Ok, so here is a question: Wifi and Bridging

It’s 2005.

So, my question is this. Can all the Wifi Access Points out there do meshing? How about just plain old briding. I remember Intel pushing pretty heavily that they were going to introduce some technology that would allow PC’s to act as repeaters for Wifi connected devices so you wouldn’t have to string AP’s everywhere? Of course, quite a while back they also said they were going to create a real-time executive that Windows or any OS would run on. They were going to use this for doing neat time-sensitive, cpu intense signal processing things like: being a soft modem or being your sound card.

Me. I just want to buy a Netgear or Linksys AP and then connect a few computers to it. I want the AP to automatically connect to my existing Wifi network and act as a bridge. See, my house is old, and running wires in the mud under the house is extremely difficult. The roof isn’t an option either, it is an old house built in the late 1940s. Wifi has been awesome.

So, do any APs do this? Is it a standard?

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3 Responses to Ok, so here is a question: Wifi and Bridging

  1. Jason Luther says:

    The 802.11 protocol has a 4-address frame format so that it can support bridging (source, destination, transmitter, receiver). The trick is that there’s no standard for how one AP knows which other AP to send the packet to in order to reach the final destination. There are a bunch of companies that make mesh networking solutions, and there is an effort underway in the IEEE to standardize mesh networking.

    For a small network, you can just buy something like the D-Link DWL-G800AP “Range Extender” that does pretty much exactly what you describe.

  2. dru says:

    I think I’ve found another solution.

    The Linksys supports something called WDS. Apparently a few others support it as well. The interesting thing is that you have to setup the network manually. (ie. you have to point your AP’s at each other by their MAC address).


  3. Jason Luther says:

    WDS is the 4-address frame I was talking about. 🙂 WDS = Wireless Distribution System.

    Some other APs support “AP Client Mode” (that’s one of the names) where the repeating AP will associate to the wired AP on behalf of each client that’s associated to it. This gets around the problem of APs that don’t support WDS.

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