Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mikrotik RouterOS + Netgear WG102AU

A good combination for a hotspot + repeater setup on a reasonable budget.

As you know I have been working on setting up hotspots in a bunch of local caravan parks. A couple of these parks are spread over a large area with quite a few trees in and around potential client locations. Therefore a repeater will be necessary for full coverage of these locations.

Wireless Distribution System is a method for allowing APs to repeat of one another. Its not certified by the WiFi Alliance so it can be 'hit and miss' when getting two different Access Points talking to each other using this system. The Netgear WG102 works with the Mikrotik RouterOS 2.9.27 using a Senao 2511 (200mW) card.

The configurations are as follows.

RouterOS:
/ interface wireless set hotspot name="hotspot" ssid="hotspot" wds-mode=dynamic wds-default-bridge=wds_bridge
/ interface bridge add name="wds_bridge"

/ interface bridge port add interface=hotspot bridge=wds_bridge priority=128 path-cost=10 comment="" disabled=no


The mac address of the RouterOS hotspot interface is: 00:02:6F:39:58:4E

This is using the dynamic WDS mode - meaning that RouterOS will automatically add APs that wish to participate in a WDS style connection. It will also automatically add the dynamic WDS interfaces to a bridge interface to share with the physical wireless interface.

Netgear:
Under Security click Security Profile Settings. Select the first profile and click edit.
Set the Profile Name to repeater or whatever you like and then set the SSID to hotspot.
You can opt to have Wireless client Security Seperation if you do not wish to have clients talking to each other.

Within the Advanced group in the main menu on the left side, click Access Point Settings.
Check the box for Enable Wireless Bridging and Repeating on Security Profile 1.
Choose Repeater with Wireless Client Association and enter the above 'hotspot' mac address in the Parent AP MAC Address fields.
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