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Range Extending. Is WDS what I'm after? Help!!

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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October 23, 2012 4:50:55 AM

Hey all,

I'm chasing some help on range extending a WiFi network.

Long story short...
Where I currently work has an unsecured / pay as you use (account) type WiFi network running on Mikrotik gear. Unfortunately where I need to use this WiFi network, the signal is weak.

Currently, the way in which I have overcome this is by using a Windows 7 Laptop, creating a virtual WiFi network bridge and essentially turning my Laptop into a WiFi repeater. This works well, but what I'm looking to do is create a more permanent solution where I can implement a WiFi Router/AP ect..

At my disposal I have an old Belkin 54g (F5D7230-4 V6) and a no name WiFi Access Point, both of which support WDS and WiFi Bridge..

So the question is, without Admin access to the existing network system, can I tag onto it using a router/AP and extend its range as I'm doing with my Laptop..?

If so is WDS my answer, as every way I know of requires changing settings on the existing router/ap...

Any help is appreciated,

Cheers,

Craig

More about : range extending wds

October 23, 2012 6:42:07 AM

Its mostly going to depend how the security is done.

If you take the more common situation you can make the belkin a bridge and cable it to the AP. You now have a home made repeater with the added advantage of being able to retransmit on a different channel than you receive on. This is better in some ways than the very cheap repeater units that only have a single radio.

The problem will be how they authenticate users. If they use 802.1x your bridge will not be able to properly authenticate...it cannot pass a userid and password. If they are using some form of IP based authentication maybe it will work, it should not be able to detect the second radio connection. The problem with a IP based authentication is you can easily defeat the security. If for example you hooked a router behind the bridge rather than a AP you could have as many machine as you wanted and only a single one would have to authenticate since they all share the same ip address. All depends how they make their revenue.
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October 23, 2012 1:41:38 PM

john-b691 said:
Its mostly going to depend how the security is done.

If you take the more common situation you can make the belkin a bridge and cable it to the AP. You now have a home made repeater with the added advantage of being able to retransmit on a different channel than you receive on. This is better in some ways than the very cheap repeater units that only have a single radio.

The problem will be how they authenticate users. If they use 802.1x your bridge will not be able to properly authenticate...it cannot pass a userid and password. If they are using some form of IP based authentication maybe it will work, it should not be able to detect the second radio connection. The problem with a IP based authentication is you can easily defeat the security. If for example you hooked a router behind the bridge rather than a AP you could have as many machine as you wanted and only a single one would have to authenticate since they all share the same ip address. All depends how they make their revenue.


The router is located on the roof... So a hard line to it is pretty much out of the question. The network its self is an unsecured open WiFi connection.

Regarding the actual login to gain access to the network, It seems to be just an IP and Mac based system. If I clone the MAC of an already connected device I can connect two and so on.. The login is similar as you would see at an internet cafe. (Pay your money, Login with Username and Password, you have 'X' time to use the internet..)

There must be a way to just bounce the signal off this router... Any other ideas?
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October 24, 2012 10:21:58 PM

Maybe I misread, I though you said you had a belkin and a ap to work with.

Run the belkin as a bridge which converts the signal from the ISP to ethernet and then plug the AP onto that cable. If you don't need a wireless connection you can skip the AP
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