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Big house, 3 routers, what to do? (APs, WDS, etc)

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by occamsrazor, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    So I've just moved into a big house where the wireless of my E3000 doesn't cover it all. But I do have my two older routers, an Asus WL-500GPv2 and a Buffalo WHR-54Gs. So now I'm wondering what to do. I figure my options are:

    1. Run the E3000/5Ghz as simple access point giving me fast speeds close up. And then WDS on the 2.4Ghz radios of all three routers giving me speeds good enough for internet access over the wide area.

    2. Run ethernet cables from the E3000 to the Asus and Buffalo and have them set up as simple access points with different SSIDs.

    I just tried to set up WDS using only the E3000 and Asus using a setup like this but it didn't work. I did connect to the 2nd router (Asus) but it didn't seem to be reaching the 1st router (E3000).

    I do not need fast speeds over the whole house, only close to my main router the E3000, so would like to keep the 5Ghz for that. And my internet speed is not great (nowhere close to G speeds). Ideally I'd prefer not to have to run ethernet cables, but I can do that if it is really the better option.

    So I am wondering what people think is the best way to use these three routers to accomplish this. If the answer does involve using WDS, can someone point me to a working setup guide?

  2. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    My personal choice would be to run CAT5 cable and just have them as AP's. Simple and fastest way, the easiest to set up, and the most stable. I'd also keep the same SSID for all of them, unless there's a good reason not to, then you can roam anywhere in the house without losing connection.
  3. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Thanks Toastman. Yes I suspect you are right. As I have three gigabit switches as well this would give me the option of having wired gigabit speeds throughout the house also. The only disadvantage is it's going to take me some time to wire it all, so in the meantime if someone could point me to a WDS setup guide that actually works, that would be great as a temporary measure.
  4. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

  5. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Thanks, will give it a go, though seems same as the one I tried unsuccessfully. In this scenario, assuming all is working, should you be able to access the router webpages of both routers using their IPs? Also, is there a way to determine which device you are connected to?
  6. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Thanks, WDS all working now on the 3 routers, using that setup guide. Seems the problem may have been trying to use WPA2 instead of WPA. I read there was some issues with WPA2 and WDS. Is anyone using them both?
  7. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    Yes. But with Toastman's 7493 on all routers.

    When setting up WDS its best to have no security initially until everything is stable and connected.

    With 3 routers make sure Spanning Tree Protocol is on. SPT.
  8. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    I'm using WPA/WPA2 Personal + AES with WDS on 9 WRT54GL routers. Main is Tomato 1.28, slaves are Toastman 7625. Haven't tried strictly WPA2.
    jmiddleton, I just posted a response to the other WDS thread. STP didn't work for me.
  9. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    I have STP enabled with no performance hits. I will have to dig in a bit more. The thing is one setting can be impacted by another. Will get back to you.
  10. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    "The thing is one setting can be impacted by another."

    Ain't that the truth. I forgot to add that I have AP Isolation enabled on all routers. Geographically my network is roughly like a distorted bicycle wheel, with the main router at the hub, and the slaves on the rim at varying distances from the hub and from each other.
  11. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    I don't have the expertise to know how ap isolation mode impacts the likely hood of what STP is designed to stop not needing to be stopped. If that makes any sense.

    Here is a thorough explanation. However my simple explanation is when having a "tree" of routers spanning tree protocol keeps who is who in the zoo straight so as to prevent looping of traffic.

    I don't think it matters since dhcp is off and wan is converted to a LAN but I have the slave set to router. Only master at gateway.


    I also found that reduce packet size, dhcp routes, enable jumbo size, efficient multicast forwarding and now for some reason ARP binding are not WDS friendly.
  12. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

  13. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    In order to better understand what STP does, we need to know how it does it, and why it does it. A high level explanation of what STP does is ensure that there are no loops on your network. At any given time there should only be one path to a destination available. What STP does is ensure that there is only ever one given path at any one time, and should that path fail then another one takes over.

  14. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    Some one like Teaman, etc., with more expertise than I if they wish will need to step in about STP and why it is increasing your pings, slowing system down.

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