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Bad performance with WRT54GL and 2x WAP54G in repeater mode

Discussion in 'Other Linksys Equipment' started by Ormen, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Ormen

    Ormen LI Guru Member

    Hi All,
    I've just bought a WRT54GL and 2x WAP54G set up a wireless "zone" at home (my old TopCom 654 just wasn't giving the necessary signal for the house).

    Setup:
    - I configured the WRT54GL as router connected to my ADSL with a simple 64 bit WEP encryption. This one resides on the ground floor.
    - I configured both WAP54Gs as repeaters wirelessly linked to the WRT54GL. One in the attic and one in the basement. Both with the same WEP as the the router. they both have a fairly good reception from the router (about 80%).
    - The basement repeater is connected to a wired network down there via a switch. (For servers, printers and such...)
    - I use diffrent SSIDs and different channels on all wireless devices.
    - I'm using static IPs for all the devices.

    Results: It works, but it has performance issues.
    - Attic WAP54G has a fairly good connection to the router, but once I try to get anything from the server on the wired network in the basement (via both the WRT54GL and WAP54G in the basement it works extremely slow (playing a MP3 directly from a fileshare is impossible).
    - Basement WAP54G tends to "fall out" and frequently needs to be restarted.

    Questions:
    1. I'm using different channels.
    - Should all the devices be on the same channel?
    - Or should I use more spread out channels to avoid interference? (I have the devices on channels 1,2 and 3 now.)
    2. I'm using different SSIDs for each device at the moment.
    - Will they work with the same SSID?
    - Will the network allow "roaming" if I change the SSIDs?
    3. I notice Linksys only promises that "repeater mode" will work between WAP54G and WRT54G or other WAP54G units.
    - I have a WRT54GL, do I have a compatibility issue?
    - Is there a firmware upgrade/downgrade/3rd party that will solve teh (if any) incompatibility issue.
    4. Speaking about firmwares:
    - Any recommendations? I really haven't looked into any of the 3rd party options yet.

    Hardware/versions
    - I'm sorry to say I don't have this available (currently at work). A fair guess is that all three devices is rather newish (as I received them yesterday after waiting a while for them to become available "in stock" on a webshop).

    Hoping for answers. Please don't feel you have to answer all my questions to reply. Any answers at all is helpful.

    Thanks and regards
    Ormen
     
  2. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Dunno the WAPs, but general WDS principles dictate that all devices are on the same channel, and use the same SSID, on top of everything else like encryption, etc. also being the same. Then you can roam among all devices, just about seamlessly. I am surprised that you got it working with your current setup.

    Further, for every single repeater you go through, the throughput is at least halved, as the repeater must receive, then send, then receive, then send, .... all on the same radio.

    In general, channels overlap substantially, so it may be that you had enough overlap from all device onto channel 2, which is why it worked, but slow.
     
  3. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    If the WAPs are hard wired to the WRT54G then the WAPs in roaming would need to be on different channels, this is where 1, 6, 11 channels come into play. you use the same SSID.

    In wireless reapeater mode, your better to use same channel/SSID. however the more WAPs repeating the same signal, then the bandwidth is halved each time.

    default throughput for a 54g signal is about 22Mbps. add oone repeater and your down to 11Mbps. add 2 Repeaters an your down to 5.5Mbps. The 5.5 is shared between ALL your wireless clients so if you have say 5 wireless devices on your network, then the 5.5 is shared between 5 of them thus just over 1.1Mbps for each client.
     
  4. Ormen

    Ormen LI Guru Member

  5. Ormen

    Ormen LI Guru Member

    Thanks Toxic
    I'm unwired which means the bandwidth is probably severly down...:frown:

    However the setup is not repeater on repeater, but one repeater repeating the router to the basement and one other repeater repeating the same router to the attic/2nd floor. Does that make any difference?

    It anyway sounds like I should consider drilling a couple of holes and pull a couple of CAT5s (one for each AP). I was hoping to avoid drastic measures like that, but...

    Thanks again!
    Ormen
     
  6. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    You're welcome. Let us know what panned out.
     
  7. Ormen

    Ormen LI Guru Member

    Hello again.
    Some well deserved feedback for you guys:
    - Thank you!

    I went to work immediately when I got home and set the network up as suggested with same SSID and channel for all units. Worked perfectly.

    Throughput is still not "great", but more than adequate for my needs at the moment. At least I can now play music and movies over the network again without "stutter".

    At a later time I'll have to do something to improve the throughput by connecting at least one of the WAP54Gs via cable. Loading a CD-image from server via Daemon Tools was dead slow...

    Toxic is definitely right about the signal being halved again and again when connecting from repeater in the loft to router on groundfloor to repeater in the basement. I counted 10-15 seconds to copy a 5.5 MB file over...

    But again. It's working well enough now for what I usually use the wireless for so: Thanks again!

    Regards
    Ormen
     
  8. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Good!
     

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