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What is a wireless repeater?

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December 21, 2004 7:31:18 PM

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_...

More about : wireless repeater

December 22, 2004 6:12:01 PM

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?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 22, 2004 9:10:32 PM

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_...
> 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?...
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.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 22, 2004 9:10:33 PM

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
December 22, 2004 10:17:12 PM

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?
December 22, 2004 10:20:13 PM

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?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 23, 2004 3:08:28 AM

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".
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 23, 2004 8:31:19 PM

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.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 24, 2004 1:33:29 AM

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.
>
December 26, 2004 1:03:31 PM

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?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
December 27, 2004 1:19:05 AM

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".
December 27, 2004 2:43:01 PM

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.
January 7, 2005 12:33:34 AM

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?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
January 7, 2005 9:13:06 PM

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?
>
!