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Thread: What is Bridge Mode.

  1. #1

    Question What is Bridge Mode.

    I'm patiently waiting for telkom to install ADSL. Got a question and hope someone can shed some light on it. I searched the net and could not find a satisfactory answer...

    Q - What is bridge mode? Is it bad if an ISP indicates that the modem's bridge mode must be turned off. I don't know if this is just the sugested setting or if it is requiered to connect to the ISP. Have no idea what bridge mode is, but I'm worried that it will limit the things I can do on my side with the connection (like shareing) if it is turned off.

    If you could point me to a web-site that explain bridge mode in detail, it would be nice.

    Last edited by willemvdm; 13-09-2012 at 03:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    OK in short: Non bridged mode is when the DSL modem performs all the functions that allow you to connect to the internet which include: all the technical settings (VCI, encapsulation etc) and the modem also connects to the ISP with your username and Password. You can basically just connect your PC via say, Ethernet or USB, to the modem and you are connected.

    Bridged mode on the other hand, allow some external device i.e. your PC or a separate router, to do the ISP connection etc. In bridge mode all the Modem does is remember your VCI, VPI and encapsulation settings. The ISP information and IP adress assigning is controlled from your separate router or PC in PPP mode.

    I hope this make sense. Bridged Mode is only a modem settign option and doesn't really restrict you to do stuff!

    I run a Linksys ADSL2MUE modem in bridged mode and a 3G wireless router that does the connection bit to the internet via the modem. The router also takes carre of the IP address assigments and firewall stuff...

  3. #3

    Default Simpler still......

    Bridge mode allows you to use an ADSL modem as you would a dial-up modem.

    Nice too in a communal environment where one modem/ADSL line exists on a network and each user has his own ADSL account. In other words, share the modem but not the ISP account.

    Should be switched off if you intend sharing just one ISP connection on a private network.

    Has it's uses in troubleshooting too. Gives error codes when ADSL connection fails.....

  4. #4


    Yeah, I prefer Bridge mode, you don't have to setup port-forwarding on the Router then, etc. But you will notice the 24-hour disconnect. Just use Linux/FreeBSD as a gateway and set the timeout 0 0 then you don't even notice it.

  5. #5

    Default I would not recommend running in bridged mode

    I have come concerns / opinions about the security of running the modem in bridged mode.

    Essentially, with the modem in bridged mode, the internal network becomes an extention of the internet.

    Here is a good example of why it is bad....

    Well, that's just my 2 cents' worth ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Centurion, South Africa

    Default Bridge mode


    That article was written for the Alcatel 1000 modem. Bridge mode is not necessarily bad, it just depends on the way you use it - just like non-bridged mode (or intelligent NAT mode).

    With bridged mode (also called ATM bridge) you have full control over the connection. Essentially it converts the ADSL digital signals from Telkom to a TX/RX signal on an ethernet interface.

    You can then run PPP directly from your PC (over ethernet) to the Telkom exchange and your PC gets the IP address, not the router/modem.

    Why is this useful? Well, IMHO not very if you run it to only one PC, but if you run it to a PC that can act as a gateway or router, you can add immense functionality to your network. If you terminate it on a little Linux machine, you can use that as your firewall, as your NAT box, as your inbound port forwarder, and best of all, you can schedule events using cron.

    I schedule my PPPoE connection to be reset every morning at 4:00am. This ensures that the 24-hr reset from Telkom happens under *my* control and I know that my connection is up for the entire day.

    Yonks ago, I made up this little HOWTO as to how to configure an ADSL line with a modem in bridged mode using Linux. You need a little experience with Linux though. YMMV.



  7. #7


    Sorry for bumping an old topic but if the router is in bridged mode, can I connect two PCs to the same Telkom line each using different accounts? (Concurrent connections being the correct word?) Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Concurrent

    Yes, each PC that connects via the bridge will need an account. Nice for communes sharing a DSL line.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by signal View Post
    Yes, each PC that connects via the bridge will need an account. Nice for communes sharing a DSL line.
    Awesome, thanks! Want to leave my PS3 downloading off local while the rest use another account, will the PS3 use the "router account" when downloading or must I bring a separate PC for the PS3?

  10. #10
    Super Grandmaster techead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    by the mountain
    Blog Entries


    hi guys

    I understand all this, I just have a related question.. maybe someone can help.

    My router is in non-bridged mode, iow my router has all the settings in it, and I simply connect via ethernet.

    I would like to be able to connect using a seperate ISP by connecting through windows, would that be possible?

    I would imagine that if connection A is live, and I double click the connection B in windows, connection B will override connection A?

    I've heard this is possible, but I dont get which setting your router needs to be in coz you using both modes essentially?


  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Sorry to bring up this old topic...
    I have an old Telkom ADSL wireless modem (5102g) and yesterday I bought a "TP-Link W8960N 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Router".
    I would like to put the old Telkom router into bridge mode so that any PC connected to it will be able to dial a choice of accounts and have the TP-Link also connected to it but "dialing" an account that I specify so that when I connect to it (with wireless cellphone) it works off my "telkom" account for example ... while my PC's are dialing an MWEB account for example.
    Is this possible and if so, can someone steer me in the direction of some instructions on how to do this as I am not good with modems ... lol
    I hope that explains what I'm trying to do ... If you need more clarification, please let me know.
    Last edited by Scooby6; 01-02-2011 at 09:17 AM.

  12. #12
    Grandmaster Dan C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Beacon Bay, EL


    No need for two modems/routers. Just enter the one account into the TP-Link (this will be the default always on) and make sure the router is in half-bridge mode. Make required PPPoE connections on your PC using the another account/s when needed.
    Never test the depth of the water with both feet ...

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan C View Post
    No need for two modems/routers. Just enter the one account into the TP-Link (this will be the default always on) and make sure the router is in half-bridge mode. Make required PPPoE connections on your PC using the another account/s when needed.
    Thanks Dan C.
    I have tried to put the modem in "bridge mode" ... but there is no selection for this. Reading a few threads I found the "IP extension" check box that is suppose to be the option that puts this router in "half-bridge" mode ... when I did this, my phone connected perfectly and was on the internet but when dialing another account from my PC, it did not work.
    PS. when I put the modem in "bridge mode" it does dial out but in "IP extension" mode it didn't want to work.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks for the help BTW

  14. #14


    Oky, to put all the technical stuff aside, it allows you to manually "dail" into your dsl account. For instance, at my mothers business, She has 1 router. There are about 5 laptops (via Wifi), and 4 computers (via UTP cable). They use one physical telephone line, and each dial one of two connections at a time. Either into afrihost for normal internet, or into a telkom private network (she also faxes from her computer through the same line with 56K modem). So each machine can independantly connect to its own network. This is truly amazing compared to having 16+ telephone lines for the connections as telkom would have it. Telkom and ISP's may say these things are not supported, but it works 100%. You just need to know what your hardware is capable of.

    So you might be afraid of exposing your home network? No sir. In windows 7, the connections between the machines and the router, are identified as seperate from the internet. And in windows 7, you can set it to "Home", and it will operate as a normal LAN, so you can share stuff. When you dail your internet through that LAN, it will recognise it as a seperate connection, and set it to public. This way the machine is hidden from all the baddies out there. This is for windows 7 systems, I do not know about linux/winxp. BTW, on this LAN, all computers can print to a printer on one machine, if you share it ofcoarse.

    Also, If you struggling with the setup, easy thing to fix many a problem would be to use static IP's, and limit the amount of static IP's on the router. You can also use mac filtering to keep baddies out. The static IP's, plus the same subnetmask across, plus the same workgroup is flawless.

    Just be careful though, the PPP protocols must be supported by the OS. For instance, on windows 7 you can easily dail. Its fast, and you have control to turn it off, without killing your home network by switching off your router. But for instance, Android does not have PPP, so my phone can connect to the network, but cannot dail. Same thing to watch out for Xbox. It might not be able to dail. I do not own one, so I do not know.

    Something else to consider, Bridge mode is just one way of handlng connections. On my router there are about 8 modes. I'm almost certain there would be a mode for having a default connection thats always on, unless you dail something different alongside it. So the xbox can use the default, and your pc can switch between capped & uncapped accounts at your whim.

    I do not know how capable Telkoms' routers are, but Im using Cisco Linksys flavour. Most excellent. I am going to certify myself for cisco products next year.

    I hope this help, but the best way to sort it, is to experiment. Most routers have a small reset switch on the back, so you cant really 'break' anything for good. Just remember that routers also acts as a switch, and that it has alot of power over your network (it is considered intelligent). If you set it up correctly, nothing can break the setup. My mothers network has been running everyday for the past 2 years on that setup, and not once did something go wrong. No resource collisions.

    For arguments sake, it is really worth it to buy Windows 7. Is is super stable. I havent managed to crash my machines in all the time I've been using it. Even our Varsity is switching to Windows 7 in December, and hopefully they'll let me help with the deployments.

    If you live in Bloemfontein, give me a shout and I can come help you.


  15. #15


    Quick question, how do you stop the PPPoe connection from using bandwidth from the account in the modem? For instance,when i connect my cable to the router i am using the account in the router,i then dialup with a diff account which overides that. Problem is if i leave it downloading overnight sometimes the account disconnects and ends up using all the bandwidth from the other account. Is there a way to prevent this?

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