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WDS Multiple router networrk - need info on RIP

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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October 1, 2010 2:13:38 AM

Hi there,

Before to start asking questions, here is my network config :) 

Router 4
/
Router 3
/ \ Router 2
Router 1
\ Router 5

All routers ( Zyxel) are linked by WDS, no LAN cable possible.

Here is the config of each

Router 1 : P660hw, 192.168.1.1, DHCP on, ADSL connection
Router 2 : WAP3205, 192.168.1.2 DHCP relay
Router 3 : P660hw, 192.168.1.11 DHCP relay
Router 4 : WAP3205, 192.168.1.3 DHCP relay
Router 5:p 660hw, 192.168.1.6 DHCP Relay



So far, I can ping any of them, and connect to the internet from any of them. ( with my iphone)

But some people using my network have windows XP, which is very reluctant to multiple network :(  and can't get connected


On the router 1 it's possible to configure the RIP, and multicast? Will it help to set it up, i'm a bit confused of the benefits of this set up.

On Router 3 and 5 it also possible to configure the multicast and RIP
October 1, 2010 3:38:52 AM

"But some people using my network have windows XP, which is very reluctant to multiple network :(  and can't get connected "

I don't know what you mean by "multiple network". All I see is ONE network, 192.168.1.x.

Unless there's something else going on here that I’m just missing (and that’s always possible), the only router that should have a DHCP server enabled is Router #1. All the rest are merely wireless APs and should have their respective DHPC servers *disabled*!

If that’s done, then as long as they're all connected via WDS, all on the same subnet (192.168.1.x), and all working happily together as you suggest, it should just work. Any wireless clients (if you allow wireless clients on the WDS network, some ppl do, some don't) and any wired clients should have transparent access to any resources on the 192.168.1.x network and the gateway (via Router #1).

All the talk about RIP, multicast, etc., is completely irrelevant, again, if I correctly understand your intent here. I think this is a case of perhaps overthinking the solution.



October 3, 2010 2:07:26 AM

Ok I'll try to give a better explanation of my problem then

The router 1 ( P660HW) catches the internet and spreads it by wds to 2 other routers ( P660HW) and 2 AP/bridges (wap3205).

When the router1 reboots( for any reason) the wds link to the remote routers is restored (normal) but the WDS link with the 2 AP/bridges (wap3205) can't restore by itself. I need to unplug/plug them to reinitialize the wds link :( 

Can you see any reason for this?

About the RIP, or multicast could you explain me why is it irrelevant? And Could you give me more (practical) explanation on their use please?

For my understanding, if the RIP is not listening to the Broadcoast from the router, it doesn't know the link is down and doesn't restart the WDS service.
Am I completely wrong :?
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October 3, 2010 4:07:02 AM

I just want to be sure I understand the architecture here. It may ultimately prove irrelevant, but since I'm not sure what's causing the problem, I don't know what may or may not be useful in solving it.

Router #1 is the only device connected to the Internet (via its WAN). It is connected by a WDS link to Router #3 and Router #5. IOW, Router #1 has the MAC address of Router #3 and Router #5 in its WDS table, and each of those has the MAC address of Router #1 in their respective WDS tables.

You also have two WAPS (not really routers). WAP #2 and WAP #4 (what you call Router #2 and Router #4, respectively) have WDS links to Router #3. IOW, Router #3 has the MAC address of WAP #2 and WAP #4 in its WDS table, and each of those has the MAC address of Router #3 in their respective WDS tables.

I assume neither the WAN port of Router #3 or Router #5 is ever used (or else if they are, you feel it’s not relevant). So the only router that actually routes is Router #1. All the other routers and WAPs are really just bridges. Any device connected to any router or WAP is part of the same network (e.g., 192.168.1.x). You've kept DHCP enabled everywhere, but only Router #1 is authoritative. All the others simply act as relays.

For all intents and purposes, it's just one big, distributed network of wireless APs to which you can plug in any wired devices and gain Internet access or share files and printers on the local network.

Do I pretty much have the picture?

If so, the reason I’m reticent about RIP is that you only have one logical network (e.g., 192.168.1.x). You might possibly have a need for the STP protocol to prevent loopbacks if this was a WDS-based mesh network (which it isn’t). But as defined, it’s not an IP routing problem. It appears that you’re *hoping* that if RIP broadcasts are expected and not received, then the routers/WAPs will assume the WDS link is down and re-establish it. But I have no reason to assume that’s the case. I’m not saying it might not be the case, but I never would have assumed that myself.

So it begs the question, why would the WAPs behind Router #3 give a hoot about the temporary loss of the WDS link between Router #3 and Router #1. Those WAPS should be perfectly happy to continue their WDS links to Router #3 and any devices/services still accessible (obviously the Internet would not be one of them).

Something else is amiss here, and maybe it’s the WDS configuration itself. But WDS is pretty simple and basic, at least as far as end-user configuration.

I’d be curious to see what happens if wireless security is disabled. What are you using at the moment?

Another thing I would try (if practical) is place one of the routers (P660HW) behind Router #3 and see if it drops too (Router #5 looks like a good candidate). The reason I’m suggesting this is that WAP #2 and WAP #4 are different devices. WDS is notorious for incompatibilities. I frankly don’t trust it except when all the devices are absolutely identical. I’ve even seen devices you would ASSUME should be compatible prove otherwise, such as different devices but still from the same brand (like we have here). WDS can be a royal PITA unless you keep everything identical.

Again, I’m just speculating here, I have no proof of anything. But I’ve been dealing w/ WDS for many years and absolutely despise it. Because it’s not a wifi certified protocol, there’s no guarantee of compatibility across brands, and as I said, sometimes even within the same brand. So I’m always suspicious of its use except when conditions are perfect. That’s why I want to see what happens if you place the SAME device (P660HW) behind Router #3. If that device stays connected when Router #1 drops its connection to Router #3, I’d be willing to bet it’s a compatibility problem between the P660HW and WAP3205.
October 3, 2010 4:13:01 AM

P.S. I hope you realize the WAP3205 is also a universal wireless client/repeater, so it's not strictly necessary to use WDS for the WAPs in your current architecture. There’s no way those connections would drop using universal wireless client/repeater. The use of WDS is actually better suited to mesh networks, which as I said, is not the case here (you have a proper tree, at least if I understand the architecture correctly). That’s why the STP protocol is often implemented in conjunction w/ WDS. I strongly recommend using universal wireless client/repeater over WDS to avoid these very types of problems (or at least leave WDS for those situations where you have no other option).

October 3, 2010 7:43:19 AM

Wow, first thanks for this detailed answer, You've pictured my network well :) 

Well, In fact before having wap3205, I had a P660HW, and a G570S instead, and I never had any problems :)  i was working just fine.

I wanted to switch to n wifi, that's why I've bought the 2 WAP3205,
I'm planning to buy a P660HN to replace the router, but I'm scared of the compatibilities issues. Zyxel had once a compatibility list between their device but can't find it again :( 

Anyway,

I've tried to change the network structure and connect the 4 WAPs to the 4 WDS link or the router. Same problem occurs.
If the router reboots, the WAP (p660hw) reconnect the wds, but the WAP3205 don't :( 

This evening I will give a try using the universal repeater mode and give you some feed back.
October 3, 2010 7:50:53 AM

PS: I'm using WEP 64bit key AUTO.
October 3, 2010 4:50:24 PM

wanalex said:
PS: I'm using WEP 64bit key AUTO.


I figured as much. A lot of WDS implementations only support WEP (they can't always handle the key regeneration associated w/ WPA/WPA2). Yet another reason I don't like it. Now the very vulnerable WEP has to be propagated everywhere to keep WDS happy.
!