How to Create a MikroTik PtP Bridge Link

How to Create a MikroTik PtP Bridge Link

MikroTik is renowned for its flexible use and competitive price. Some prospective users, however, are discouraged by its configurations which can at times be complex. Below, we explain how to create a MikroTik Point to Point (PtP) bridge link. We also discuss our configuration recommendations.

Pre-Requisites for a MikroTik PtP Bridge Link

As a pre-requisite, you will need 2x MikroTik routers, each with a wireless interface and a Level 3 license. You'd only require a Level 4 license for Point to MultiPoint (PtMP) installations. In addition, we recommend using WinBox for configuration.

In the video below, we used 2x RB-SXTSQ5AC for the 5GHz link and 2x RB-LHG60 for the 60GHz link. The configuration differs slightly between 5GHz and 60GHz links.

WinBox Settings for a 5GHz MikroTik PtP Bridge Link

Step 1 - Remove the Device's Default Configuration

Open WinBox to discover the connected MikroTik devices.
You can access these devices in the 'Neighbors' Tab. Click on the device's MAC address and hit the connect button.

Remove any default configuration as this will interfere with the setup. You can do this in 2 ways.
1. Click 'Remove Configuration' on the prompted window that displays on the first login or
2. In the left panel, go to 'System' > 'Reset Configuration, select the 'No Default Configuration' checkbox, and click 'Rest Configuration'.

Disconnect by clicking on 'Session' > Disconnect. In a few moments, you should be able to access the device once again via WinBox using the MAC address.

Step 2 - Create a Bridge and Add Physical Interfaces to it

Start by creating the Bridge Interface. It will essentially be the container for the Ethernet and Wireless interfaces. In the 'Neighbors' tab, click on the MAC address of the device and click connect. In the left panel, select 'Bridge' and click on the blue plus button. A 'New Interface' window will appear. Click OK to create the bridge interface.

Once you have created the bridge, you can add physical interfaces by going to the 'Ports' menu and clicking on the blue plus button. In the window, select the type of interface to add from the 'Interface' dropdown.

Next, add an IP address to this bridge interface. Although an IP is not essential for the link to function, we recommend adding one on the same subnet for management purposes. On the left panel, click on 'IP' > 'Addresses'. Click on the blue plus button. In the Address field, add an IP address you would like to assign to the bridge. In the interface dropdown, select your bridge.

Step 3.1 - Set up the Wireless Configuration

To enable the wireless interface, click on 'Wireless' in the left panel. Select the greyed-out interface and click on the blue tick button. Double-click the interface and navigate to the 'Wireless' tab to access the settings. Set the mode to 'Bridge' as this will accept a single client connection. (The opposite side of the link uses 'Station-Bridge' mode. It is the only wireless setting that differs between each end.)

Since we are using 5GHz 802.11ac products, we will be setting the Band to 5GHz-only-AC. Other bands are available to match all other chipset requirements if necessary. At this point, we would recommend adjusting your Channel Width, Frequency and SSID for whatever is suitable in your location. It's also important to change the country setting to match your region to ensure you are working within your country's frequency regulations.

Step 3.2 – Set up Proprietary NV2 Protocol

When using MikroTik for PtP applications, we recommend using their proprietary NV2 protocol for best link performance. To use this, click on the Advanced Mode button in the Wireless Tab and change the Wireless Protocol to NV2.

To improve security we recommend adding a pre-shared key. To do this, open the NV2 menu, enable the security checkbox and specify a password of your choice.

If you are not using NV2, please note an independent security profile needs to be configured and used for other protocol types.

With the AP complete, you need to duplicate this configuration for the other side of the link. All settings should be the same except for the IP address and wireless mode - (use Station-Bridge mode). Once both sides are configured, you should notice the wireless interface would have changed to a running state indicated by the flag in RouterOS. At this point, if you disconnect from the WinBox session and check your Neighbors tab, you'll see both devices as they are now part of the same broadcast domain. You will also be able to access resources from either side of your wireless link.

WinBox Settings for a 60GHz MikroTik PtP Bridge Link

60GHz devices have independent wireless settings from the usual. Start your configuration by adding a bridge with just the Ethernet interface as the port. On the left panel, click on 'Wireless' and click on the 'W60G' tab to access the configuration. Set the mode to 'Bridge', select a Frequency, SSID and password of your choice. Select your bridge interface from the 'Put Stations in Bridge' option - This will dynamically add the correct 60GHz station interface into the bridge.

On the client side, create your bridge and add both Ethernet and Wireless interfaces from the Ports menu and specify station bridge mode in the W60G configuration menu to complete the link. As with the 5GHz example, you should be able to detect both routers in your Neighbours area in WinBox and access resources on either side of the link.

By following the steps above, you should see that creating a Point to Point Wireless link with MikroTik is more straightforward than most people might expect. We hope you found this article helpful.

Blog post by Guy Perry