Bridge vs Client mode vs WDS

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by telemarkkid, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. telemarkkid

    telemarkkid Network Guru Member

    Hello, I'm currently running on bridge mode, working without a problem. I'm just curious as to what the applications/comparision of each of the following: client mode, bridge mode, and WDS. I have read that client mode acts like bridge mode except that computers wired to the router will be on different subnets. Correct??? WDS to me is like bridging, but multiple routers can connect to each other in a chain fashion(allowing signal strenght to be extended over theoredically an infinite distance(awesome)) as opposed to a hub with spokes configuration(bridge mode, like having a wireless card, can't retransmit). One last question, how about AP+WDS?

    Tons of questions here, answer any part would be appreciated, Anything will help this curious mind

  2. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    It is possible that different firmwares define (and implement) these modes slightly differently, but here's a start.

    Client mode.
    In client mode, the WAN (Internet) connection is made by connecting as a client to an existing wireless network. The router does not provide access point support for other wireless clients. Its wireless radio is busy being a client on the existing wireless network. The LAN on the router is NAT'ed from the wireless network, just as it would be normally from the Internet. Typically, hosts on your LAN would be using the DHCP server on the router, since it is an independent network. The network address of your LAN hosts should be different from the network address of the wireless network.

    Bridge mode.
    Bridge mode is similar to client mode, in that the wireless radio is busy being a "client" on an existing wireless network, and therefore does not provide additional access point support. However, the LAN on the router behaves exactly as if it was part of the wireless network. In other words, hosts on your LAN would use the DHCP server that everyone else on the wireless network would use; typically, the DHCP server on your bridge router would be off. The network address of your LAN hosts will be the same network address as the wireless network.

    WDS mode.
    WDS mode is the next step in this chain of evolution. The LAN behaves exactly like it does under bridge mode. The difference between bridge mode and WDS mode is that the wireless radio on your router is also relaying wireless packets to/from other wireless clients, and would therefore act as another access point for additional wireless clients. There is a throughput penalty for using WDS, since every wireless packet received will have to be re-transmitted by the router. So you've only got half the wireless throughput available. But you've extended your wireless coverage, as well as providing a remote wired connection point to your network.
  3. TylerBrown

    TylerBrown Network Guru Member

    Here's a question... If I've got my router set up in client mode to another router, could I plug in my DSL modem into its WAN port while in client mode? Would this provide two internet connections?
  4. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    Nope. When in client mode, you should disable the WAN port. This is probably required for some firmware and simply implicitly done in others.

    Now, it wouldn't surprise me if someone somewhere has put together either software or iptables configuration that allows upload sharing between wired and wireless interfaces. But it's not standard in any firmware I'm aware of.
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