List of Linksys Routers / WAPs supporting WDS?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by tarquel, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    How to obtain the best setup wireslessly bridging two buildings on the same network?

    Hi all

    I'm looking at linking two building together with two routers / WAP's wirelessly using WDS but I'm not that clued up on the subject so I thought I ask here...

    The DC [2003 Server] is the DHCP server so I dont need DHCP in the Router / WAP's but I'm just wonder what to get.

    As its a sort of test, we dont want to be buying really expensive gear that would be a waste of course.

    I have a WAG54GX2 in one of the rooms already but as that room is in bits at the moment, it isn't set up so I was wondering if this supports WDS already or not?

    If so, would it be best to get another one? [as they have the WRX thingy that boosts the range and has MIMO too] which would be the cheaper than buying two new devices. I can turn the DHCP off on the unit i have i noticed.
    [they are really ADSL routers but I dont know if that matters lol just turn off all that stuff - we havent got ADSL in that room or anything, it was just to give that seperate network a DHCP server lol]

    Any thoughts would be really welcome :)

  2. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member


    If your need is to put the 2 buildings on the same network, the only box you've to buy is a WRT 54GL !
    With DD-WRT installed on it in client mode, you can catch the wireless signal from your WAG54GX !

    Now, if your need is to link 2 separate and different networks, 2 WRT 54GL are required in bridge mode...
  3. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Officially, there is no WDS support between Linksys routers. However, older WAP54G versions can act as a wireless repeater for older WRT54G versions provided the right firmware is used (not sure if the VxWorks based units retain this connectivity). For more info, please see this.
  4. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Well thats a bit of a shame....

    As I imagine that in the long run, the management would like to implement a wifi "mesh" of Wireless Access Points - start off with this link and expanding upon them probably.

    From what I understood, WDS is technology that allows you to do this, as the whole point in mind is to keep things simple - I dont have time to troubleshoot future problems if u see my meaning hehe

    Do you have any non-linksys suggestions? [if u are allowed to suggest them that is hehe]

    Budget won't allow for much as we are a small state school, and every purchase i make is a struggle i have to justify etc etc, so I wouldn't want to get the above suggestions if then I could "link together" more wifi Access Points.

    Hope that makes some sort of sense ;)

  5. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    You can stay within Linksys if you so wish - as HiSpeed mentioned, WRT54GL on a custom firmware with WDS support should do the trick. Please refer to our tutorial section for more details.

    Outside of Linksys: check out Buffalo products. For reference, their WHR-G54S costs about US$40, while the WHR-HP-G54 will set you back around $65 each.
  6. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Linksys WRT 54GL is cheap and with DD-WRT firmware you can do everything you want (roaming, bridging, repeating, etc.).
    It replaces advantageously any other AP !
  7. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    I notice that theres a WRT54GS as well as the WRT54GL.

    Do you think that the GS would be better? [as its not much more and has the WRX / boosting signal type technology in it]

    I noticed that there is seperate antanae [excuse the spelling] that you can buy also that replaces the ones on the unit... think they are worth it?

  8. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    See my page here to see the main differences !
    The new G and GS use VxWorks and have less RAM. Consequently the WRT 54GL is the best...

    You have also an other good choice (ask Esquire for details :wink: ) :
    Buffalo WHR-G54S
    Superb, isn't it ?
  9. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    My WRT54GL arrived [and I got the High Gain Anntenna Kit too to help with the distance]...

    As much as I liked the look of the Buffalo [I use their terastation products btw - great machines for the price], I thought the WRT54GL would suit better and that I wouldn't have to buy two routers if using the linksys one as you mentioned earlier in the thread...

    Now I've flashed a firmware before but this seems a little advanced so hope you can help me with any sort of proceedure in order to get the new firmware in - or indeed, which one is best to use....

    With it being a school network, I gotta keep security in mind with this wifi bridge so any suggestions? would a MAC lockdown be enough or should it be encrypted or not?

    I think i saw that you can bridge and use it as a access point too, so I'm wondering many things at the moment hehe

    Cheers for the help so far
  10. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Your best bet is to use a WPA/PSK (TKIP or AES) encryption and MAC address filtering...
    Encryption won't be a problem with "Client Bridge" mode but could be in repeating a non DD-WRT signal...
  11. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    The linksys wrv200 wireless router supports WDS natively (doesn't require 3rd party firmware).

  12. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Does it work with WPA encryption ?
  13. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I'm trying to locate someone right now running two wrv200's to find this out. Worst case, I may order a couple more (since linksys is "finally" getting the firmware right) and try it myself...

  14. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    or you can consider their WHR-HP-G54, with boosted signal strength. Both models support 125Mbps High Speed mode - Buffalo's equivalent of SpeedBooster.
  15. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Right.... Understood :)

    Now, after looking at the tutorial here:

    I was wondering about which firmware to use - DDWRT or the Alchemy one - as the poster mentions to use either one i.e.:

    but the question is... which should I use? Is there a comparison thread about?

    especially since the other router is a WAG54GX2 I imagine that it may make a difference but I'm not sure.

  16. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    I'd rather say : "for WPA to work over WDS you have to have the same good WDS on both routers..."

    For example, my "WAG 1.2 - 1.03.1" and my "WRT 3.1 - dd-wrt" work only in WEP over WDS !

    For your GX2 no way, it doesn't support WDS, only the dd-wrt client bridge mode can be used !
  17. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    From the begining of the topic:

    Please dont tell me i've just wasted money buying something that won't work.

    What does this mean exactly? As you said i should be able to catch the wireless signal from the WAG54GX2 so um....

    Im a bit confused now

  18. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    You're probably confusing "client bridge" and "AP WDS" !

    You need "client briged" mode not "AP WDS" which is only for signal repeating !

    For example, my WAG 2.0 doesn't support WDS !
    I can link to it from my WRT set in "client bridge" mode but I can't repeat the signal from my WRT set in "AP WDS" mode !

    Is that clear now ?
  19. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    hehe Not really but it probably will be when I open up the box.... I just dont want to open the box if it wasn't what I needed you see [as i cant send it back if the packaging is opened etc].

    On the cheap 'n' nasty MS paint drawing, you can see the rough overview of the situation....

    Point A is the room currently seperate from the main building and has been using the WAG54GX2 as a seperate peer-to-peer network controlled by the WAG as a DHCP server and has a terastation to store the work on.

    Point B is the main building and has Cat5e links where the main network runs...

    Point C would be a maybe future WifI point [and more dotted around the place to form a sort of mesh of wifi points so certain laptop users can work wirelessly].

    The spray painted black area is a road, and thus the reason why a wifi link would be very useful :) [cost of uprooting the road is very expensive compared to some nicely configured Wifi APs hehe]

    Should the WRT go at point B and the WAG at point A still?

    Obviously if the wifi link works, I will be able to connect Room A to the existing domain and wont need the DHCP server currently running on the WAG...

    Sorry I didn't show you this sort of explaination at the begining but its real busy here and time is short + plenty of jobs needing to be done etc ;)

    Would a WRT or some Access Point at point C link in with the device at point B i.e. forming a [small] mesh of APs, or would it not be possible due to the way we are linking area A and B?

    Thanks for the help so far... I do appreciate it :)

    Attached Files:

  20. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Question : is it impossible to have your ISP link (WAG) at point B ?
  21. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Both routers aren't using the xDSL function as we don't have a ADSL connction [It is provided through the WAN of the county via a proxy server which isn't in our network... the diagram i've attached is only displaying part of the network/buildings within this establishment/wired network ;)].

    ** Damn this is hard work trying to explain this while theres noisy people around lol **

    The DHCP in the wired network of B is on the DC [2003 Server] and the internet comes through a Firewall unit that I setup that joins the WAN of the county [for vpn & private lan IP range purposes].

  22. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Not sure to undertsand everything but in other words : could you put the WAG54GX2 in B ?
    In this case, the WRT 54GL in A will be fine if A and B are on the same LAN...
  23. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Started to get things going - got the latest DD-WRT firmware installed [23 SP2] and made a link, although i'm not sure exactly what it all means [forgive my lack of knowledge here - *this* sort of wifi setting up stuff is pretty new to me hehe].

    Before I left work, I managed to ping the WRT from a workstation physically connected to the WAG unit - hope thats a good sign ;) lol

    As the network at point B is the main network and the network at point A will just be an extention of the network of B, can I set the WRT at point B and keep the WAG at point A?

    There wont be any other further AP connecting to point A [that building is the furthest building in the site] but in the future, I would like to add APs around the rest of the site i.e. C and further, so the best place for WRT would be at B so that i can link it to a future AP at point C correct?

    I'm just trying to work out what settings I need to set in the WRT at the moment.

    Someone has bent the antenaes [stupidly storing the unit underneath a box full of equipment] of the WAG unit so I'm praying that they aren't damaged :S

    I noticed in the WRT that you can set multiple options in the WDS section of the interface. Does that mean you can create a link to the WAG at point A, and also link it to another WRT at point C?

    Can these also be used by client laptops as well or is it a case of either using them only to connect together wifi hotspots or as APs serving the clients?

    Thanks for the replies as always :)

  24. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    With only a GX2 and a WRT, the only solution is to put the WRT in A in "Client Bridge" Mode and the GX2 in B.
    In this case WDS is not used.

    If you want to put the WRT in B and repeat the signal, the "AP WDS" mode is required but it won't work because the GX2 doesn't support WDS....
  25. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Yes, understood :)

    My only thoughts is that if I do it this way WRT in A & GX2 in B, can the GX2 still be used to link the wifi network to point C? and can the WRT at point A still perform as a AP? [so that laptops can connect to it wirelessly]

    Thanks fo much for your help - its good to have another brain in the setup :D

  26. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Client Bridge mode is not AP !
    It's a kind of central wireless adaptor which means only the PCs plugged to the WRT in A, have an access to GX2.

    You ask : "can the GX2 still be used to link the wifi network to point C ?"
    I answer : all the PCs with wireless adaptors in C can link to the GX2...
  27. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    thanks for the quick response... i had a feelingly you were going to say that :)

    As there is a wifi client in point A, that would pretty much mean getting another WRT54GL i think then lol :D

    Would the [very rough] statements be correct?:

    - bridge mode = connecting to a wifi AP only
    - [wifi] AP = clients can access, plus a router in bridge mode can link to
    - WDS = both linking to other WDS Wifi enabled routers & serving wifi clients

    I'll change the title of this thread to something more meaningful later on btw ;)

  28. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    Not too bad but have a look here for WDS bridging and repeating difference !
  29. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    *** I could cry :(... I just lost a huge post that i dont have time to write again :( ***

    Basically, I've set it up like this:

    [Desktop PC1 -]--Wired_Cable--[WAG - - with DHCP on] - - - - - [WRT -]--Wired_Cable--[Desktop PC2 -]

    This is all happening in the same room and nothing else is connected to the setup [its just easier to test the process this way than run back and forward continually].

    The problem is that if the desktop PC2 has a IP address statically assigned, it works fine - can ping the other desktop and view anything on the mini network.... however, if I get it to automatically get the IP from the DHCP [which is on the WAG], it takes ages and doesn't work.

    Any ideas?

    If the wifi works or not, i'm planning [funding permitting] to create a domain in point A [and if the wifi link works, I will create a trust between that domain, and the normal domain in the main building].

    I've set it up per the guides and instructions found on the DD-WRT website - including one guide that was very similar to my situation - one WRT in bridge mode and his other one was just as a normal router AP.

    Ammusingly, I had already set it up the same way before seeing this guide, so I'm not sure what exactly is wrong really.

  30. HiSpeed

    HiSpeed Network Guru Member

    All the devices must have different IP addresses !
    (PC1 & PC2 have the same)
  31. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Sorry - that was a stupid typo :p [and the fact that i was re-writing a long post, and getting stressed that i've got this room to finish by monday etc etc hehe ;)]

    [Desktop PC1 - - assigned from DHCP]--Wired_Cable--[WAG - static - with DHCP on] - - - - - [WRT - static]--Wired_Cable--[Desktop PC2 - - will only work static] what I meant ;)

  32. tarquel

    tarquel Network Guru Member

    Well, a bit of a update...

    It works! :D

    I thought I'd just take the WAG to Point B - so I reconfigured it with a static IP that would be free on the main LAN & used the DHCP Relay and entered the DC [which is the DHCP on that network].

    I then took it and set it up on a convienient window ledge in the nearest room in Point B, and pointed it towards the Point A block. Plugged it in, turned it on, and used a workstation to check it was ok... which it was :)

    Went back up to Point A, and after reconfiguring the WRT [IP address etc], it connected to the WAG :) I thought I'd then take a workstation in Point A back off of a static IP address and onto the DHCP - expecting it to not work - and after a little while, it got its IP address from the WAG relay....

    Happily stunned, I then tried a few things that worked - such as looking at both the WAG & WRT's admin web interfaces, pinging the DC, etc etc...

    Unfortunately, I only have a signal strength of around 10%, but it's progress, and I should be able to move the WRT a bit nearer [different shelf hehe]

    The beauty of all this is that i can admin the network from Point B / C... and now the people in that room get access to their resources :) ....and it didnt cost £2000 to get someone in to do it hehe ;)

    Hopefully, I'll be able to add more to this later - as I've got a few more things to try.

    A few questions would be:
    - Would an additional WRT [instead of the WAG] help in terms of signal strength?
    - Can i now set up a [2003] Domain in point A [with a new server etc] that can syncronise [usernames mainly] with the Domain in Point B / C?

    Thanks again everyone [mainly Hispeed] for pointers and keeping me from giving up hehe ;)

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