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RT-N66 and Wireless Bridge Mode = SUCKS!!??!!!

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by though, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. though

    though Network Guru Member

    i have used toastman releases for years on the N12 and N16. before that on buffalo units and the infamous WRT-54G and have always had solid success.

    now with (2) RT-N66 units (1 as main router) (2nd as wireless bridge) i am getting very bad results. loss packets, sky high pings, terrible local and wan speeds. i have tried toastman and shibby builds and both are acting the exact same.

    is anyone successfully using a N66 as a bridge with excellent results? if so, do you mind sharing which firmware release you are using and settings that you change from stock?

    thanks!
     
  2. though

    though Network Guru Member

    nobody uses the N66 as a bridge??
     
  3. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Have you no patience? You posted your initial post less than 24 hours ago -- in fact, more like 11 hours ago. Good lord.
     
  4. though

    though Network Guru Member

    actually patience isn't a characteristic people use to describe me ;)
     
  5. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Then solve the problem yourself rather than keep waiting on others...?
     
  6. though

    though Network Guru Member

    already tried that route.
     
  7. The Doctor

    The Doctor LI Guru Member

    I kinda doubt anyone uses such an expensive router as a bridge. Not saying it shouldn't work, but between the price and relative newness of this model, there probably aren't many people with much experience using that mode.

    Ed
     
    koitsu likes this.
  8. though

    though Network Guru Member

    i suspect that it is caused by the wireless driver used in it (dual radio). i don't have any problems with the N12 or N16. what other dual radio models are supported by tomato that use the same wireless driver?
     
  9. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    You apparently haven't tried the route of: roll back to the N12 or N16.

    Also, the wireless driver version itself should not necessarily act as a hard indicator of where the problem may lie. What I mean by that: wireless driver version 1.2.3.4 (for example) on the RT-N16 may use completely different code than the RT-N66U, yet still have the same version number internally. Each wireless chip model differs, and therefore the underlying code within the driver differs, regardless of what version string the driver returns. For sake of example: the em(4) driver on FreeBSD handles a multitude of Intel 10/100/1000 chips (something like 50 or 60), and each of those have their own one-offs within the driver itself, yet the driver version is 7.3.2.

    The wireless drivers used by Broadcom devices are binary blobs, meaning there is no source code for people to look at/review (and even if there was it doesn't necessarily mean the person viewing the source code has any idea what it truly does/how it truly works). Broadcom SOCs as well as their wireless chips -- and even some models of their Ethernet NICs -- are all closed-source and proprietary.

    So in summary, my advice to you would be to roll back to hardware that you know works well for you. It's your only option in this case, sadly.
     
  10. though

    though Network Guru Member

    i can roll back, but my mission is to see if others are having the same problems.
     
  11. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Okay, then we circle back to my original point: be patient. Let the thread sit for 2 weeks and see what comes up. 11 hours is not a sufficient amount of time.
     
  12. though

    though Network Guru Member

    cluttering up threads being the policeman doesn't seem to be helping?
     
  13. BinaryTB

    BinaryTB Network Guru Member

    Why not just use the stock N66U firmware (or Merlin's mod to stock)? Since you're using it as a bridge, probably better to stick with whatever wireless driver Asus attaches to the router, but most importantly, you can use hardware NAT which Tomato doesn't support and the speed increase with hardware nat is huge.
     
  14. though

    though Network Guru Member

    the stock firmware supports 'wireless bridge' mode??
     
  15. BinaryTB

    BinaryTB Network Guru Member

    Wireless Bridge (WDS) mode, correct.
     
  16. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    Yep.. No one in their right mind would use this router as a bridge.

    I could buy a set... Yes 2, Ubiquiti Loco M5's, and still have money left over for beer compared to the price of one 66u. True wireless bridges and they can shoot much farther.

    Sent from a little old Note 2
     
  17. though

    though Network Guru Member


    uhhhhh those require a direct line of sight. N66 does not.
     
  18. though

    though Network Guru Member


    WDS = Wireless Distribution System.

    not the same as 'wireless bridge'.
     
  19. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Hear me out.

    If you read the specification PDF (the details are at the bottom), you'll see that the different models offer different antennas, and some of them are less directional than your standard yagi antenna (which is extremely directional). Don't forget that you're working in 3D space too, so vertical and horizontal angle matter. There are a couple models which are highly directional, but the Loco M5 appears to have a 30-60 degree angle vertically (depends on distance) and roughly the same horizontally. The Loco M2 offers even wider angles, but the dB falloff on the edges is much higher (up to -15dB in some cases). For what these things do, they're pretty awesome -- and they run Linux (yes really!).

    The Loco models also can be used indoor or outdoor, although depending on where you live you might want to see what their operational temperature requirements are (for example a friend of mine in extreme northern Sweden was interested in the Loco M5 to link his home to his parents' across the street, except in his area the temperature can reach -45C at times -- that is not a typo -- so mounting them outside wouldn't work, they'd shatter/break due to the cold. He could mount them inside on walls and have them face one another across the street, and there are inexpensive kits for that (US$19 for a wall mount)).

    Anyway -- you're wanting to use two routers as a wireless bridge. In bridge mode, you're effectively bridging two networks (i.e. LAN) together across a wireless link. The routers no longer act as APs for clients; you're just wanting to make a network between two points where you can't run Ethernet or use PowerLine adapters.

    So can you explain why a directional antenna would not work for your environment? Are you often picking up the routers and moving them around on a daily or hourly basis? Why do you need omni directional capability if they're bridges?
     
    digiblur likes this.
  20. BinaryTB

    BinaryTB Network Guru Member

    I probably should've written out more, but the stock firmware screen has the Wireless Bridge option in the same config page as the WDS config (it allows AP Only, WDS Only, and Hybrid options):


    ----------------------

    Bridge (or named WDS - Wireless Distribution System) function allows your RT-N66U to connect to an access point wirelessly. WDS may also be considered a repeater mode. But with this method, the devices connected to the access point will only be able to use half of the access point's original wireless speed.
    To enable WDS to extend the wireless signal, please follow these steps:
    1. The function only support [Open System/NONE, Open System/WEP] security authentication method.
    2. Select [WDS Only] or [Hybrid] mode and add MAC address of APs in Remote AP List.
    3. Ensure that this wireless router and the AP you want to connect to use the same channel.
    4. Key in the remote AP mac in the remote AP list and open the remote AP's WDS management interface, key in the this router's MAC address:
    ----------------------

    AP Only mode would disable WDS, thus making your router a wireless bridge. You already have the router, take 5 minutes, revert back to stock, go check it out and see if it does exactly what you want.
     
  21. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    Nope. It is still wireless.

    Bet I could blast through more walls and such with those than you could dream about with a router.

    Sent from a little old Note 2
     

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