Cisco Support Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Member

802.3 bridging and 802.11 bridging?

Hello there,

I am a newbie on wireless technology. I am reading wireless controller document. I am confused about 802.11 bridging and 802.3 bridging. What is it? What are they different? I understood that the controller always bridge between 802.11 and 802.3 frames. What does it call?

And if wireless clients want to talk to each other, how does it work? Is it still bridging or anything else?

Please advice.




Re: 802.3 bridging and 802.11 bridging?

802.11 is an ethernet 'wireless' specification.

802.3 is the ethernet 'standard' specification.

among other things, these specifications define the format of the frame of data being sent.

in order for a 802.11 device to communicate with an 802.3 device, there has to be 'translation' between the two frame types.

this translation is done by the AP.

bridging refers to the technology of packet switching between hosts of a broadcast domain. a bridge is a device that connects ports of similar network properties. ie: subnet, broadcast domain, etc...

a basic ethernet topology will use 'transparent bridging' where the hosts can communicate via a 'bridge' that builds a table of the hosts on the network dynamically; this functionality is 'transparent' to the host(s) involved in the communication. these type of bridges can isolate intersegment traffic via filtering on MAC address.

bridging networks require a protocol to assure the 'bridged network' does not contain any 'loops'. the protocol used for this is STP (spanningTreeProtocol)

please see this link for more info on bridging (transparent):

Community Member

Re: 802.3 bridging and 802.11 bridging?

Thanks for reply. If you have any other information, please let us know.

Thanks in advance,


CreatePlease to create content