What is a wireless repeater?

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I was under the impression that I could buy a wireless repeater, stick
it somewhere in my house, and my reception would increase in dead
spots.

After reading a review on ZDNet, I am now under the impression that you
must connect the repeater to a wired network or access point for it to
be of any use. Here's a quote:
Throughput will be cut in half when you enable WDS and use the device
as a repeater among other Buffalo AirStations, because in this
configuration, the radio must not only receive but also retransmit each
individual data packet. Still, the repeater should have bandwidth
enough to spare for most applications, even with WDS enabled.

Well, then is WDS what I think a plain-old repeater is?

Here is the review:
http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Buffalo_WLA_G54C_wireless_repeater_bridge/4505-3304_16-30576840-2.html?tag=top
13 answers Last reply
More about what wireless repeater
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Here's how I think it works:

    Access point is at point A, repeater is at point B, computer is at
    point C.

    Point C is too far away to reach point A, but point B can be reached
    from point C and point A. So the repeater at point B just receives
    whatever is transmitted at point A and retransmits it to point C.
    Right?
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Chris <goldwing@socal.rr.com> wrote:

    > I was under the impression that I could buy a wireless repeater, stick
    > it somewhere in my house, and my reception would increase in dead
    > spots.
    >
    > After reading a review on ZDNet, I am now under the impression that you
    > must connect the repeater to a wired network or access point for it to
    > be of any use. Here's a quote:
    > Throughput will be cut in half when you enable WDS and use the device
    > as a repeater among other Buffalo AirStations, because in this
    > configuration, the radio must not only receive but also retransmit each
    > individual data packet. Still, the repeater should have bandwidth
    > enough to spare for most applications, even with WDS enabled.
    >
    > Well, then is WDS what I think a plain-old repeater is?

    Buffalo seems to use the terms "repeater" and "bridge/repeater mode" as
    synonyms with "WDS". Exactly what other manufacturers mean by "repeater"
    -- or any other term -- is anybody's guess, as the wireless networking
    industry is somewhat of a Humpty Dumpty world. Whatever the
    nomenclature, a dead spot is a dead spot, and a bridge/repeater (or
    whatever) won't necessarily work any better in it than a client wireless
    card. You can try an antenna, especially a directional one, at one or
    both ends of the link, but don't expect miracles.

    WDS does not require a wired connection to anything; but, as the review
    points out, WDS shares the capacity of a single wireless
    channel/network, and 802.11 doesn't transmit and receive at the same
    time. The Buffalo units can service wireless clients while they are also
    acting as WDS "bridges/repeaters"; but again, capacity is shared among
    client and WDS traffic.


    > Here is the review:
    > http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Buffalo_WLA_G54C_wireless_repeater_bridge/450
    > 5-3304_16-30576840-2.html?tag=top

    Better to get product information straight from the manufacturer:
    <http://www.buffalotech.com/products/product-detail.php?productid=13&cat
    egoryid=6>.

    BTW, Buffalo's products can do WDS with Apple's Extreme and Express base
    stations, but they do not yet support WPA with WDS.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 18:10:32 GMT, neillmassello@earthlink.net (Neill
    Massello) wrote:

    >Buffalo seems to use the terms "repeater" and "bridge/repeater mode" as
    >synonyms with "WDS". Exactly what other manufacturers mean by "repeater"
    >-- or any other term -- is anybody's guess, as the wireless networking
    >industry is somewhat of a Humpty Dumpty world.

    Well, I'm not the authority on marketing terminology versus creative
    technical terms, but methinks a (store and forward) repeater is
    usually a stand alone device. No LAN cable gets plugged in or
    wireless device connects directly to the repeater. Just an antenna
    and power. It sits there, repeating everything it hears (after
    filtering) to wireless clients.

    Meanwhile, a WDS (wireless distribution something) allows access
    points to simultaneously act as a transparent bridge between
    compatible access points, and to allow clients to connect to it.
    Therefore it simultaneously acts as a repeater of sorts and an access
    point while allowing access points to talk to each other. Repeaters
    do not allow access points to talk to each other, so methinks that's
    the major distinction.

    Incidentally, *ALL* these wireless devices (access points and clients)
    are bridges, which makes the term "bridge" about as useful as
    "automobile" in describing a specific function.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Okay. But it appears that this only works with Buffalo access points.
    My access point is made by Linksys, so will this work?
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Okay. But it appears that this only works with Buffalo access points.
    My access point is made by Linksys, so will this work?
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Chris <goldwing@socal.rr.com> wrote:

    > Here's how I think it works:
    >
    > Access point is at point A, repeater is at point B, computer is at
    > point C.
    >
    > Point C is too far away to reach point A, but point B can be reached
    > from point C and point A. So the repeater at point B just receives
    > whatever is transmitted at point A and retransmits it to point C.
    > Right?

    Yes. If the computer at C is just a wireless client (as is typical), the
    device at B will have to service wireless clients in addition to
    relaying back to A. To do this with Buffalo hardware, you just enable
    WDS on the devices at A and B (telling each the other's wireless MAC
    address and giving both the same channel and WEP key) and permit the
    device at B to allow clients. In effect, you then have two access points
    that are also connected to each other via a wireless "uplink".
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Chris <goldwing@socal.rr.com> wrote:

    > Okay. But it appears that this only works with Buffalo access points.
    > My access point is made by Linksys, so will this work?

    No. One of the drawbacks of WDS is that it's not standardized and
    generally only works between devices made by the same manufacturer. The
    Buffalo and Apple base stations can do WDS together, and there may be
    other pairs of brands/models that do; but you'll probably have to get
    another Linksys box -- assuming the one you already have can do WDS.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Hi all,

    After lots of trial and error the only repeater that I could get to work
    as advertised is the D-link DWL-800AP+.
    I tried a few others and they advertised that they were repeaters, but
    mostly they were network bridges.
    The 800AP+ with the current firmware works just as advertised. Just add
    the LAN mac address (not the wireless mac) of the wireless router and
    off you go.
    I've connected up to the neighbors Linksys with no problems at all.

    Good luck

    Dave


    Neill Massello wrote:
    > Chris <goldwing@socal.rr.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Okay. But it appears that this only works with Buffalo access points.
    >>My access point is made by Linksys, so will this work?
    >
    >
    > No. One of the drawbacks of WDS is that it's not standardized and
    > generally only works between devices made by the same manufacturer. The
    > Buffalo and Apple base stations can do WDS together, and there may be
    > other pairs of brands/models that do; but you'll probably have to get
    > another Linksys box -- assuming the one you already have can do WDS.
    >
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Wait, I'm confused. So if I do not have a Buffalo AP, then the
    "repeater" simply allows me to connect a switch or hub to an existing
    wireless network? Or is the repeater an access point, allowing me to
    add wireless users to an existing Ethernet network?
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Chris <goldwing@socal.rr.com> wrote:

    > Wait, I'm confused. So if I do not have a Buffalo AP, then the
    > "repeater" simply allows me to connect a switch or hub to an existing
    > wireless network? Or is the repeater an access point, allowing me to
    > add wireless users to an existing Ethernet network?

    As I and other respondents in this thread have indicated, you can't just
    rely on labels like "repeater": you have to drill down into the product
    literature and user reports for a specific make and model to find out
    what functions it can perform. The particular Buffalo product referred
    to in your original post can *not* connect to an existing *wireless*
    network other than in WDS mode. That means it can *not* connect to a
    wireless network created by a Linksys product.

    Any access point of any make can bridge an Ethernet network to the
    wireless network it creates. You can have multiple APs of different
    manufacture all connected to the same Ethernet physical network, but
    each AP will be creating a separate *wireless* physical network that
    will onyl be "connected" to the other wireless networks by virtue of the
    Ethernet cables running between the APs. In the world of broadcasting,
    those radio devices would indeed be called repeaters. In the world of
    wireless networking, they're just multiple access points; and such an
    arrangement -- multiple wireless networks bridged to a single Ethernet
    network -- is not referred to as WDS but as "roaming".
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Okay I get it now. Unless I have the Buffalo router, the only way the
    Buffalo repeater is useful to me is if I run a Cat 5 cable all the way
    downstairs to where my laptop will be. Then I will have two devices
    that allow me to connect to the same wireless network.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Okay, I decided to give the D-Link DWL-G800AP a shot.

    "The 800AP+ with the current firmware works just as advertised. Just
    add
    the LAN mac address (not the wireless mac) of the wireless router and
    off you go."

    I don't see a place in the configuration to input a MAC address of any
    kind. It just asks for the SSID and WEP key. How did you configure
    yours?
  13. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    It's in the "WIRELESS" screen where it asks for the "remote AP MAC".
    i'll email you the screen shot if your email address is valid.

    Dave

    Chris wrote:
    > Okay, I decided to give the D-Link DWL-G800AP a shot.
    >
    > "The 800AP+ with the current firmware works just as advertised. Just
    > add
    > the LAN mac address (not the wireless mac) of the wireless router and
    > off you go."
    >
    > I don't see a place in the configuration to input a MAC address of any
    > kind. It just asks for the SSID and WEP key. How did you configure
    > yours?
    >
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