Example 2: Two-hop Repeater Test
In some cases, you may want to chain repeaters together to achieve a longer-distance connection. This method has the disadvantages of providing a slower link for STAs associated to the "far end" repeater (or connected to an Ethernet LAN in bridging applications) and being less robust than a "one-hop" link due to the additional radio.
But given the higher maximum speeds provided by 802.11g-based products, you can still end up with speeds comparable to those provided by a strong 11b signal at the second repeater, which could be just fine for your needs. Figure 6 shows the setup.
To mix things up a little bit, my choice for the third AP in this example is the ASUS WL330 [reviewed here]. I threw in the 11b AP to show what happens when you mix 11g and 11b products in a WDS setup and also to see if WDS would work with products based on different chipsets.
Even though the WL330 is based on Marvell’s Libertas 802.11b Access Point Solution vs. Broadcom technology, I found it worked fine in my setup. It probably helped, however, that I had two ASUS products making the WDS link. Table 2 shows the WL330’s information added to my AP information summary.
|00 30 BD 91 BB FA
|00 0C 6E 34 9A AE
|00 0E A6 22 A2 14
|Table 2 : Two hop AP Info summary
Figure 7 again shows the Bridge setup screen for what is now the middle WDS AP, this time with an additional MAC address entered in the Remote Bridge List.
Figure 8 shows the Wireless Distribution System screen for the WL330 (which is strangely located in the Access Control section).
Though both products come from ASUS, you can see the difference between the WL300g and WL330’s WDS controls. Both have AP only modes, but the 330 only supports "Hybrid", i.e. repeating WDS connections. So you would not be able to use it for Bridge-only applications.
But on a positive note, the 330 doesn’t have the separate Connect to APs in Remote Bridge List ? and Allow Anonymous ? radio buttons. Instead the allowed WDS MAC address list is active when you select "Hybrid-Active" mode and greyed-out when "Hybrid-Passive" is chosen. Since I want to specify the connecting AP’s MAC address, I chose "Hybrid-Active" mode and entered the WL300g’s MAC address.
After things were up and running I ran another throughput test and generated another composite Chariot plot shown in Figure 9.
The 1.8Mbps average throughput that I got when associated with the WL330 at the end of the WDS chain (bottom trace) seems low at first glance, but makes sense when you think about it.
Since it’s an 11b radio that has a best-case throughput of only around 5 - 6Mbps doing double duty, we should expect at the most only 2.5 - 3Mbps. Add in that the 8Mbps bandwidth available to the WL330 is lower than 11b’s maximum 11Mbps raw data rate and we’re right in the 1.8Mbps ballpark. What’s that old saying about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link ?
Current page: How to Chain Wireless Access Points - WDS - Tom’s GuidePrev Page Setting Up a WDS Bridge - Troubleshooting - Tom’s Guide Next Page WDS Star Configuration - Extend Wireless Network - Tom’s Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Tom's Guide upgrades your life by helping you decide what products to buy, finding the best deals and showing you how to get the most out of them and solving problems as they arise. Tom's Guide is here to help you accomplish your goals, find great products without the hassle, get the best deals, discover things others don’t want you to know and save time when problems arise. Visit the About Tom's Guide page for more information and to find out how we test products.