Help with Tomato WDS

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by xdrag, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. xdrag

    xdrag LI Guru Member

    Hey guys,

    I've been using DD-wrt for a while and out of curiosity, i've decided to test tomato for my home network. DD-wrt was working fine but it just seemed a bit sluggish so i wanted to try out the highly rated tomato.

    My network consists of a wrt54gl and a wl-500w. I had these linked with WDS with dd-wrt and the wl-500w handled the PPPoE session with my ISP. So today, i flashed both of them with Teddy's newest build (41) and both of them took on the new firmware without a hitch. I used the webgui, uploaded the .bin and cleared the nvram using tomato.

    However, i ran into problems with the WDS. I just couldn't connect the two router together using the WDS+AP setup. I followed the settings from the tomato FAQ and on the devices list, the two routers would see each other but not talk. the main router (wl-500w) could surf the internet but the 2ndary could not.

    Also, my housemate's IBM computer could not authenticate against the tomato firmware. I'm using a mac and i could surf the web properly on the main router.

    For the time being, i've reverted back to dd-wrt for the sake of having internet but i really enjoyed the tomato layout. If i could get WDS to work and authenticate, i would switch back. Does anyone have any suggestions or configurations to test?
  2. i1135t

    i1135t Network Guru Member

    I believe you cannot use mixed mode for WDS and have to set strictly B/G mode. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Also, be sure you set the same SSID (wireless network name), same channel, and AP+WDS mode on both routers. Be sure router1's "wireless" MAC is in the WDS entry for router2, and vise-versa. When you set the static IP for router2(with DHCP disabled), be sure it's outside the DHCP scope you set in router1, with router1 IP as gateway & dns server on router2. You can also disable the firewall on router2 as it would not need it.
  3. xdrag

    xdrag LI Guru Member

    So i've followed everything from this:

    I had the SSID on broadcast and they were both the same. The security keys were the same and the WDS entry for the MACs were exactly as followed. (Exchanged MAC for both routers). The main router's IP was entered for both the gateway and DNS. I didn't know you needed to set a static IP for routers though. Is that necessary?
  4. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    I have always set a static IP for my routers, yes, is there any other way? This defines a few things, the router subnet, the management IP address of the router, and also the gateway in the case of a router serving as a gateway to the Internet (or I suppose it could be some other network in rare cases). I believe that is also how the example at shows it.
  5. xdrag

    xdrag LI Guru Member

    thanks for the reply guys,

    looking back at what i1135t, i did exactly that. I set router2's ip to be and followed all the steps exactly as mentioned in the WDS FAQ (DNS to, gateway to The two router would see each other but the 2nd one cannot access the internet. All the SSID and wireless passwords were the same as well.
  6. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    When you say that routers and see each other, can you ping one from the other? If so and if the gateway router can access the Internet, I'm at a loss as to why the second one wouldn't be able to. When you initially flashed tomato on the routers (not counting upgrades, just initial flash from another firmware), did you [url-]reset the configuration[/url] as recommended in the official Tomato FAQ?
  7. xdrag

    xdrag LI Guru Member

    I didn't try to ping the second router since it didn't occur to me at that time. Maybe i will try later tonight and see how that goes. Is is possible to link tomato and dd-wrt together, i've tried that but once again that didn't work either. I want to leave my main router untouched so that i can continue use the web while experimenting with the new WDS. Before this, my WDS system was pretty stable with dd-wrt.

    I cleared the nvram after flashing tomato from dd-wrt. I did the same when i reverted back to dd-wrt. My main concern is whether or the tomato on the wl-500w can handle wds since it is unofficially supported.
  8. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    Well, I've linked a few different routers, including different versions of Motorola WR850G routers, different versions of WRT54G, and one Asus WL500GPv2, using different versions going back pretty far of Sveasoft, HyperWRT, OpenWRT and Tomato, including mixes such a some DD-WRT and some Tomato.

    I had pretty good luck way back with WEP encryption, had trouble with never everything, WDS included, when I switched to WPA TKIP, but again everything is pretty stable since going to WPA AES.

    The only issue I have now is that sometimes the WDS links won't establish initially for some reason. This used to happen to me way back when, when I was using a mix of firmwares. But for some time all my routers were about the same vintage running the same version of Tomato and I wasn't seeing the issue. Since I got the much newer Asus WL500GPv2, I am having the problem again. I really can't understand what is causing it, teddy bear tried to help diagnose it but we got nowhere. So I have scripts running on all of my routers, pinging each other every 15 minutes. If one of them isn't responding, they all reboot, with a 3 second offset and the main router (WL500GPv2) last. This "wave" reboot ending with the main router always seems to work and the WDS links are stable once established. I have no idea if this has anything to do with your situation, just FYI.
  9. xdrag

    xdrag LI Guru Member

    So i've pulled the WL-500W aside and replaced it with another router (with dd-wrt) at the time being.

    Now i can isolated the two and reflashed them with tomato. I'm can do any kind of tests that can be suggested.

    The main router shows the 2ndary router in the device list BUT it can't ping the router. there isn't a ip in the device list either. The SNR is around 20dB.
  10. vibe666

    vibe666 Network Guru Member

    i could never get my two wrt54gs's to work together using WDS with WPA so I went back to WEP and just configured all the other security options to beef it up a bit, like restricting the number of hosts and using MAC filtering etc.

    of course eventually, living on a big housing estate like I am and having UPC move into the area with 20mbps cable broadband, everyone and their dog got broadband and a wifi router and the WDS connection (and wifi in general) went to cr@p and after trying a few different options (homeplugs and that kind of thing) I just gave up and drilled a hole through my outside wall where router no.1 was and back in where router no.2 was and ran a cable outside the house and it's been perfect ever since. :)

    anyway, try WDS with no encryption at all to start with and try and get it working and then try with WEP and if that works try again with WPA. i think the snag with WPA might be something to do with AES or TKIP but i never looked into it too much after i got everything working with WEP, so i'm not 100% sure.

    good luck. :)
  11. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    I agree with vibe666 that trying WDS with no encryption first is a good idea, to assure all the other basics are covered and working. Once you have that working, I strongly recommend going to WPA PSK AES. WEP is better than nothing but not really secure. TKIP caused me so much trouble with stability that I would never try that again.

    The basics to review, that I can think of:
    NVRAM was reset on both routers after intially loading Tomato, before configuring, and configured "manually"/
    (in other words don't configure, reset and reload that config or the reset does nothing)
    >>Assure both routers have the same:
    > LAN subnet
    > SSID
    > Security settings and password
    > Correct wireless MAC Address of router to pair with under "WDS = Link With" (get from Wireless section of Overview screen of router to link with).

    Also DHCP should really only be running on the "main" gateway router. If you're having problems with the WDS connection, you're need to either:

    Configure a static IP setup to access the "remote" router since you won't be able to pick uip DHCP across the non-functioning link.
    Temporarily set up DHCP on the "remote" router while diagnosing. It's convenient in that you can just disable your wireless and plug an Ethernet cable into either router and pick a DHCP address to do any diagnosis required on that router, don't need to set up a static IP every time to have a look. I like to use a separate small DHCP pool that doesn't overlap with the primary router. Once you get it working, you can disable this. Make sure you fill out any the entries in the Basic->Network LAN section required to serve up valid DHCP.
  12. msmit

    msmit Networkin' Nut Member

    wrt54g v3.1 simply disappeared post-tomato WDS!

    Under the category of "Help with Tomato WDS", this should suffice. I flashed the router with Tomato, went through the admin, and followed these instructions:

    Don't think I missed a thing, but the strangest thing is that once I hit "save", I could no longer, and still can't, access the tomato admin (and therefore, the router). Neither through ethernet nor wifi (assuming it's on the extended network now, as "linksys" disappeared from the SSID list once I hit save, as I expected it would once I updated the WRT54G to the same SSID as my main router, a Time Capsule). I'm at a complete loss. If it were simply network reorganization issues between getting my main router to communicate with this one, then I could at least work through that in the Tomato admin, but it's gone completely AWOL. (browser just kicks back "taking too long to respond" messages.)

    Any ideas? Certainly appreciate it.

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