WDS+Access Point mode

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by canuckerfan, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. canuckerfan

    canuckerfan Serious Server Member

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry if this has been discussed already, I couldn't find a topic for it while searching. I just bought an Asus RT-N16 to replace my old WRT54GL and I've successfully been able to set them up in WDS + Access point mode, with the Asus being the host router. However, because I strongly desired at least WPA security (WPA2 apparently won't work in WDS mode), both routers only seemed to connect once they were both set to "G Mode". Because of this, I lose out on the "N Mode" of the Asus router. Is there no way I can get the best of both worlds ("N Mode" and WDS)?

    Edit: Also, I can disable the Firewall, QOS, and UPnP/NAT-PMP on the Linksys router since it's not the host router, correct?
  2. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    What's your secondary router? If it's also a WRT54GL, N mode is not supported.

    I have a spare WRT310N that I'm testing with :

    Main : Asus RT-N16, WDS only, wireless mode N only, WPA security.
    Secondary : WRT310N, WDS+AP, Wireless mode Auto, WPA security.

    Everything works as expected.

    I set the main to WDS only to force connections to secondary, since that's the one I'm testing.

    Secondary is set to Auto because I have only have one N-compatible client, older laptops are G only. Device list TX/RX rate shows that all devices are connecting in the expected mode.

    I never could get WPA2 to connect when I upgraded the main from WRT54GL to RT-N16. May revisit that at some point.

    See my sig for firmware versions.
  3. canuckerfan

    canuckerfan Serious Server Member

    Yea the secondary router is the GL and the primary router is the N16. Oh well, no big deal if I don't have N mode. At least I get good coverage throughout the house.
  4. Mercjoe

    Mercjoe Network Guru Member

    Did you try WPA2 personnal w/AES encryption? It works fine here in a WDS.

    I found that you have to lock the wireless mode down to 'G only' when running the WDS when you have one router capable of N and the other is not. For some reason it likes to have the lowest common demoninater set in order to work properly.

    On the secondary router, it is best to disable DHCP, QOS, Firewall, etc. Let the main router do all the heavy lifting and the remote router be just a connection endpoint.
  5. canuckerfan

    canuckerfan Serious Server Member

    When I select WPA2 Personal on the WRT54GL and try to save it, it says "WPA2 is only supported in AP mode.". The WRT54GL's firmware is pretty old, it's actually the official 1.28 build (non-modded) from 2010. Maybe if I upgrade to a newer version it will allow WPA2 in WDS mode. Any recommendations for newer WRT54GL firmware?

    Edit: I found Shibby's mod: "tomato-ND-1.28.5x-093-VPN.trx". This should work on the WRT54GL, correct?
  6. Mercjoe

    Mercjoe Network Guru Member

    I had not realized you used the original 1.28.

    There have been a LOT of updates and features added since then. Most of them are behind the scenes and you will not notice the difference. Some, like the ability to use WPA2 personnal/AES you will see immediately.

    I use the toastman builds on both my routers. The current versions I use are in my sig. I do NOT recommend the 2.6 kernel versions with the WRT54GL. It is just to much for that older hardware.

    With your GL, you might be able to use the Virtual SSID/VLAN version as well. That makes things interesting as you can have the WDS on ONE SSID, and broadcast the AP on another SSID. The usage of the multi SSID is dependant on the chipset version. See Teamans post about the virtual SSID mod he made for specific instructions.
  7. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    I added a WRT54GL to my test environment (and to my sig:)) and set all 3 routers to WPA2. Changed main's wireless mode from 'N only' to 'auto' to accommodate the WRT54GL. Rebooted everything. Could not get either slave to connect, tried several times. They were both visible in main's device listing, but TX rate was blank.

    Unplugged WRT54GL, removed its MAC address from main, rebooted main and WRT310N, everything connected up right away.

    Reverted all 3 back to WPA, added WRT54GL MAC address back to main's list, rebooted all 3, and everything connected.

    Bottom line : For me, WPA2 and WDS work together if there's only one slave, otherwise I have to use WPA.

    @Mercjoe, I'm guessing from your sig that you have one slave?
    Edit : Oops my bad, I just noticed that you specifically said "both my routers"[​IMG]
  8. canuckerfan

    canuckerfan Serious Server Member

    I installed the Shibby build on my GL. I figured I had the Shibby build on the Asus router so I might as well stay consistent. Anyways, I am pleased to report that WDS now works with WPA2:) Thanks for all the help everyone.
  9. Mercjoe

    Mercjoe Network Guru Member

    Very interesting limitation on the WPA2 encryption. It appears to be a Tomato limitation as I found out below.

    I just learned something interesting about WDS. Did you know you can WDS link a Open-WRT based firmware with a Tomato based firmware? Tomato and DD-WRT do not like to play nice in a WDS, nor does DD-WRT and Open-WRT. Something about DD-WRT prevents the link from being established.

    NOTE: I did not test for speed or stabilty, just that the links are established and I can access the router control panel from remote as well as RDP into a machine linked to the remote WDS router.

    Anyway, For fun I flashed Gargoyle to my WRT54G and I have a spare D-Link DIR-615 laying around that has Gargoyle on it as well.

    Making the D-Link the master router, I can link my Netgear with Tomato AND the Linksys w/ gargoyle into a WDS with WPA2/EAS on all routers (this was not a daisy chain but a two endpoint, non-circular, link). If I make Tomato the master router it does not work. You can only link to ONE of the WDS routers.

    If I dasiy chained the routers using WDS with Tomato in the middle it does not work. Putting it at the END of the lind chain results in a working WDS daisy chain.

    I may reflash it all back and experiment with speed and stabilty, but the wife and kids are mad becuase of the experimenting on a weekend so I had to quickly return to the status quo.. This was just a quick and dirty experiment.
  10. atonz13

    atonz13 Serious Server Member

    Hello all,

    I set up WDS between 2 new e3000 routers. One is flashed with Toastman (host) and the other with Shibby (client). Wireless works fine when no security is enabled on either router, but when WPA or WPA2 is enabled on both routers the client (running Shibby) fails to connect to internet. I am also unable to connect to host web UI via when connected to the client when security is enabled.

    I would like to keep wireless N if possible.

    Please advise! Thanks
  11. atonz13

    atonz13 Serious Server Member

  12. atonz13

    atonz13 Serious Server Member

    My solution was to put routers on WPA or WPA2 and use TKIP/AES as the security setting, that way I can leave Wireless Network mode on Auto. Finally, way too much tinkering for basic security :p
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