Creating a network bridge means that you can share files and information across two or more computers; which is particularly useful if you have music, films and games running across different home systems. Creating a bridge between two networked devices is something you can do at both the hardware and software level. If your computer is running the Microsoft Windows operating system, bridging two devices at the software level is something you can accomplish in just a couple of minutes. As with all other settings relating to your network hardware, bridging settings are managed through a utility called the “Network and Sharing Center.” The application was called “Network Connections” in previous versions of the Windows operating system, like Windows XP. It is located within the Microsoft Windows Control Panel.
Open the Control Panel by selecting its icon in the “Start” menu. If you are viewing the Control Panel by category, click the option reading “View Network Status and Tasks.” If you are viewing the Control Panel as a series of regular icons, click the one reading “Network and Sharing Center.” Both of these methods will open the same program.
Click the option from the left side of the screen reading “Change Adapter Settings.” A new window will open that displays a list of all the various networking components installed inside your computer. Each network component will have one icon in this window.
Click with your mouse one time on the first networking device you want to use to create your bridge. Hold down the “CTRL” button on your keyboard and click the icon for the second networking device you want to use to create your bridge. Both icons will now be highlighted at the same time.
Right click with your mouse on either one of the two highlighted icons. Select the option reading “Bridge Connections” from the context menu on screen.
Wait a few seconds for the Windows operating system to automatically bridge the two network devices together. A new icon representing your network bridge will appear in the window. If you want to remove the bridge at any time, right click on either of the two icons you just selected and choose the option labeled “Remove Bridge.” The two networked devices will go back to operating completely independent of one another and will use the same settings they commonly do under normal circumstances.
Sam Jones, the author, has bt broadband office and has 3 fully bridged, networked computers operating in one room.