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 From:  Mike <lists at southwestech dot com>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] multiple access points with single m0n0wall router]
 Date:  Sun, 28 Jan 2007 10:13:15 -0600
Mats Lundqvist wrote:
> WDS is a bad idea for anything more then two APs. Sure, you get basic
> roaming functionality and eliminate the usual problems with repeaters,
> but performance goes down the drain.

And for straight internet access, how much throughput does one actually 
need? 2Mbps/512Kbps or so? I run several hotels in the city with at 
least 4. No bandwidth issues with net access. No networking between 
systems is needed.

> With WDS, throughput get cut in half with every node you add (rough 
> estimate).

A very close rough estimate. I would never run WDS if networking was a 
factor, IE: a business environment sharing files etc. but to me, I don't 
  *think* that is what the original poster was looking at...

> And with WDS, you still de-associate from the old ap and re-associate
> with the new ap, so it's not really _true_ roaming anyway...

True enough, but the new AP is an extension of the old AP. Dedicated 
AP's running on the same channel will conflict with each other, no? That 
is what I have found at least.

> If you have the option [of using cables to the aps], always go with
> stand-alone APs instead of WDS. Use the same channel and the same
> SSID, preferably with little overlapping coverage areas (so clients
> can roam, too much overlap= performance goes down) and you get the
> same functionality as with WDS with no performance loss.

The reason WAP's were looked at for all the locations (hotels, 
restaraunts, etc.) was because cables were not an option.  Performance 
loss was not an issue as it is merely for net access, no networking 

> But if you don't have a choice (cabling too expensive, not feasible,
> on a budget etc etc..), WDS is a good option.

A guess for a little more background, when we initially tried several 
dedicated AP's in these businesses, we found that there was a lot of 
fighting with AP superiority so to speak. Clients in certain areas of 
the building were finding that their laptops were jumping from node to 
node depending on the signal, and were losing connectivity. IP stayed 
the same, but the channel changed. When we set the AP's to the same 
channel, it got worse as the AP's began fighting with one another. The 
companies (on their own- without consulting me) then bought a bunch of 
repeaters for us to try on the recommendation of one of the employees, 
and we began receiving the same issues, only compounded with the issue 
of the repeaters producing IP address conflicts (a linksys special ;-)) 
to the clients on the system.
After this, I explored WDS as an option, and I have not heard one 
complaint. I have kept in touch with the businesses, and they have told 
me the system has not given them one problem, and they are extremely 
happy with the setup.
I don't really disagree with what you have said, I just think that 
depending on the requirements, certain configurations are better than 
others. For the requirements these businesses had of me, WDS was the 
best option, simply because they have no more complaints, and I don't 
get 5 phone calls a day. Many will disagree I am sure, but for a budget 
minded hotspot, this is working wonderful.