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Author Topic: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot  (Read 813 times)

Weaver

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WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« on: October 13, 2018, 04:49:31 AM »

I am thinking about parking another WAP in an awkward place where it can fill in a black spot. But the proposed site for that WAP is going to be a real nightmare to reach with a long Ethernet cable. Not impossible, but the cable run would be ugly, cable would be in the way, it could get damaged and running it and protecting it would just be a complete pain. So the alternative is a wireless link from one of the existing WAPs to the new WAP.

In the past, I have done an outdoor link over a fairly long distance using three WAPs, a pair in windows of two buildings facing one another. Unfortunately they did not have directional antennae, which would have been too sensible, but the kit that I had worked well enough as the distances were not too challenging. I had two TP-Link 5GHz-only devices for this job, one in ‘client’ mode and the other as a normal WAP, the two forming a separate SSID of their own with no other stations on it. The WAP at the remote end was then linked with a short Ethernet cable to a high-end dual band ZyXEL WAP in the interior of the remote building and it was this third device that served stations on yet another SSID. I don’t want to go to that much complexity again for the new set up which is just extending the WLAN within the main house.

So I am wondering about using WDS which is something I have never had any experience of? Has anyone used it?

I noticed this article, about a different model of ZyXEL WAP, which discusses WDS
     https://support.zyxel.eu/hc/en-us/articles/360001743273-How-to-configure-WDS-on-NWA3160-N-

I don’t know if my ZyXEL NWA 3560-N WAPs have such a ‘mode’ setting, can’t see it. If not, then I am out of luck. It seems a bit odd though.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 04:59:18 AM by Weaver »
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CarlT

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Re: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 10:04:40 PM »

Yes. Briefly. PITA and not a fan of mesh wireless or wireless backhaul. You're cutting the available bandwidth in half - half-duplex link split between talking to clients and talking back to base.
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Weaver

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Re: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 11:02:05 PM »

Agree with Carl.
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CarlT

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Re: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 04:11:59 PM »

That or you're using an extra radio for backhaul.

I've seen a well-known community fibre activist discussing the virtues of mesh wireless as being more 'sociable' towards neighbours - it isn't. Multiple access points means multiple channels being used across both spectra to avoid the mesh crosstalking with itself, and you either lose half the bandwidth or you're further adding to RF congestion by using a separate radio and different channels for backhaul.

I'll stick with a single extremely high range, high power AP that irradiates the room it's in but can reach the parts other access points aren't able to.
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ejs

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Re: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 06:52:46 PM »

WDS can be a perfectly adequate solution. Cutting the available bandwidth in half may not matter if the total throughput of the system is still sufficient to serve its purpose.
Relaying something over two wireless links, with both of those links operating well, at short range and at the maximum rate of the technology in use, can be better than having something struggling to stay connected with such a poor signal that it's constantly re-sending packets at lower and lower bit rates.
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Weaver

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Re: WDS ? Extending wireless LAN to awkward spot
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 10:11:01 PM »

The other bad thing about WDS is that you are contending with yourself. But if ones needs are very modest then the poor performance is not something that matters in a high bandwidth, lightly loaded setup.
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