III. Wireless LAN

DrayTek VigorAP - WDS Bridge

Products:
Vigor 2620Ln
Vigor 2760
Vigor 2762
Vigor 2765
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Keywords:
Bridge
Repeater
WDS
Wireless

WDS Bridge provides a versatile system to bridge wireless access points and wired networks across multiple points. It allows the VigorAP to function in a number of different ways simultaneously. It can act as a wireless repeater and can also act as a wireless bridge between LAN segments.

WDS also allows you to connect multiple AP’s to a single router at the same time. It also allows you to daisy chain AP’s together wirelessly to extend the range far beyond the main routers original boundaries.

The following diagram shows the kind of network we might expect WDS Bridge to be used in:

 

In this guide we will go through the steps to connect a single VigorAP to a 2860 router. However, these steps can be modified to connect an VigorAP to ANY device that supports a WDS link.

Here is a high level overview of the requirements for a WDS link:

-          Security MUST be the same across the entire network.

-          All devices MUST know the MAC addresses of any devices which connect directly to it

-          Devices can be connected into the network using Ethernet links. They will then also use the wireless links to communicate across the LAN. Be careful not to create network loops.

Step 1 – Physical Setup and Access

To begin with we need to configure the physical connections.

-          Make sure that power is provided to all devices

-          Connect an Ethernet lead from any LAN port on the router to any LAN-A port on the VigorAP

-          Connect your PC to the network. Use an Ethernet cable and DHCP on your device for best results.

Use a web browser to access the router’s IP address. This will typically be the gateway address for your PC (its default vale is 192.168.1.1).

 

You can input this address directly into your browser’s address bar and it should prompt you with a DrayTek login screen. Enter the login credentials to access the router (default username/password is admin/admin).

You will then need to access the IP address of the VigorAP. The VigorAP is configured to use DHCP by default, this means that it will pick up a dynamically assigned IP address from the router. You can check the routers ARP Cache Table to see all connected devices. Match the MAC address (found on the label on the VigorAP) to the relevant IP address shown in the ARP cache table:

 

Once you have the IP address for the AP you can then access it in much the same way as the router. Input the VigorAP’s IP address into your web browser and then input the username/password (again, admin/admin as default).

Step 2 – Configure Router’s Wireless

The next step is to configure the wireless network on the router:

 

And:

Step 3 – Configure VigorAP’s wireless

We essentially want to re-create the wireless network on the VigorAP.

The SSID can be the same as the main router (this should make it appear to any clients as a single wireless network) or it can have its own dedicated SSID name so that users can tell if they’re connected to the repeater or not. The choice is dependent on the network environment and requirements; it’s up to you.

We then need to duplicate EXACTLY the wireless security settings on the router. This is very important, the wireless settings need to match exactly in each aspect of the configuration for the wireless link to work correctly. If you are running into problems with getting this working then 9 times out of 10 the issue is down to the security being used.

Step 4 – Configure the WDS link on the VigorAP.

We now need to change the ‘mode’ in which the VigorAP is functioning and also configure the wireless link between the AP and Router.

Firstly, change the mode:

With this configured the VigorAP now needs to know which SSID it needs to extend. The easiest way to do this is to scan for available networks and then select the one we wish to link it to.

Once you have scanned the available wireless networks, select the relevant one and then hit the ‘Add to WDS Settings’ button at the bottom of the page. This should then take you to the configuration page for the wireless link between the VigorAP and the Router.

From here we want to match the exact same settings again. Remember, the security method and encryption type are very important! They need to match exactly for the link to work. AES encryption is used for WPA2 and TKIP is used for WPA. If you are in any doubt as to what to use; configure your network to use WPA2 with AES. It is safer and faster, just make sure the settings match EVERYWHERE in the config.

With these options select you should hit the ‘OK’ button at the bottom of the page.

Step 5 – Configure WDS on the router.

The router also needs to know which device it is connecting too. This means that we have to follow the same process on the 2860.

Go to the Wireless LAN\AP Discovery page and scan for available networks:

Hit the ‘Add to’ button to automatically add the MAC address and open the WDS settings page.

You should then configure the security settings to match those used elsewhere on the network:

With these settings in place the router and VigorAP should be linked together.

You can expand upon this configuration by adding more links between different VigorAP’s. For example a further link can be create between the first AP and a second AP. This means that the second AP does not need to have a link back to the router… it can daisy chain across its link to the first AP, and then across the first AP’s link to the router. By using this method it is possible to extend the wireless network.

Step 5 – Remove the cable and test connection

With the final configuration in place we can now remove the cable from the router and VigorAP. If this is not done then you stand a chance of creating a network loop between the wireless link and the Ethernet link.

With the Ethernet cable removed we can then test the connection between the router and the VigorAP.

Go to the Diagnostics\Ping Diagnosis section on the router. Use this feature to input the IP address of VigorAP. If all has worked well you should now be able to ping the VigorAP directly from to router wirelessly.

 

Congratulations! The connection should now be working. You can now move the VigorAP to its desired location and devices will be able to piggyback from it to the router and from there out to the internet.

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Comments

From: Andy
26/08/2017

Thanks! This has been super helpful in getting things up and working!!!