WDS and DHCP woes...

Good afternoon everyone,

I've been reading through this group trying to find the answer to my problem, but to no avail.

I'm trying to extend the range of the 802.11g here in my office, and after some research, decided to pick up a DWL-7200AP to run as a repeater.

The source AP is a DWL-700AP, connected to the local lan. DHCP is disabled on the unit, as there is a DHCP server on the lan asigning IP's to clients.

Internet - LAN --- DWL-700AP --- DWL-7200AP -- wireless clients | wireless clients

I hope that "diagram" makes sense.. clients who connect wirelessly to the 700ap have no problems reaching either the internet or the lan. Clients who connect to the 7200ap are unable to reach either the internet OR the lan, and are unable to obtain an IP via DHCP. A hardcoded IP will work on the 700ap connected clients, but not on the

7200ap connected clients..

The 7200ap was tested as an "ap client" (connecting wirelessly to the

700ap), with a laptop connected via ethernet to the lan port on the 7200ap, and all was well.. DHCP worked, hardcoded ips worked as well.

I've also tried turning down the speed of both AP's to 11mb, to no avail.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this whole process, but I thought that using the 7200ap in "repeater mode" would do just that, "repeat" the signal to increase the range.

I have the most recent firmware on both the 700ap and the 7200ap, and dlink support has been of little help. ("Well, it SHOULD work..." isnt an answer. )

Can anyone suggest anything else here?

Thanks in advance,


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Luke122 wrote in alt.internet.wireless:

The DWL-7200AP is a dual mode 802.11a/b/g access point. Your DWL-G(sic!)

700AP is a 802.11b/g access point. Have you disabled the 5 GHz radio in the DWL-7200AP?
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Axel Hammerschmidt


I have a number of DWL-7100's. They are the same as your DWL-7200, minus Power-over-Ethernet.

The repeat mode in the DWL-7200 uses WDS, rather than just a generic "garbage in - garbage out" repeat mode.

In order to repeat with the DWL-7200 (as with my DWL-7100), the AP you want to repeat from has to also support WDS.

Your DWL-700AP doesn't support WDS.

AP's that do support WDS: DWL-900AP+ DWL-1000AP+ DWL-2100AP DWL-2200AP DWL-2210AP DWL-2700AP DWL-3200AP DWL-7100AP bDWL-7200AP DWL-7700AP DWL-8200AP DGL-4300

Another caveat, even with two DLink AP's that support WDS with one repeating: not only does the pipe get cut in half, but you can't use WPA. You have to use WEP.

WDS repeating is nasty and inefficient. I used to do it before really looking closely at what was going on with SNMP utilities.

Instead of repeating, look for a way to extend by running that DWL-7200 as a second AP. Either running CAT5 to it, or perhaps getting a wireless-ethernet adapter to put in front of it and then assign the 802.11g band on the DWL-7200 the same SSID as on the DWL-700 but on a different channel. DLink client harware seamlessly "switch over" in such a setup. I.e., when I walk into range of a stronger AP on my network (same SSID, different channel), my laptop will switch to that SSID. All my DWL-7100's are "standalone AP's", none are repeating.

Reply to


The DWL-7200 will not repeat a non-WDS AP such as the DWL-700, however if the DWL-7200 were used to repeat an 802.11g only WDS AP, you don't have to disable the 802.11a on the DWL-7200.

You can repeat with the 802.11g/b and have the 802.11a run as an AP. Within the DWL-7200, the 802.11a is interconnected with the 802.11g to pull network traffic.

I have many DWL-7100's (same as DWL-7200, but lacks Power-over-Ethernet). Different firmwares have different caveats though -- and don't count on DLink to be of any help. Its all trial and error.

I don't use the most recent firmware with my DWL-7100's as an older firmware gives me more flexibility.

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Oh, if you really want to repeat, try this:

Put the DWL-7200 where the DWL-700 currently is, which would be better since the DWL-7200 is the better AP, anyway.

Then, try repeating the DWL-7200 with the DWL-700.

That just may work...

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have a second 7200ap, and I'll try to run that as a source AP to see if the repeating works, but if I can avoid repeating, I'm all for it.

The reason for the repeating is that we are in a fairly large office building (one floor only) and a single AP cannot cover the entire space. However, we do want to have seamless transitions between AP's, so users dont have to do anything when roaming throughout the building; they arent the most computer literate people so I need this to be as automatic as possible.

Next, none of the clients are using Dlink hardware.. all notebooks are using internal Intel 2200's. Will these switch automatically between AP's if the proper setup is achieved?

Lastly, I've read that if I setup the second AP with the same SSID and settings, but on a different channel, that users can then roam throughout the building and will automatically connect to the stronger AP signal.. is that accurate? The windows XP wifi utility (zero config garbage) can only see one instance of a name for an AP, so if there are two we may have an issue.. I'm hoping that what I've read about using a different channel will let this setup work. I'll be testing it later today.

Any more thoughts or concerns anyone?


Reply to


Two, or more, 7200's should play very nice together.

In fact, I bought my second 7100, initially, to be able to repeat a 7100.

(Bought the first 7100, likewise hoping to repeat a non-WDS router. It didn't work. Ended up just hanging the first 7100 off the router and repeated with the second. Worked fine, but I'm no longer repeating.)

I liked the 7100 enough that I ended up getting two more of them for other purposes... One is open a different network through a captive portal. Another travels in my laptop bag. With its multiple uses, its handy while traveling. I've used it to repeat hotel's SSID's, used it to setup a quick "HUB" for multiplayer games with coworkers when no other network is around, let people borrow it to use it as a simple ethernet/wireless bridge if they don't have any wireless hardware, etc...

The trick is in the firmware. Some firmware releases are better for some functions, while other firmware releases are better for others. Don't expect DLink to be of any assistance of which are better. You have to play. I found v2.0 to be the most versatile release for my 7100's.

Seamlessly roaming... I can roam seamlessly with (most of) my DLink client hardware, whether the 7100's are WDS repeating or seperate AP's with same SSID on different channels. On my laptop, when I'm in Windows, I use DLink's client utility and not Win Zero Config. It seamlessly switches to the stronger AP. In Linux under ndiswrapper, it automatically switches to the stronger AP, but re-connects. On my PDA, with a DLink DCF-660W (CF) card, it also switches seamlessly. On my HP/C, with a Cisco Aeronet card, it "re-connects". You'll have to play and see what the behavior of your Intel cards are with it...

Other stuff: If you haven't already, grab the "AP Manager" off

formatting link
The "AP Manager" makes it easier to work with multiple AP's as you can get to everything from within just one program instead of HTTP'ing to each of them.

Grab the MIB as well. A SNMP viewer will give you a close look at what is really going on. I used the trial version of PRTG for a little while. It was after looking at my 7100's through SNMP that I stopped doing the repeating thing. For repeating just an internet pipe, its fine, but for WLAN traffic -- yuck.

I'm happy with my 7100's. They can do a lot of cool stuff, but it does take some playing... One thing I'm wanting to try with them next is Radius.. I have Win2k3, but haven't gotten around to to installing and configuring everything for Radius yet..

Have fun!

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Thanks for the tips.

I actually did get this to work by setting both AP's up with the same SSID but different channels. The Intel software worked great, and the windows one seems to be dealing ok with reconnecting to the stronger AP as well. It's not as if these users need a completely uninterrupted connection as they move from point to point, but I do want them to reconnect automatically without any input from the users.

So far, all seems well.

Dlink's tech support is terrible. Each technician gave me different information, and none of them mentioned other possible methods of expanding the range on the network.

Oh well, thanks to this group I'm up and running.


Reply to


Great! Glad you have everything up and burning!

Yeah, DLink tech 'support'... I'm with you there... DLink tech support was the first time I ever contacted a tech support for anything electronic/computer related -- and that was because I was trying to do something 'funky' that was said to be supported, but not documented. Well, you know the drill with DLink tech 'support': its a kid in India with a generic flow chart, asking if your [whatever] is powered up, connected, and has the latest firmware... It only took one call to realize that I'd have to be my own tech support. To be fair, I suppose all the "cheap" manufacturers (DLink, Linksys, Belkin, ect) are like this. They just throw this stuff together from parts from others so quickly that they can't be intimate with it.. For intimate support, (someone that can give 1-2-3 steps for something 'funky'), you'd have to go with Cisco..

All good though!

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