Don’t use bridge mode on your EdgeRouter – use a dedicated switch

Until recently, I was using my Ubiquiti EdgeRouter in bridge mode. I had my LAN on one ethernet port, and my wireless access point was connected to another ethernet port. Then I configured a bridge between the LAN and wireless AP ports. Logically, this made sense. However, this forces the EdgeRouter to do network switching duties, which it does entirely in software, and this is very SLOW. Even Ubiquiti states upfront that running in bridge mode will affect performance. Don’t use bridge mode.

I did some testing, and my throughput went up by almost 50% when I removed the bridge port. If your EdgeRouter is connected to any network with speeds above 100Mbps, do yourself and favor: skip the bridge altogether, or kill your current bridge, and use a switch. Switching in hardware is much faster.

I was not able to remove the bridge from my EdgeRouter configuration, even though instructions online indicate that this is possible. Each time I tried, it left my EdgeRouter unreachable. If you want to try, from the CLI, enter configuration mode, and enter the following (adapt the br0 and eth1 and IP addresses to suit):

delete interfaces bridge br0 address 192.168.1.1/24
set interfaces ethernet eth1 address 192.168.1.1/24
commit

The only thing that worked for me was to factory reset the EdgeRouter, and start over with a clean configuration. That took all of about 5 minutes. It was a very worthwhile effort.

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