The term SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode is used to describe a “Modem Only” configuration option that is quick and easy to implement. Bridge Mode is frequently used to eliminate issues that occur when a Router is connected to the SpeedStream 4200 gateway.
Have you ever wondered why the SpeedStream 4200 is sometimes referred to as a Modem and other times a Router?
The fact is — the SpeedStream 4200 is both an ADSL Modem and a fully featured Router combined into one device — this is due to the rich feature set available in the AR7 Chipset.
Bridge Mode (Bridging) can apply to both Wired and Wireless networks although the exact meaning and implementation will vary depending on the context. If you’re interested in technical information about Bridging you can refer to Wikipedia for a more in-depth discussion on the topic.
What Is SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode?
As far as the SpeedStream 4200 is concerned, Bridge Mode means that the SpeedStream 4200 acts as a bridge between two different networks – the WAN (internet) and the LAN (the port you connect your Router to). It doesn’t try and do anything fancy with the data, it simply passes it on.
This is achieved by using a specific configuration where the Router features are disabled and bypassed.
Just to confuse the issue, the SpeedStream 4200 supports more than one type of Bridge Mode. Typically these modes are referred to as Half Bridge and Full Bridge although some ISPs appear to have implemented their own standards (Optus Bridge).
Most commonly, when the term “Bridge Mode” is associated with the SpeedStream 4200, people are referring to the WAN Interface PPPoE/Bridge only configuration option.
Why configure SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode?
Issues generally arise when you connect an additional router to the SpeedStream 4200. At the very least, you will end up with a double NAT configuration which will interfere with advanced routing features like port forwarding.
In some cases, especially with same brand products, the default IP address range on the LAN network can conflict and network devices will not be able to connect at all.
Despite the potential issues, adding a new router is a very popular activity. Here are some typical reasons you would consider installing a new router:
- connect smart phones via wifi
- connect game boxes, nas and media centers etc
- enable you to connect more that one PC to the internet
- add Wireless functionality to your network
- prioritise access to the internet using QOS
- use UPnP with Skype and other programs
- a large number of devices require access to the network
- using peer-to-peer type programs that require many connections
If any of these apply to you, then you might want to consider bridging you SpeedStream 4200 to avoid the hassles.
Alternatives to SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode?
If you’re only wanting to add additional PCs (or other network devices) the cheapest and easiest option is to purchase a Network Switch. Home grade Switches are readily available in 5 and 8 port configurations!
If you’re looking to add wireless networking you can purchase a Wireless Access Point (AP), instead of a wireless router, and attach it to the switch.
You could also consider configuring one-to-one NAT instead of using the default NAPT setup. This is an advanced option that requires a good understanding of how NAT works.
Before you begin SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode setup
Before you begin the setup process, I highly recommend that you perform a few basic preparation tasks. Read the Bridge Mode Setup Best Practices page for more details.
How to Configure SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode?
The easisest way to setup Bridge Mode is to login to the SpeedStream 4200 Router Management Interface (the Web UI) and set the appropriate options. The trick, of course, is knowing what the correct options are.
As previously mentioned there is more than one type of bridge mode and the first thing to do is determine exactly which bridge mode you need. Here is my simple rule:
If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) requires Half Bridge to be configured, they will specify the term “Half Bridge” in their instructions. For everything else, use “PPPoE/Bridge only” mode.
If you are unsure, call your ISP support line and ask them.
The next thing to do is to identify which Firwmare you are using. (To-do: add link to firmware page).
SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode Instructions By Firmware
Once you’ve identified which firmware you have, click on the link below for the appropriate firmware you have. You will find specific instructions on how to setup your Speedstream 4200 gateway in “PPPoE/Bridge only” mode (Full Bridge):
- Setup BigPond SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode
- Setup Optus SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode
- Setup SpeedStream 4200 Generic Firmware Bridge Mode (To-do)
SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode Reconnect and Startup procedure
When you have completed the SpeedStream 4200 Bridge Mode setup refer to the Bridge Mode Router Connection guide for assistance in re-connecting the devices.