More than two WRT54GL and WDS

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by NyQuilKid, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. NyQuilKid

    NyQuilKid Network Guru Member

    Hi there:

    I hope this newbie post will be forgiven, but I am trying to obtain some clarification regarding the use of multiple (more than two) WRT54GL routers within a WDS paradigm. (if this post should be moved to another other forum, please do so - thanks!).

    First, if I use a 3rd party program (DD-WRT for example), I understand I can set up WDS with two routers - is it fair to assume this can be done with five routers?

    In my setup, I would have five WRT54GL (one as the host, the other four acting as repeaters/extenders). Can I accomplish this using DD-WRT or other firmware and if so, how? I read the tutorial on WDS, but most of the posts seem to limit themselves to just two routers...

    Thanks in advance and my apologies for the newbie post.


    [8F] The NyQuil Kid
  2. natrium

    natrium LI Guru Member

    I've finally gotten my WDS network up and running. Although it only uses two WRT54GLs, it should be easily extensible. Here are the instructions for doing so:

    Creating a LAN WDS for DD-WRT using WRT54GL routers

    Extending an existing network through two wireless routers can be reasonably easy - especially if both routers have the same hardware. It is also very easy to get something wrong. Oftentimes, if something is wrong, it is very difficult to debug.

    1. Connect the base station and client routers via an ethernet cable.

    2. Ensure that the routers have different IP addresses. This is the local IP address found in Setup>Basic Setup.

    3. Use the same wireless settings for the base station and the client routers.

    4. On both routers, go to the Wireless>WDS tab.

    5. On the base station, find the wireless ethernet address by finding the hexadecimal number listed next to the "Wireless MAC" title (an example could be: 00:18:30:6B:2C).

    6. On the client choose one of the "WDS Settings" that has "Disable" listed as the default in the drop down menu, change the default setting to "LAN" and type in the MAC address found from the base station.

    7. On the base station, find one of the "WDS Settings" that has "Disable" listed as the active option in the drop down menu. Change the default setting to "LAN" and type in the MAC address found next to "Wireless MAC" in the client router.

    8. Check for any typing errors and then click the "Save Settings" button.

    9. For the client router, go to Status>Wireless and the "WDS" subsection of the "Wireless Nodes" section. The MAC address of of the base station should be listed along with the signal strength and quality. If the signal signal is at 0, something might be wrong. Check the configuration settings to ensure that there are no typos and try again.

    10. Do the same thing for the base station that was done for the client in step 7.

    11. Once a decent signal has been obtained, disable the STP for both routers in Setup>Basic Setup.

    12. Change the Connection Type in Setup>Basic Setup to "Disable."

    13. Disable the DHCP server on the client server (Setup>Basic Setup tab). It is recommended to also disable the client firewall found in the Security tab.

    14. Remove the ethernet cable connecting both routers.

    15. From a terminal window, try pinging both routers. If pinging is unsuccessful, try rebooting the routers by clicking on the "Reboot Router: button in the Administration>Setup tab. Alternatively, rebooting of the routers can be done by telneting or sshing into them then typing in 'reboot'. If using the ssh utility, it may need to be enabled. Do so by clicking the "enable" button in the "Secure Shell" section of the "Administration" tab. You may need to either change the key in /Users/<user name>/.ssh/known_hosts file (if the address of the router has changed). Often, it is simpler to delete this file, then have the ssh create it for you when you login again.

    16. Enable Security (strongly recommended). WPA is best. Note that WPA2 doesn't currrently work with WDS. In order to enable secure the LAN, the ethernet cable will have to be used to connect both routers again (or an ethernet cable from a computer to the router being worked on will work as well). ensure that the passwords for both routers are the same.

    17. Remove the ethernet cable and ping each router to ensure that everything is copacetic.

    18. It is recommended to do a site survey and determine what channels are not being used very much. Use one of these channels (don't use "Auto" as each router may end up on a different channel). If all channels are highly used, it might be a good idea to lower the ACK (Wireless>Basic Settings) from the default of 20000 to some low number like 100 (or even less). This way, the LAN is much less likely to run into collisions with other neighborhood nets.

    19. In theory, the SSID of each router can be different. In actual fact, I've not had much luck at this point unless both of them are the same.
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