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Example 1: One-hop Repeater Setup

How To: Setting up WDS Bridging / Repeating
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Figure 2 shows a simple "one hop" repeating setup that might be typically used to extend the range of a wireless LAN.

For this example, I’m using two Broadcom-based 802.11g Access points - Belkin’s F5D7130 [reviewed here] and ASUS’ WL300g [reviewed here]. Though both have very similar designs - including being based on Broadcom’s BCM4702 Wireless Network Processor - you’ll see below that they have different interfaces to their WDS features.

We’ll start by setting up WDS on the LAN-connected AP. Figure 3 shows the Wireless Bridge screen on the Belkin AP.

By the way, you should start out by connecting both APs to your Ethernet LAN while you’re setting them up. No sense complicating things by getting a wireless connection into the mix...

The top checkbox enables the WDS features, which are disabled by default. I’ve then checked the Enable ONLY specific Access Points to connect checkbox in keeping with my rule of not allowing "anonymous" WDS links and entered the MAC address of the AP to which I want to connect, i.e. the ASUS AP at the other end of the link.

The Disable ability for Wireless CLIENTS to connect checkbox is left unchecked because this WDS setup is being used to extend a wireless LAN, i.e. repeating. If I had checked this selection, then the Belkin would no longer function as an access point, i.e. wireless clients could not connect. It would only provide a wireless link to the listed WDS-enabled APs, connecting them back to the wired LAN, i.e. bridging.

Figure 4 shows the WDS settings for the ASUS WL300g that forms the other end of the WDS link.

The WL300g uses a graphic to illustrate the wireless connections supported in each of its three modes : AP only, WDS only and Hybrid. This makes things somewhat clearer, but I find the separate Connect to APs in Remote Bridge List ? and Allow Anonymous ? radio buttons more confusing than the Belkin’s single checkbox and associated MAC address entries.

At any rate, Figure 4 shows the proper WL300g settings for WDS-based repeating, including the MAC address of the Belkin AP in the Remote Bridge List. Note again, that if you just wanted to set up a wireless bridge between two wired LANs, you would change the WL300g’s AP Mode from Hybrid to WDS only. This setting would prevent wireless STAs from associating to the AP, but still connect the WL300g back to the Belkin AP via a wireless link.

With both ends of the bridge now set up, it’s time to see if we have lift-off !

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  • 0 Hide
    robabrams , May 22, 2010 12:21 PM
    Very good article. I am having some problems of my own with a pair of Sitecomm Wireless routers (WL-312 and WL-610).

    I am going to reset them both back to factory defaults and start again using this guide.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 21, 2011 2:22 AM
    i used a thomson tg585 and a netfaste iad2. WDS "worked" but: many packet loss while pinging and speed is below 10KB/S ! ...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 12, 2011 5:02 PM
    Thank you!

    Great article that answered my questions.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2012 11:47 PM
    Thanks for the well organized and comprehensive explanation about WDS.
    I like this kind of writing so much.
    (JSuparman-Jakarta)
  • 0 Hide
    knightmurphy , May 7, 2012 8:58 PM
    I simply love you, that's all I have to say.
    I've been wrecking my brains around WDS repeater (1st example) all day. And then I came across your article, and everything became clear. And everything worked on the 1st friggin' try!
    I managed to get my routers working like the 1st scheme (1 main router, one repeater) from 2 different vendors, and not only that, one of the routers is seriously old.
    So many many thanks!

    (In case anyone is wondering, main router = relatively new TL-WR1043ND + repeater router = the ancient 3COM OfficeConnect Wireless 11g Cable/DSL Router. Upgrades both firmwares before attempting)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 26, 2013 12:59 PM
    Hi,

    is there a way to make a wired connection between the client and the second AP (in your case ASUS)?

    Also should everything be on the same main IP ie 192.168.1.***, because my two access points have preset IPs the one 192.168.1.254 and the second one 192.168.0.254. Should I change them to 192.168.1.250 and 192.168.1.230 for them to work together?
  • 0 Hide
    Anton Kizernis , March 20, 2013 1:44 AM
    Muchas gracias!
  • 0 Hide
    Eugenio Rios , August 30, 2013 4:00 PM
    So, I´m having trouble here... I´ve got: a) a gateway router with DHCP activated: DIR-655 from D-Link (192.168.0.1). b) AP TP-Link TL-WR741ND (192.168.0.2), and c) another AP, same brand (192.168.0.3). Both AP's are connected wirelessly to the Gateway, DHCP turned off, all have the same SSID, same password, same channel, yet, I can´t seem to get them to work as if it were just one SSID, my smartphone gets authentication error and my computer sees three ssid's with the same name, different signal strengths. What can I do to roam freely in the house with just one SSID? what am I missing? Thank you for this guide, it´s awesome.
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