I just got a Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ last week. It’s a great device that can play a lot of different media formats at 1080p. The latest firmware also lets you stream Netflix movies. One problem I have is that it does not have a wireless network card. The FreeAgent Theater+ is placed by the TV in the living room, and it’s far away from the router. Before I get a WIFI USB dongle for it, I want to test the network functionality first. I have used my Macbook to act as a wireless bridge for my PS2 to connect to my wireless network at home. This time, I want to use my Windows 7 based laptop and see if it’s possible to do so. To my surprise, Windows 7 has made it easy to bridge the Ethernet connection with a wireless network.
Before we begin, you need to have a Windows 7 laptop with a working wireless connection. Here are the steps:
- On the Windows 7 laptop, click on the Windows icon. Type view network connections and press Enter.
- Identify your Ethernet connection and your wireless connection. In this example, the Ethernet connection is called Local Area Connection and the wireless connection is called Wireless Network Connection.
- Click on Local Area Connection to select it. Press and hold the Ctrl key and click on Wireless Network Connection to select it. Now you should have both connections selected.
- Right click on the selection and select Bridge Connections.
- Now use an Ethernet cable to connect the Ethernet port on the FreeAgent Theater+ and the Ethernet port on the Windows 7 laptop.
That’s it. The FreeAgent Theater+ is now connected to the network using the Ethernet connection. This technique applies to other appliances with just Ethernet connection like Xbox 360, Blu-Ray player and Network enabled TV.
Note that when your laptop is acting as a wireless bridge, you might not be able to use it to browse the Internet at the same time. When you are done, follow the step 1 and step 2 to network connections in control panel. Right click on the bridged connections and select Remove from Bridge.