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WDS Bridge
The Wireless Distribution System (WDS) allows you to connect multiple Access Points. With WDS, APs communicate with one another without wires in a standardized way. This capability is critical in providing a seamless experience for roaming clients and for managing multiple wireless networks. It can also simplify the network infrastructure by reducing the amount of cabling required. You can configure the AP in point-to-point or point-to-multipoint bridge mode based on the number of links to connect.
In the point-to-point mode, the AP accepts client associations and communicates with wireless clients and other repeaters. The AP forwards all traffic meant for the other network over the tunnel that is established between the APs. The bridge does not add to the hop count. It functions as a simple OSI layer 2 network device.
In the point-to-multipoint bridge mode, one AP acts as the common link between multiple APs. In this mode, the central AP accepts client associations and communicates with the clients and other repeaters. All other APs associate only with the central AP that forwards the packets to the appropriate wireless bridge for routing purposes.
The Access Point can also act as a repeater. In this mode, the AP serves as a connection between two APs that might be too far apart to be within cell range. When acting as a repeater, the AP does not have a wired connection to the LAN and repeats signals by using the wireless connection. No special configuration is required for the AP to function as a repeater, and there are no repeater mode settings. Wireless clients can still connect to an AP that is operating as a repeater.
Before you configure WDS on the AP, note the following guidelines:
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When using WDS, be sure to configure WDS settings on both APs participating in the WDS link.
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To configure WDS on this AP, describe each remote AP intended to receive and send information to this AP.
Select Enabled to use STP
Select Disabled to turn off STP links (not recommended)
The Remote Address must be the base MAC address of the peer AP.
If you are unconcerned about security issues on the WDS link you may decide not to set any type of encryption. Alternatively, if you have security concerns you can choose between Static WEP and WPA (PSK). In WPA (PSK) mode, the AP uses WPA2-PSK with CCMP (AES) encryption over the WDS link.
NOTE: In order to configure WPA-PSK on any WDS link, VAP0 of the selected radio must be configured for WPA-PSK or WPA-Enterprise.
If you select None as your preferred WDS encryption option, you will not be asked to fill in any more fields on the WDS page. All data transferred between the two APs on the WDS link will be unencrypted.
 
WEP on WDS Links
Additional fields appear when you select WEP as the encryption type.
Enter a string of characters. If you selected ASCII, enter any combination of 0-9, a-z, and A-Z. If you selected HEX, enter hexadecimal digits (any combination of 0-9 and a-f or A-F). These are the RC4 encryption keys shared with the stations using the AP.
WPA/PSK on WDS Links
Additional fields appear when you select WPA/PSK as the encryption type.
 
Enter an appropriate name for the new WDS link you have created. This SSID should be different from the other SSIDs used by this AP. However, it is important that the same SSID is also entered at the other end of the WDS link. If this SSID is not the same for both APs on the WDS link, they will not be able to communicate and exchange data.
Enter a unique shared key for the WDS bridge. This unique shared key must also be entered for the AP at the other end of the WDS link. If this key is not the same for both APs, they will not be able to communicate and exchange data.
The WPA-PSK key is a string of at least 8 characters to a maximum of 63 characters. Acceptable characters include upper and lower case alphabetic letters, the numeric digits, and special symbols such as @ and #.
 
Note: After you configure the WDS settings, you must click Apply to apply the changes and to save the settings. Changing some settings might cause the AP to stop and restart system processes. If this happens, wireless clients will temporarily lose connectivity. We recommend that you change AP settings when WLAN traffic is low.