» » WDS Status Report

WDS Status Report

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

I’m going to keep a log of all the little changes and tweaks I do to this wireless distribution system setup.

Sep. 11, 2012

The WDS experiment is over. I called it quits after two noted instances of inexplicable drops in wireless performance. I’m experiencing the same “wireless pit of despair” as described by others.

My final WDS router settings were as follows:

  • Channel 6
  • Channel Width: 20 MHz
  • 2.4 GHz band
  • WPA Personal + AES encryption
  • Spanning Tree Protocol disabled
  • Wireless Transmit Power of 64 mW
  • Routing Mode: Router
  • Use user-entered gateway if WAN is disabled: On
Like the fellow from “OldSpeak”, I’m converting over to WET or Wireless EThernet bridging. I’m using the same settings as above and it’s been working well thus far. Hopefully it lasts for more than a few days.

Sep. 4, 2012

The experiment is over and my WDS is up and running solid. Shibby build 100 and the configuration below have been running for days now and not a single drop.

  • Channel 6
  • Channel Width: 20 MHz
  • 2.4 GHz band
  • WPA Personal + AES encryption
  • Spanning Tree Protocol disabled
  • Wireless Transmit Power of 64 mW

What’s next? I’m considering restructuring my network with VLANs in preparation for the possible Bandwidth Limiter use. I would also create a VLAN for a guest Wi-Fi network as well. Those are just some of preliminary plans but since Shibby supports all these features, it’s all possible.

Aug. 29, 2012

I don’t know why I chose Toastman over Shibby but I regret not hopping on this earlier. It’s a very nice take on the Tomato firmware. I chose the “All in One” build which is feature packed with stuff. I don’t know if it’s included in the pared back versions but the “Bandwidth Limiter” looks like it will serve my needs better than Quality of Service feature (which is also included).

But features mean diddly squat if the WDS link drops on a regular basis and so far Shibby is working solid. Here’s my WDS configuration:

  • Channel 6
  • Channel Width: 20 MHz
  • 2.4 GHz band
  • WPA Personal + AES encryption
  • Spanning Tree Protocol disabled
  • Wireless Transmit Power of 64 mW

The key changes since my Sunday configuration is as follows:

  • Downgraded WPA2 Personal to WPA Personal
    • I wanted to rule encryption choice as a potential problem. It’s the middle ground between WEP & WPA. I will switch back to WPA2 Personal if the WDS continues to operate.
  • Spanning Tree Protocol disabled
    • My configuration does not require STP. It’s just one WDS link and nothing loops or meshes.
  • Wireless Transmit Power to 64 mW
    • I didn’t want to affect throughput with too much transmit power. Signal strength seemed fine at 64 mW, so there’s no need to raise it any further.

I hope this continues to work out. I’m slowly creeping towards annoying hardware swap territory.

Aug. 28, 2012

After yesterday’s disconnection of the WDS, I decided to flash the latest firmware available. I believe there was a slight build number discrepancy with one of my routers because the WDS did last longer.

Progress was made but the end result was that the WDS does drop. This time around, it drops but then reconnects by itself.

I’m going to flash Shibby’s rendition of the Tomato firmware. Hopefully that will be the solution!

Aug. 27, 2012

It did fail today but a power cycling of the routers re-established the connection.

Once it fails again, I’m going to switch from WPA2 to WPA.

If it fails again, I’m re-flashing the Toastman firmware.

If that fails, I’m going to flash to Shibby’s firmware.

Leave a Reply