My personnal experience with DD-WRT

Discussion in 'DD-WRT Firmware' started by Maple-Guy, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Maple-Guy

    Maple-Guy LI Guru Member

    I've been doing wireless networks since 1997 but I never before used any firmware other than the manufacturer's.

    Recently I made an installation at a client's place and I ended up with a free WRT54GS v4 wich I "upgraded" to DD-WRT v23SP2 VPN. I had to do the 30 sec reset thing to get the web gui back but so far the thing is rock solid and I tried it in many configurations. DD-WRT passed the test and it was time for something more.

    Since I live on a mapple farm (I do my consulting from there), broadband internet is not available so I had it installed to my fathers house 7km away with a clear line of sight. Back then I installed a BreezeComm AP-10 and a WB-10 bridge client with a set of 24dbi dish antenas. This is pre-802.11b stuff. The units go up to 3mbs and everything was fine. Over the years, the speed degraded partly due to the antenas taking in water and being 10 years old.

    I decided it was time for a change and ordered 2 WRT54GLs and upgraded them to DD-WRT v23SP2 VPN. Again, I had to perform the 30 sec. reset on both. I didn't change the 24dbi antenas yet but the two units works very well and provided me with a 200% increase in performance right of the bat.

    I first started using them in WDS mode in the (faint) hope that I would be able to use them as bridge and AP at the same time. I followed the very good instructions in the DD-WRT wiki and the bridge worked on the first try. The AP function didn't work that well because it disturbed the bridge performance alot. This was due to the fact that I was using dual antenas, one being a 24dbi dish and the other the 2dbi stock. IMO this is not a problem with DD-WRT but more due to the fact that dual antenas are not built to be used that way.

    After that I decied to switch remotely from a WDS setup to a AP - Client-bridge setup and DD-WRT handled that flawlessly without even having me call my father to reboot the main WRT54GL.

    After that, I decided to fine tune my setup for the max performance. I furiously tried many variations and config change and DD-WRT never complained accepting every change along the way without screwing-up.

    I'm running 120mw for not and my signal is not that good probably because the antenas/connectors are too old. The RSSI is -72 and the quality is 25%.

    I started a big FTP download and made change along the way watching the download speed. The only thing that made a real difference was enabling WMM on both routers. This would give me a 50% increase in download speed. The "No-Acknowledgement" setting was the most gain I could get. The rest of the stuff had no impact. With WMM enabled, the VOIP traffic was a little disturbed at times but nothing too serious.

    So that it, my personal experience...

    The antenas changeout will happend in the following weeks and I'll let you know what happends.

    Any shared experience on long distance links would be appreciated.


  2. swinn

    swinn Network Guru Member

    You are correct. The router can only use one antenna at a time so if you have a local wireless connection going then your long distance connection will suffer since that antenna won't be in use. Typically you should set the router to only use the long distance antenna. If you need local wireless access then get another router and set it up as an AP.
  3. Maple-Guy

    Maple-Guy LI Guru Member

    I wanted to keep my post short (yes that was the intention...) and I didn't wrote every detail. By that is indeed what I did. In fact, I just left things as they where before with my previous Breezecomm setup with the exception of using teh WRT54GL as a gateway to the net wich was not possible before.
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