too many Ethernet bridges on one network can slow down network traffic.
  • Ethernet bridges (and what they're connected to) are not immune to potentially damaging power surges.

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