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Thank you both labatt and sailingdog for your replies.
I suppose my main area of confusion lies in the difference/function between a bridge and a router; especially with regards to my particular application.
On say a standard wireless router at home for example it creates a wireless link between a "cabled" modem and the users computer. Could the home modem itself be considered the "bridge" in this instance? Is this essentially what a home modem is?
Since there is already a wireless internet signal being broadcast by the marina ISP would a standard wireless router not only transmit between both itself and the ISP as well as itself and my computer thereby creating a usable internet connection link?
No. Your wireless router has a wireless ethernet cloud but it is not using wireless to get "out", it is using a wired connection. You would need a router and a bridge if you wanted to use this router, the router to set up your own cloud and the bridge to make the connection from your router to the other wireless network.
Would my first scenario with regards to the USB antenna, a notebook and my current Apple router not work with the 2 devices "bridged" in the Win XP networking configuration?
Again, this is to achieve a wireless network within my boat and while only at dock with no more than 400' between my vessel and the ISP signal on shore.
I'm essentially trying to make this as uncomplicated as I can while using my existing equipment.
The core of your question is whether you need your own router or if you can just bridge your network to another network and use their router. And the answer to that is yes.
Either way will usually work. When you are bridging you essentially become part of their segment, so you have to request a DHCP address from their router, for example. If you set up your own router then your router becomes a device on their segment (using a bridge as above) and then your own network is behind your router on your own segment with your own IP address range and your DHCP requests go to your own router instead of theirs. Either way will work.
What are you pretending not to know ?
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