Set up Network Bridge

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To set up Network Bridge

  1. Open Network Connections.

  2. Under LAN or High-Speed Internet, hold down the CTRL key, and then click each of the adapters that you want to include in the bridge.

  3. Right-click one of the connections that you have selected, and then click Bridge Connections.


  • If Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), Windows Firewall, or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) are not enabled on your network, do not set up Network Bridge between the public Internet connection and the private network connection. Setting up Network Bridge between the public Internet connection and the private network connection creates an unprotected link between your network and the Internet, leaving your network vulnerable to external attacks. When ICF, Windows Firewall, or ICS are enabled, this risk is mitigated.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure.

  • To open Network Connections, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Network Connections.

  • Connections that run ICF, Windows Firewall, or adapters that provide shared Internet connections cannot be a part of the Network Bridge and do not appear under LAN or High-Speed Internet. Similarly, the Bridge Connections menu command is available only for adapters that you can add as connections to Network Bridge.

  • You must select at least two private network connections in order for Bridge Connections to create a bridge.

  • You can create only one Network Bridge on a computer, but the bridge can accommodate numerous network connections.

  • Network adapters that previously appeared under LAN or High-Speed Internet, appear under Network Bridge when you add them as connections to the bridge. Network adapters that provide Internet connectivity, such as DSL and cable modems, cannot be bridged and always appear under LAN or High-Speed Internet.

  • Only Ethernet, IEEE-1394 adapters, or Ethernet-compatible adapters, such as wireless and Home Phoneline Network adapters, can be a part of Network Bridge.

  • Network Bridge with a wireless or IEEE-1394 connection supports traffic using Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) only.

  • You cannot create Network Bridge on a computer running Windows 2000 or earlier versions of Windows.

  • Windows Firewall is not included in the original release of the Windows Server 2003 operating systems.

  • Internet Connection Sharing and Network Bridge are not included in Windows Server 2003, Web Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the Itanium-based versions of the original release of the Windows Server 2003 operating systems.

  • Internet Connection Firewall is included only in the original releases of Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Add a connection to or remove a connection from Network Bridge
Enable or disable Network Bridge
Remove Network Bridge
Home and small office networking features
Network Bridge