For any new SSID you create in the Plasma Cloud console, Access Points will be configured to use Routing mode by default. This also applies to wired clients that are directly connected to a Plasma Cloud Access Point via Ethernet cable. Routing mode ensures your WiFi and wired clients can operate without requiring additional network equipment (such as DHCP servers), thereby granting a "plug and play" experience.
You also have the option to change your WiFi and/or wired clients configuration to Bridge mode. This advanced option allows to take advantage of layer 2 features such as VLANs, seamless roaming, etc. Whether you want to use Routing or Bridge mode ultimately depends on your use case and network setup. Below you can find the benefits and differences of both modes explained in greater detail.
Routing Mode (Default)
Routing mode provides the following benefits:
- It auto-configures a DHCP server on your Plasma Cloud Access Point;
- It can grant WiFi clients Internet access while blocking private LAN access.
In Routing mode, Plasma Cloud Access Points are auto-configured to run their own DHCP servers. If there is no upstream DHCP server present in your LAN, or the existing DHCP server is overloaded, Routing mode is the way to go. Clients will simply receive an IP address from the Access Point they are connected to.
Routing mode also allows WiFi clients to freely use your internet connection while protecting wired clients inside your LAN, such as private file servers, surveillance cameras, printers, etc. from unwanted network access.
To learn how to block clients from accessing the LAN, please refer to this article.
Bridge Mode (Advanced)
Bridge mode provides the following benefits:
- WiFi clients can enjoy seamless roaming;
- It allows to distinguish traffic coming from different SSIDs using VLAN tags;
- It grants clients access to auto-discovery services;
- It grants clients both Internet access and full LAN access.
In Bridge mode, Plasma Cloud Access Points are not configured to run their own DHCP servers. Instead, they must rely on an upstream DHCP server to assign IP addresses to all clients belonging to the bridged network.
Before switching to Bridge mode, please ensure there is a DHCP server present in your LAN and configured according to your needs. When manually configuring a DHCP server, ensure your designated DHCP IP address pool is large enough to accommodate all clients in your network. Once the IP address pool is exhausted, new wireless and wired clients in Bridge mode will no longer be able to connect to your network.
By nature, Bridge mode grants clients full access to your LAN, enabling them to connect to wired services such as printers, file servers, surveillance cameras. etc. Layer 2 applications such as auto-discovery services or VLAN can also be used with this mode.
To configure either Routing or Bridge mode, please follow the steps below:
- Log into the Plasma Cloud console;
- Select the Organization and Network you wish to configure from the top right menu;
For WiFi clients:
- Navigate to Settings > SSID > SSID name in the main menu on the left;
- Click on the drop-down menu in the WAN section and select your desired mode;
- Click on the Save button.
For wired clients:
- Navigate to Settings > Network in the main menu on the left;
- Click on the drop-down menu in the Wired clients configuration section and select your desired mode;
- Click on the Save button.
To learn more about how to configure wired clients, please refer to this article.