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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 15:18:35 -0600
Lee Sharp wrote:
> From: "Mike" <lists at southwestech dot com>
>> 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.
> You would be surprised how quickly 2 meg traffic can bring down an AP.  
> Not to mention all of the pipes in the primary.  This ends up killing 
> latency fast.  You are also assuming that the bandwidth you are halving 
> is 54meg. Often it can drop down to 11 meg, so once it makes 2 hops you 
> are at 2 or so...  And as it gets congested it also has to handle the 
> collisions and retransmits, so effective bandwidth can drop to 1 meg.
>>> 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 no one is on the internet doing business and sharing files? :-)

Not sharing in a LAN style environment, no. The access is provided for 
internet use by guests of the establishments. If they choose to conduct 
business over it, that is fine, but they won't see the break-neck speed 
they would in a LAN from peer to server. HTTP(S) etc, has good 
throughput, as little lag as could be expected from as small a pipe as 
they are giving me to work with, and I have had no real issues with 
throughput screecing to a halt even with 80 users connected at once. I 
did, however, shutdown the ports for the common P2P apps, which did make 
a huge difference. I still find the ones that will use dynamic ports, or 
the odd user who knows enough to change the port in the client, but 
every little bit helps.

> Tell that to the guy who calls with "interweb problems."  Poor 
> performance means customer complaints, and difficulty troubleshooting.  
> Wireless does not mean poor performance.  Poor design means poor 
> performance.

When I stated performance loss was not an issue, I was simply referring 
to the fact that the performance loss experienced was little. Still had 
good access times, and good throughput on internet traffic. The AP's I 
used seem to handle the traffic quite nicely and have yet to succumb to 
being flooded. Poor design is what I originally walked into when they 
first called me. 8 Wireless routers daisy chained from each other 
running the same SSID and different channels. While I do not profess to 
be a wireless expert (I am still partial to cables) The design I have 
put in, while far from "perfect" I am sure, provides excellent coverage, 
decent throughput levels, with no customer complaints to speak of. Done 
with half of the equipment cost that the original designers had 
implemented with horrible failures. I figured I must have done something 
right ;-)

> Right tool for the job.  I only want religious conviction from a priest, 
> not my network guy. :-)  Some other things to consider is client mode 
> bridging, point to point bridging and point to multipoint bridging.  I 
> do a lot of this.  However, my "bridge network" is different from the 
> public AP network, and SSIDs are not broadcast.  This gives full 
> bandwidth to the bridging network, and the APs act as wired APs.  Most 
> often I use Linksys WRT54GLs with Thybor firmware.  Solid and fantastic 
> troubleshooting.
>                                Lee

Little fuzzy on this one... religious conviction? I didn't realize I was 
implying that, I was just simply stating that this worked well in the 
environment/ mess I was contracted to clean up. Anyways, I will have to 
look into Thybor. I know I have pretty much cycled every linksys device 
I have into the basket since the Cisco takeover, even after exploring a 
couple different types of firmware. I want to check that one out.