WDS Connection dropping frequently

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by crowfan, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. crowfan

    crowfan LI Guru Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here.

    I recently bought two Linksys WRT54GLs and loaded Tomato (version 1.11.1217) onto both.

    On the ground floor, I have one of the GLs set up as a router, and it's plugged into the cable modem. On the second floor, I have the other GL set up as an access point. They are connected with WDS. I set it up as described here.

    I am using channel 11 on both units. Security is WPA personal, TKIP. SSID is the same on both.

    About once every two days, the WDS connection between the two is dropping out. If I go to the ground floor and restart the router, the connection is re-established for the next two days.

    I say that the WDS is dropping out because I can access the setup page of the access point from a computer plugged into the access point via ethernet cable, but I can't get to the router's setup page. Connection to the internet is gone. However, on a laptop that is only using wireless, I can still get onto the internet. I am guessing that the laptop is picking up the wireless signal from the router and not the AP.

    I have no idea why this is happening. I know a decent bit about networking, but I am by no means an expert. Right now, I've set up the router to reboot at 4 AM every day, hoping to prevent this, but I just did that so I have no idea if it will work.

    What could cause this? Interference from another wireless network (maybe from a neighbor)? Or is some sort of lease expiring somewhere? I really have no idea.

    I did search for this problem but most of the problems others seemed to be having was the wireless dropping out. With me, I believe it is the WDS, for the reasons I stated above, although I could be wrong. Again, not an expert. :)

    So, does anyone have any ideas for me? Thanks!
  2. LeonPhelps

    LeonPhelps Network Guru Member

    I would love to know how you make it reboot on its own. I could do this and solve some of my problems.

  3. crowfan

    crowfan LI Guru Member

    Administration > Scheduler > Scheduled Reboot :)

    I am reading online that sometimes WPA and WDS cause problems with each other. I may try switching to WEP to see if this eliminates the problem, although I hate switching to a less secure technology.
  4. Odin-60

    Odin-60 LI Guru Member

    1) enable STP on both devices

    2) try a different channel
  5. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Not that it will necessarily help with your problem, but if you use WPA rather use AES encryption. TKIP is mainly software and therefore carries a slight performance penalty vs. AES, in addition to being slightly less secure than AES.

    STP, as suggested by Odin-60, might help with the problem
  6. crowfan

    crowfan LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the help!

    The only real reason I chose TKIP over AES was because I thought one of my laptops couldn't connect with AES. I probably did something wrong with that.

    What exactly is STP and what does it do? To me, STP means Stone Temple Pilots. :)
  7. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    STP means Spacket Traversing Piloting... Just kidding - it means Spanning Tree Protocol, which sorts out loops or multiple-switch-paths in a network.

    The easiest example is if you have one WRT connected to another WRT, with 2 ethernet cables at the same time. This is confusing to the network (and may result in the network going down completely), so STP will ensure than only one of those ethernet links is used at any time. The same thing can happen with wireless, as wireless is ethernet, just without cables.
  8. m078

    m078 LI Guru Member

    Out of interest, how is it decided which route is used?

    The reason I ask is that I am putting a couple of routers as access points into my roof space. They are wired together and I will have a WDS link to one of them. But for firmware upgrades I will hardwire the connection. Will STP ensure that the wired connection will be used instead of the WDS connection?

    (Apologies if this is taking the thread off topic)
  9. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    I'm no STP expert, but AFAIK there are several modes in which STP can run. In most of my experiences the fastest link is selected, but whether this is done purely on the theoretical speed (1000Mbps, 100Mbps, 54Mbps, etc.) or the actual speed I don't know.
  10. m078

    m078 LI Guru Member

    Are you using "automatic/lazy" to set up the WDS link? When I tried that it worked for a while and then one of my routers stopped responding. I've now reset it to use specific MAC addresses and haven't had any further problem.
  11. gotamd

    gotamd Network Guru Member

    I have problems with Tomato and WDS (VERY frequent disconnects) whenever I try to use TKIP. AES seems much more stable. Comcast supposedly has problems with STP, so I haven't ever tried that. Luckily, I don't have any problems when using AES. It's rock-solid.
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