WDS Linked router network

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==Working Products== ==Working Products==
-Pretty much everything works with WDS... (maybe in the future we should replace this list of working products with a list of devices that don't work instead. but I bet we'll be hard pressed to find any..) 
* 3Com OfficeConnect,3CRWE454G72, in Repeater Mode * 3Com OfficeConnect,3CRWE454G72, in Repeater Mode
* Alcatel Speedtouch 580 * Alcatel Speedtouch 580
Line 51: Line 50:
* Billion BiPAC 7402VGP * Billion BiPAC 7402VGP
* Billion BiPAC 7404VGP * Billion BiPAC 7404VGP
 +==Non-working products==
 +If you found a dd-wrt supported device that doesn't work with WDS (and you're certain), please list it here.
==Installation (only for Broadcom based devices)== ==Installation (only for Broadcom based devices)==

Revision as of 04:53, 10 March 2009

You are here: DD-WRT wiki mainpage / Linking Routers / WDS Linked router network




  • Only set the ap to "wds ap" and the clients to "wds station". Put all on the same SSID. Now set your prefered wireless encryption. Don´t set the wds mac table! This makes always trouble so stay away from it.
  • WDS between different chip vendors (atheros, broadcom, ralink) will not work since its INCOMPATIBLE and no we will NOT fix it
  • WDS-Sta will not ork as AP. This is not possible @ atheros


WDS (Wireless Distribution Service) creates a wireless backbone link between multiple access points that are part of the same wireless network. This allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them, as is traditionally required. The WDS-enabled access points can accept wireless clients (e.g. wireless laptop users) just as traditional APs would.

Also take note of the fact that all repeaters, including this WDS Repeater mode, will sacrifice half of the bandwidth available from the primary router for clients wirelessly connected to the repeater. This is a result of the repeater taking turns talking to not just one partner, but to two, and having to relay the traffic between them. As long as your bandwidth requirements are within this halved bandwidth amount there will be little or no reduction in "speed".

In regards to integration with DD-WRT, it is confirmed working with WEP, WPA, and WPA2.

Working Products

  • 3Com OfficeConnect,3CRWE454G72, in Repeater Mode
  • Alcatel Speedtouch 580
  • Apple Airport Express
  • Asus WL-500g
  • Asus WL-520gU
  • Belkin F5D7130 Wireless Range Extender/Access Point
  • Belkin F5D7230-4 802.11g Wireless DSL/Cable Gateway Router
  • Belkin F5D7231-4
  • Buffalo WHR-G54S
  • Buffalo WHR-G125
  • Buffalo WBR2-G54
  • Buffalo WHR-HP-G54
  • CompUSA SKU#333628 54Mbps Wireless Broadband Router (aka Edimax br-6204WG) [upgrade firmware]
  • CompuShack SWA-103 (Waveline Micro AccessPoint) AP+Repeater Mode (only with static IP or DHCP over LAN - not WLAN)
  • Comtrend 536+
  • D-link DGL-4300
  • Fujitsu Siemens AP-600RP
  • HighGainAntennas 8186HP CPE [8186HP]
  • Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Expander
  • Linksys WRT54G v2, v3, v4, v5, v6, v8
  • Linksys WRT54GS v1.1
  • Linksys WRT350N
  • Linksys WRT600N v1.1
  • Motorola WR850G v3
  • Netfaster Iad
  • Netgear WG602 v3 Repeater Mode
  • Siemens Gigaset SE505
  • Siemens Gigaset Repeater
  • Sinus 154 Basic SE
  • Sinus 1054 DSL
  • USRobotics 5450 (AP Client mode)
  • Billion BiPAC 7402VGO
  • Billion BiPAC 7402VGP
  • Billion BiPAC 7404VGP

Non-working products

If you found a dd-wrt supported device that doesn't work with WDS (and you're certain), please list it here.

Installation (only for Broadcom based devices)

Standard terminology for a two router setup:

  • The client router is the router which does not have an internet connection.
  • The host router is the router which does have the internet connection and is going to share it with other routers.


Two or more WRT54G / WRT54GS / WRT54GL boxes

  1. (Optional) Save the current configuration of both routers: Administration -> Backup. Click "Backup" button and follow prompts so save nvram backup files, i.e. nvram_host.bin, and nvram_client.bin. The configurations can be restored if the setup doesn't work out and you need to quickly get back to a different (working) configuration.
  2. Reset both routers to factory default settings so other settings will not have a possible conflict: Use the router's reset button or do it via the UI Administration -> Factory Default - select yes - click "Save Settings" button.
  3. Give both the routers a different IP address, i.e. (host/internet gateway) and ("client router") on the same subnet. Setup -> Basic Setup
  4. (Optional) Change the Internet Connection Type to Disable on the client router. Setup -> Basic Setup -> Internet Setup -> Internet Connection Type -> Disable
  5. Set the Gateway and DNS IP addresses of the client router to the LAN IP address of the host router. Setup -> Basic Setup -> Network Setup -> Router IP -> Gateway
  6. For the client router router, under Setup -> Basic Setup -- Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) -- disable DHCP server. Only have the gateway router perform DHCP services. There can only be one DHCP server on any subnet (network) for reliable operation.
  7. Important ! Do Not use the DHCP forwarder either. It is equally as confusing to the network. The WDS bridge is exactly that, a bridge. All clients connecting to the repeater are bridged at the MAC layer to the primary radio and they will obtain their DHCP lease from the primary radio as though they were connecting directly to it.
  8. (Optional) Turn off the firewall on the client router. Security -> Firewall -> Firewall Protection -> Disable
  9. Turn off security on both routers (this should already be done if you reset as above). Security can be re-enabled after all other steps are complete, but in order to minimize troubleshooting, it's best to get things setup with no security active. Wireless -> Wireless Security -> Security Mode -> Disabled
  10. Put both routers into AP mode and on the same channel. Wireless -> Basic Settings
  11. Under Wireless -> Basic Settings, set the SSID to your liking. For WPA WDS, the SSID for the routers needs to be the same. For WEP, different SSIDs can make troubleshooting easier.
  12. If you plan to use WPA later, select Mixed or G-only in Wireless -> Basic Settings. You cannot use B-only with WDS.
  13. Open WDS configuration on both routers. Wireless -> WDS
  14. On each router, you will see its wireless MAC address at the top of the Wireless -> WDS page (note that this MAC address is different from the one that may be printed on the case!). Select LAN for the type, and put each router's wireless MAC into the table of the other router. If needed, consult WDS - configuration for more than two routers for some helpful info.
  15. There is no need to enable Lazy WDS or WDS subnet on either router.
  16. (Optional) Finally, Under Setup > Advanced Routing [ Static Routing ]  : For the Host router put in the IP for client router & for the client router put in the IP for the host router. Use same subnet and gateway of host router. Select LAN&WLAN. This makes sure the bridge is given a static IP route.
  17. You can go to Status > Wireless and at bottom check WDS Nodes make sure signal strength is not zero
  18. Test that you can ping the gateway from the client. Note that it may take a short amount of time for the WDS to be established, and you may need to reboot both the gateway and the client.
  19. Enable encryption now, if you like (highly recommended).

Multiple router setup

See WDS multiple router setup

Apple Airport Express

Verified with DD-WRT v2.3 (12/25/05) and AirPort Express v6.20 [1-21-2006]

Information updated for AirPort Express v6.3 and AirPort Utility v5.3.1 [3-16-2008]

DD-WRT (Save settings after each step)

  1. Wireless -> Basic Settings" Set the channel on the DD-WRT to 1.
    1. Wireless -> WDS: Select "LAN" option and enter the Airport Express's "AirPort ID" (can be found on the underside of the AirPort Express itself - be careful not to choose the "Ethernet ID").
    2. Set Lazy WDS and WDS subnet to disable
  2. Administration -> Management: Set Loopback to disable.
  3. Security -> Firewall: Turn off "Block Anonymous Internet Requests."

AirPort Express

  1. Open AirPort Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities), select your AirPort Express from the left panel, and click "Manual Setup"
  2. In the "AirPort" section:
    1. Select "Wireless" tab
      1. Select "Participate in WDS network"
      2. Set Network name to your wireless SSID name
      3. Set the wireless channel to 1
      4. Choose your security (only WEP will work wirelessly - if you want WPA on your network, you're going to have to connect the AirPort via an ethernet cable)
    2. Select "WDS" tab
      1. Set "WDS mode" as "WDS remote"
      2. In the Main Aiport ID section enter your DD-WRT wireless MAC (can get this in Status -> Wireless)
  3. In the "Music" section (if you want to use AirTunes):
    1. Make sure "Enable AirTunes" is selected
    2. Name and password-protect your speakers
  4. Click "update"

If it works then there will be a solid green light (may take a couple of minutes) . If it does not work, you should connect Airport Express and WRT54G/GS using a CAT-5 cable and set up it. It might work.

This information is from AirTunes, AirPort Express, and the WRT54G at ryanschwartz.net - and has since been edited to update information.

Also note that the above configuration with the Airport Express works with either no encryption or WEP encryption. When using WEP encryption, make sure you enter your WEP key into the Airport Express exactly how it is entered into the WRT54G, but add a $ to the beginning of the key. $ key is meant for hex (WEP). If you're not using hex, then you can leave it blank as normal.

In addition, also note that the wireless channel does not need to be 1, but it must be the same for both the DD-WRT and Airport Express. I have both units set to channel 11 and WDS works perfectly.

WPA/WPA2 encryption does not appear to work over WDS (but will work when the Airport Express is configured in client mode - but in client mode, the RJ45 connection is not usable). The error that the WRT54G reports back when the Airport Express is trying to associate via WPA over WDS is: eapol_sup_dispatch wds0.49153: unknown EPOL type 3 . EPOL has to do with WPA, so perhaps if this issue can be resolved, then the two devices could associate. [EDIT: WPA2 seems to work just fine with the above configuration, as of March 16 2008.]

Warning: This guide does not work for Atheros-based DD-WRT routers, such as the D-Link DIR-300. Airport Express will not be able to participate in the WDS network.

Troubleshooting: Make sure that you disable the "AP Watchdog" daemon. If you have a wireless endpoint (like a laptop) which connects to the Airport station (because you use WDS) then the Linksys does not see any clients connected and restarts the wireless network over and over. You also could change other channel apart from 1, if you're having problems and you don't have to disable loopback.


  • In some cases it may help to put the IP of the client router as a DMZ'd machine in the host router. Of course, this only works with a WDS between 2 routers.
  • The source material for this list comes primarily from the following DD-WRT forum posts:
  • If you're using encryption, remember to configure it on all routers!
  • Set encryption after you got a running WDS.
  • On the main Status page and the Wireless Status you can see the signal strength for any other routers in the WDS. If they are showing 0 then you're not connecting to them for some reason (wrong MAC address or, for WPA links, wrong SSID).
    • It seems that when WPA2 is enabled, WDS does not work well with TKIP+AES: client router reports no signal from the host router, while the host router reports a valid signal from the client routeur. Using TKIP only helps.
    • WPA2 is works fine with TKIP+AES: Set both client and host to the same security settings, with the same password. Version in use is v24 Beta (07/12/07) - std on 2 Buffalo WHR-G125s.
  • If you want to use more than 2 repeaters with WDS and define multiple WDS paths for redundancy then you MUST enable STP or the network will loop back on itself and destroy all functionality. [Quote from GeeTek]
  • There is a known bug in v24 and v24-sp1 that affects WDS. See


Installation en français


Terminologie standard dans le cas d'une configuration basée sur deux routeurs:

  • Le routeur client est le routeur qui n'a pas de connection internet.
  • Le routeur hote est donc le routeur qui a la connection internet et la partage avec les autres routeurs.

Deux routeurs WRT54G / WRT54GS / WRT54GL ou plus


  1. Sauvegardez la configuration de chacun des deux routeurs: Administration -> Backup. Cliquez sur le bouton "Backup" et suivez les instructions afin de sauvegarder les fichiers nvram, i.e. nvram_host.bin, et nvram_client.bin. Ces configurations pourront être restaurées si le setup ne fonctionne pas correctement et que vous soyez obligé de revenir rapidement à une configuration (fonctionnelle ;0) ) différente.
  2. Réinitialisez les deux routeurs en mode usine de façon à éviter tout conflit de paramètrage: Administration -> Factory Default - choisissez yes - cliquez sur le bouton "Save Settings".
  3. Attribuez sur le même sous-réseau une adresse IP différente à chaque routeur, i.e. (hote/passerelle internet) et ("routeur client". Setup -> Basic Setup
  4. Sur le routeur client modifiez Internet Connection Type à Disable. Setup -> Basic Setup -> Internet Setup -> Internet Connection Type -> Disable
  5. Sur le routeur client configurez comme adresse IP de la passerelle l'adresse LAN du routeur hote. Setup -> Basic Setup -> Network Setup -> Router IP -> Gateway (Dans notre exemple
  6. Pour chaque routeur, dans Setup -> Basic Setup -- Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) -- Start IP Address, déclarez des adresses IP de départ différentes. Par exemple l'hote démarrera ses adresses DHCP à 100 et le client à 200. Ceci vous permettra de déclarer un serveur DHCP sur chaque routeur et de savoir sur lequel vous êtes connecté. Ceci s'avère très pratique lorsque connecté en WiFi à l'aide de votre portable vous voulez savoir à quel routeur vous êtes relié et modifier vos paramètre de puissance (à la fois portable et routeur).Alternativement, vous pourrez disabler le DHCP sur le(s) routeur(s) client et ne conserver que les services DHCP de la passerelle (gateway).
  7. Sur le routeur client, dans Setup -> Basic Setup -- Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) -- Static DNS 1,2,3 saisir les adresses DNS fournies par votre fournisseur d'accés ([1]). On peut aussi les trouver sur le routeur hote dans Status -> Router -- Internet.
  8. Désactiver le firewall sur le routeur client. Security -> Firewall -> Firewall Protection -> Disable
  9. Désactivez la sécurité sur les deux routeurs (si vous avez fait un reset ça doit déjà être fait). vous pourrez réactiver la sécurité à la fin du tutorial mais pour minimiser les problèmes il est préférable de la desactiver. Wireless -> Wireless Security -> Security Mode -> Disabled
  10. Configurez les deux routeurs en AP sur le même canal. Wireless -> Basic Settings
  11. Dans Wireless -> Basic Settings, configurez le SSID. Pour un WDS en WPA, les SSIDs doivent être identiques. Pour le WEP différents SSIDs peuvent causer des problèmes.
  12. Si vous souhaiter par la suite activer le WPA sélectionner G-only dans Wireless -> Basic Settings. Il n'est pas possible d'uiliser le B en WDS.
  13. Ouvrez la configuration WDS sur les deux routeurs. Wireless -> WDS
  14. Notez pour chaque routeur l'adresse MAC affichée en haut de Wireless -> WDS page. Renseigner l'adresse MAC dans la table de l'autre routeur (host dans client et client dans host), et sélectionnez LAN pour le type. (Note that this MAC address is different from the one that may be printed on your case!=> Pas compris l'intérêt de cette phrase: Sur le boîtier du WRT on trouve une MAC Address et un numéro de série. Cette MAC address *n'est pas* la bonne. Le WRT a en fait trois MAC address: 1 pour le WAN, 1 pour le LAN et une pour le Wifi).
  15. Inutile d'activer Lazy WDS or WDS subnet sur les routeurs.
  16. Essayez de pinger la passerelle à partir du client. (Le WDS peut prendre quelques temps à se mettre en place, il est aussi possible que vous soyez amené à rebooter les deux routeurs ; faites-le, ne serait-ce que pour être sûr de fonctionner après une coupure de courant)
  17. Vous pouvez maintenant activer l'encryption (trés recommandé).

WDS Bridging without Access Point Function

(NOTE: This appears to be broke with v24 Final)

Sometimes you just want to bridge two points together. WDS has the advantage of correctly passing MAC addresses so either end could be the host (Internet connection on the LAN side).

  1. Set up your WDS routers as you wish
  2. Turn off the AP function using the following commands in the shell
nvram set wl0_mode=wds
nvram commit

You may also need to issue an additional command of

nvram set wl_mode=wds

to turn off the AP.

  1. After it reboots you'll have a WDS bridge which doesn't allow wireless clients.


WDS between DD-WRT v23 and DD-WRT v24 is imposible, thats a broadcom driver issue! by Meex info by BrainSlayer

Same LAN MAC Address Problem

If you are using two WRT54G V5V6 with same firmware version, you may end up on that both router use exactly same MAC address on its LAN, WAN, Wireless. Although you can change WAN and Wireless MAC address at WEB interface, it is hard to change LAN MAC address.

If both router use same LAN MAC address on WDS, you will see that: you can Ping any computer on both router, but you can NOT ping either router's IP, it will show "Destination Host Unreachable".

To fix this, please refer thread:


I have to revert one of my router back to Linksys version, then flash it again with custom build killer file.

Info by Victor

Constantly losing connection to Samba/Shared folder

If you notice that you constantly lose connection to your machine while streaming a video or transferring a file from a Samba/Shared folder over your WDS, you might want try underclocking your routers to the same CPU speed. Some Linksys WRT54G/GS are set as 216mhz (factory default), even after flashing dd-wrt. Try underclocking them to 200mhz under Administration -> Management -> Overclocking, in the dd-wrt administrative console. For a detailed list of which versions of Linksys WRT54G/GS run at what speed, please check the Wikipedia link to Linksys WRT54G Series

Note: This may not be necessary, if you experience this problem it might be worth trying but don't do it unless you have a problem. Changing the clock speed is somewhat of a risk and could damage your router.

External Links

Wikipedia's WDS entry