Does your home or office network have two separate LAN segments? If so, Windows XP makes it simple to connect two separate segments without having to purchase specialized hardware such as a router. WinXP offers a networking feature not found in previous OSes. This feature is called Network Bridging and it lets you transparently combine two separate LAN segments into one logical network using a computer running Windows XP. If you were using a TCP/IP network, each segment would require its own subnet and a router to connect each subnet.

However, this procedure is sometimes inconvenient for smaller networks. WinXP users can bridge the network connections using the Network Bridge feature. For example, you can configure your WinXP PC with two network adapters, each one connected to a different segment. By bridging the connections, the two segments can function as though they are a single subnet. You can locate the steps for bridging two network connections by opening the Help and Support Center and searching for the key phrase “Network Bridge.”

[tags]xp,home office,lan,network bridge,subnet,route[/tags]