3 routers: AP+WDS; WDS; WDS. Can't get IP address from WDS routers

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by kallsop, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. kallsop

    kallsop LI Guru Member

    Basically used the setup described in the faq (http://www.polarcloud.com/tomatofaq#how_do_i_use_wds) so I won't repeat everything here.

    The AP+WDS router is, and has a WAN connection.
    One WDS router is, the other is Both will be used only with hardwired connections. All 3 routers are running Tomato 1.28.

    The wireless setup is G only, channel 1, WPA-Personal+AES, same key and SSID (not broadcast) for all 3 routers.

    The AP+WDS router has both WDS routers showing up under Device List:
    wds0.1 -50dBm 49
    wds0.2 -33dBm 66

    The wds0.q and wds0.2 routers Device List both show the AP+WDS router with reasonable RSSI and Quality. Both WDS routers have DHCP disabled. A PC wireless connection to the AP+WDS router works fine. Anything cable connected to the WDS routers does not acquire an IP address. Ideas?
  2. kallsop

    kallsop LI Guru Member

    One other interesting bit of info: connected to the AP+WDS router, I can not browse to either WDS routers config screens at or, and that should work. That makes me think the problem is not directly a WDS router DHCP issue, but even though the AP+WDS Device List shows both WDS routers, there is no data connection between them?
  3. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    I'm a little confused trying to figure out your setup. First of all you should broadcast SSID. Second WDS is meant for wireless only. If you are using hardwired connectons you should be setting the slave routers up as ethernet bridges not WDS. Also turn off all security settings until you get everything connected.
  4. kallsop

    kallsop LI Guru Member

    Eureka! I must have been half asleep after the Christmas excesses LOL. Changed the two formerly WDS routers to wireless ethernet bridging and they both now do what I need; wired connections to those routers get their IP from the main router. Many thanks.
  5. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    So if you use 3 routers like this in AP+WDS mode, you cannot also use wired connections on the two "slave" units in addition to wireless, is that right?
  6. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    Occamsrazor, yes you can use both wired and wireless on the slaves. I have a similar setup with a main router + 9 slaves. All routers are defined as AP+WDS. All support both wired and wireless connections. Several slaves have additional wired "slave-slaves", and 1 slave has a wireless AP+WDS "slave-slave". The recent addition of the wired "slave-slaves" means I can switch the corresponding slaves to ethernet bridge mode, that's on the to-do list. The slave with the wireless "slave-slave" however, has to remain AP+WDS because it also has to support several wireless PC's, phones etc.

    The only difference that I can see between my setup and kallsop's is that his (her?) slaves are WDS whereas mine are AP+WDS.
  7. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    "in AP+WDS mode"

    With single band routers AP+WDS mode keeps the wireless connections in play for the slave routers. Ethernet bridge mode does not. With dual band routers you can configure the ethernet bridge channel to be the 5.4ghz channel and then the 2.4 ghz channels stay in play for wireless connectivity with the slaves.

    We probably could have gotten kal.... wds setup to work. Its just that he doesn't need wds. In his setup where the clients are all LAN connected to the slave not only is ethernet bridge mode easier, it will be faster for his LAN attached clients. WDS adds a bit of overhead. Its the way it works. He doesn't need that extra little loop that happens with WDS.


    You hopefully have turned off WDS+AP in the master.... Also in bridge mode your master sees any slave attached clients basically as the bridged slave router. Not 100% but mostly. That means if you do any static dhcp assignments, which work, to the slave attached devices do NOT turn on APR binding. Also if you put any MAC filtering in the master for slave attached clients you may lose all connection to the slave. You have to manage traffic, if you wish to do so, with QOS. Can't do a poor man's qos with mac filtering. Something you can do with WDS mode by the way.
  8. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    " you cannot also use wired connections on the two "slave" units in addition to wireless, is that right?"

    That is incorrect. I phrased my response to kal... awkwardly. AP+WDS keeps wireless and wired in play.
  9. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Network Guru Member

    If I had a network system in which I thought I needed WDS mode on slaves, not WDS+AP, I'd seriously consider ethernet bridge mode. WDS mode communicates with the master but makes the wireless for clients to the slave unavailable. Basically ethernet bridge mode. The only advantage I can think of is as noted about things like MAC filtering is WDS mode keeps the MAC addresses intact for slave attached clients. I'm sure there is a scenario in which that is required. But at the same time I'm thinking whatever the reason is to need to keep MAC's of slave attached clients intact, there is probably another way to skin that cat.
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