WDS Bridge & WPA. Works!

Discussion in 'DD-WRT Firmware' started by dbett, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    So despite reading numerous posts here about it not working, I went ahead and tried anyway. And I am now running two GS routers bridged on the same subnet using WDS and WPA. I even have an Airport Express hooked up - albeit in client mode since I don't need it to act as a repeater.

    First, my setup and equipment.

    Two WRT54GS's - one a v2.1 (the Bridge) and one a v3 (the Router). Both flashed to the 10/24/05 beta release of v23 DD-WRT.

    The Router is directly connected to my cable modem and hardwired to several computers in the main computer room. It has a fixed LAN IP address of

    The Bridge is downstairs and hardwired to my Home Theater PC. The Bridge has a fixed LAN IP address of (my network IP addresses are a bit screwy). The attached HTPC is also setup with a fixed IP -

    The Airport Express is setup as a iTunes remote music server and a print server. It has a fixed IP of It is running the latest firmware - version 6.2.

    Now for the configurations on the WRT54GS's. Note: I'm only going to mention the key (I think?) configurations - everything else is left as default.

    The Router:

    Setup/Basic Setup
    (1) Internet Connection Type: Automatic DHCP
    (1a) STP: Disable (disable for Comcast ISP) [I use Comcast]
    (1b) Name: Router [I'm nothing if not creative]
    (2) Router IP: Local-; Subnet-; Gateway-; DNS-
    (3) DHCP Type: DHCP Server
    (4) DHCP Server: Enabled
    (5) Starting IP:

    Wireless/Basic Settings
    (1) Wireless Mode: AP
    (2) Wireless Network Mode: Mixed [Note this also worked in G only mode, but I plan on adding in a Palm TX which has 802.11b to serve as a remote control for the HTPC].
    (3) SSID: mysupersecretssid
    (4) Wireless channel: 11
    (5) SSID broadcast: disabled (was originally enabled while setting up, but once everything was working, I disabled it).

    Wireless/Wireless Security
    (1) Security Mode: WPA Pre-Shared Key
    (2) WPA Algorithms: TKIP
    (3) WPA Shared Key: mysupersecretpasscode
    (4) Renewal Rate: 3600

    Wireless/Advanced Settings
    (1) All defaults except...
    (2) Frame burst: enable
    (3) Xmit power: 100
    (4) Afterburner: On
    Note: I got everything working without Afterburner on and then enabled it. Not sure it really does anything in WDS mode, but...

    (1) Wireless Mac: Single entry LAN - with the wireless MAC address of the Bridge. Make sure you use the wireless MAC address which has a different last digit than the one printed on the router.
    (2) Both Lazy WDS and WDS subnet disabled.

    I also have Port forwarding setup to allow remote access to the VNC server on the HTPC, but that's not necessary for the purposes of getting the bridge setup.

    The Bridge:

    Setup/Basic Setup
    (1) Internet Connection Type: Disable
    (1a) STP: Disable (disable for Comcast ISP) [I use Comcast]
    (1b) Name: Bridge [Consistency! :) ]
    (2) (2) Router IP: Local-; Subnet-; Gateway-; DNS-
    (3) DHCP Type: DHCP Server
    (4) DHCP Server: Disable


    Use the same Basic, Wireless Security, Advanced Settings and WDS (just substituting the Router's Wireless MAC address in the WDS LAN entry) from above. In addition, I set up MAC filtering so that clients (my laptop and eventually the Palm TX) will connect to the Router instead of the bridge.

    Wireless/MAC Filter
    (1) Permit Only PCs listed...
    (2) Add the Router's Wireless MAC address to the Filter List

    Airport Express

    I use the Airport Admin Utility to configure it. I did run into some problems with the utility not being able to fully connect to the Airport. It started working after I turned off the Firewall and filtering options under the Security Tab in the Router configuration. I could have just used a direct connection between the computer and the Airport, but then I would have had to climb under the computer desk. :)

    Airport Tab
    (1) Wireless Mode: Join an Existing Wireless Network (Wireless Client)
    (2) Network Name: mysupersecretssid

    Under the "Wireless Security" on the Airport Tab page
    (1) Wireless Security: WPA2 Personal
    (2) Under the "Change Pre-Shared Key..." button, enter mysupersecretpasscode

    Internet Tab
    (1) Connect Using: Wireless Network
    (2) Configure: Manually
    (3) IP address: 192/168.1.180
    (4) Subnet:
    (5) Router:
    (5) DNS servers: [Note I haven't tried using the ethernet port on the Airport Express as a bridge. I may need to set the DNS servers to if I do - not sure on that].

    WDS Tab
    All greyed out since it's not used in the Client mode I have the Airport set up as.

    That's it...

    I got it setup last night and was running fine. The Bridge and HTPC disappeared from the rest of the network after I messed around with the XMit settings on the Router and monitored both the Bridge and the Router's signals using NetStumbler. I rebooted the Bridge but I was unable to test it afterward since the baby was up - at Midnight. :( But it was working fine this morning and as I sit here at work (working hard as you can tell), I am able to VNC into the HTPC and access the Airport Express - so it's all working. :cheering:

    One final note. During configuration I had both the Router and the Bridge hooked up to different computers sitting next to each other. I ran through each setup screen in parallel. Made things much easier. And I rebooted both routers after each major change (I think the more reboots the better :) ).

    Anyway, I'm happy to answer any questions. Although this setup was mostly trial and error and based on reading numerous posts here. So I'm generally clueless about the reason this works - I just know it does.
  2. Team140

    Team140 Network Guru Member

    Nice! Lucky you. I'm still trying to get my WDS secured. As soon as I apply security, everything disappears. No wireless networks show up to connect to even!
  3. whatsthedeal

    whatsthedeal Network Guru Member

    if you were referring to my post about using the wrt54g as a bridge, you've mistaken what i was saying. wds mode with wpa works perfectly but using 1 router in client bridged mode doesn't.

    i believe this is what most people are talking about when they refer to the wireless bridge not working.
  4. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    Fair enough. My various searches here for information on WPA in WDS mode have only turned up folks complaining of problems.
    Anyway, glad to know my working setup isn't a fluke - that will stop working suddenly. ;)

    Maybe another newbie in my position can find this thread and avoid my anxiety about whether he can get it working.
  5. hotrat

    hotrat Network Guru Member

    always had WDS with WPA working here. client bridge is a different thing all together....
  6. erio

    erio Network Guru Member

    have you tried to use the airport extress as a remote base station? i am having a hard time trying to make it work using wpa. everything is fine and dandy using wep. please let me know if you can. thanks!
  7. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    I'll give it a shot. Probably not until the weekend when I have some free time. Will let you know.
  8. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    Btw, I've seen this topic touched on a few times, but if there was a definative answer, I missed it. Is there any advantage to using the Client Bridge setup over a WDS Lan to Lan bridge with the "client" side setup to only accept a wireless connection from the router side?

    I know folks talk about WDS halving the speed, but the (seemingly) definative take was that only happens when WDS is set up as a repeater - which in my case it's not.

  9. fish777

    fish777 Network Guru Member

    If setup using Client Bridge, I assume the Router can be any G router (not just Linksys router) and don't need special setup? So only the Bridge need to use WRT54G with v23 DD-WRT installed?
  10. aaaaaa

    aaaaaa Network Guru Member

    Previous versions of dd-wrt demonstrated about 5% packet loss over a WPA-secured WDS link. Is that still true? Ping one of your local PCs over the WDS link 100 times and see how many (if any) are dropped.
  11. hotrat

    hotrat Network Guru Member

    Correct! You can use any G router or even B for that matter as an AP whereas WDS MAYBE limited so same brands or even models (depending how lucky u get)

    basically Client Bridge mode turns it into a Wireless Switch

  12. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    Well I didn't go for a hundred times, but in the 20+ pings I ran, I had no packet loss. For what it's worth.

    Oh, and I just picked up the Palm T|X and now have it working via Wi-Fi (only B but...).

    Very cool little device. Especially running the Salling Clicker remote control software which is letting me remote control the HTPC's iTunes. It even shows the album cover art on the T|X. Fun stuff.
  13. helob

    helob Network Guru Member

    wpa2 over wds

    reading all the informative posts over the last few days has enabled me to load up dd-wrt 23 beta on a wrt54g 1.1. I got it to work in wds with an Airport express. for me, wpa2 will not with the airport/wds work so i settled for wep for now.
    i ended up putting my b devices on a separate airport express network that is physically plugged into the linksys. this way if i hose the main network i have a backdoor in without leaving my chair :)
    no more dropout on music streaming since leaving the linksys wds just G.

    any success stories out there with linksys wds/wpa2 involving an Airport express?
  14. erio

    erio Network Guru Member

    i am also wondering if it's possible to use wpa/wpa2 between the linksys and airport express. hopefully, dbett will provide some answers.

    i have some doubts though. i was reading some info here and it mentioned that there's an error when they try to connect. From the site, the error message is:

    eapol_sup_dispatch wds0.49153: unknown EPOL type 3

    i hope someone can figure it out and provide a possible solution. i would really like to have wpa on my linksys and airport express.
  15. dbett

    dbett Network Guru Member

    Try the latest Apple Airport Express firmware.

    But keep in mind that my set up is the Airport Express in client mode. I don't have the Airport running WDS.

    Check out the Wiki WDS pagefor some more info.
  16. erio

    erio Network Guru Member

    Yes, it works in client mode. That is why I asked if it's possible to use it as a remote base station using WPA :D

    Also, many people from the Apple discussion forum recommend the Apple Airport Express 6.1.1 firmware than the latest.
  17. adambcohen

    adambcohen Network Guru Member

    wds and wpa

    Read over your post. I am quit interested in what is going on. I know what wpa is, but what is wds. When you have time please reply to my email with an explanation. Thank you Adam Cohen
  18. AK75

    AK75 Network Guru Member

    I’m a networking newbie so please be easy on me. I am attempting to setup my first wireless network. My goal is to be able to stream MPEG2 video from my computer to the TV with the Hauppauge Media MVP. I have a WRT54G V3 and WRT54GS V3 both flashed with DDWRT v23 firmware. My setup is the following:

    Computer->wired->WRT54GS (wireless w/ WDS) WRT54G in bridge mode->wired->Media MVP to TV

    After I changed the settings on the router and the bridge they now intermittently will not connect the computer when hard wired to the computer network card. The router power light is on solid and appears to be working correctly. After this happened the first time I reset to original condition and reflashed with no problem. Now again sometimes will not connect to network card when hard wired.

    I’m not sure what the problem is. Do I need to reset router after changing settings? If so, what is correct procedure? Firmware problem? Network card setting? Any input would be greatly appreciated
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