Hailey's Personal Blog bout Things

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Running Ubiquiti Networking Access Points in WDS AP-Repeater Mode

This is more of a an announcement than a post. The other day I installed (For the first time.) a few NanoStation M access points from Ubiquiti. Specifically the NanoStation NSM2 for the primary access point and NanoStation LocoM2’s for the access points mounted on houses down range of the main access point. The total distance covered was well over a thousand feet with transparent networking from the barn to the furthers away house.

The idea was to enable three access points in AP-Repeater mode. At first I enabled Auto WDS and set the wireless settings to WEP and set the same credentials and frequency. This worked flawlessly with two access points, but adding a third one would break the whole system.

The first hiccup we had was no device would connect to an access point until we disabled the AirMax features in the ubiquity tab of the access points. Once this was done devices connected flawlessly.

I tried to setup the access points using auto WDS detection but it did not work. Using Auto Discovery caused some kind of routing loop and created networking issues making the network usable. Then when unplugging any one of the three access points the other two would start working. This lead to the discovery that when you setup WDS on Ubiquity hardware and are using more than two access points you should manually set the MAC addresses of each access point that will be within range of neighboring access points. Using auto seems to cause some kind of loops or break routing.

Using WEP in AP-Repeater mode is well documented, however the auto WDS discovery is not very well documented. So be sure you enter in your MACs manually for each neighboring access point.

In the end the wireless equipment ran flawlessly once it was correctly set up. The main access point is inside an attic, shooting through a tile roof, to a second building 800 feet away and a third building a 1000 feet away. The access points worked flawlessly. So if you need to deploy some cool WiFi, use Ubiquiti.