How do I extend wireless to our other buildings?

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Mike in Nebraska, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. I am running SBS 2003, a WinXP Pro network. Two WLAN's - one for staff use,
    and one for guests. It's the one for guests I'm having trouble with.

    Current Setup: I have a wireless router connected directly to my router with
    an IP outside ( of my internal (192.168.16.x) and external
    (192.168.1.x) IP ranges. It is setup as a DHCP server, handing out
    addresses in the range through .199. All LAN settings point
    to the wireless router ( and all WAN settings point to my router
    ( I have 3 AP's in the main building wired directly to the
    wireless router. Work like a charm. I have 4 AP's in 3 other buildings on
    our "campus". They all are in "wireless bridge + access Point" mode,
    meaning they are set to act as both. They have either omni-directional or
    directional antenna's pointed (as required) back to the main building's
    antenna (omni-directional). The AP in the main building connected to the
    outside omni-directional antenna is also in "wireless bridge _ access point"

    Problem: I cannot get an IP from the remote building's AP's. Each has a
    strong signal when I approach nearby, but I can't get an IP frm the WLAN.
    I've even taken my laptop to each and connected directly to the AP - same

    Questio(s): Is this my design? Physical setup? Equipment (I use all D-Link

    Many TIA!
    Mike in Nebraska, Oct 17, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. Robert L. \(MS-MVP\), Oct 17, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. No, but I thought the DHCP was fine since it hands out IP's via the main
    building AP's that are wired to the wireless router.
    Mike in Nebraska, Oct 17, 2008
  4. Mike,

    I remember dealing with this whole thing out at about a
    year ago. I don't remenber the specifics of how it turned out, but can you
    draw a diagram of how things are "laid out" because if is very hard to
    picture the layout in my head from just your description.

    It would be important to also know what "had been" working and what had
    changed since then.

    The diagram would be good if it was a JPG that was placed on a website where
    I can view it.

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Oct 20, 2008
  5. Will do.
    Mike in Nebraska, Oct 20, 2008
  6. Hello again. This IS the same case I've been wrestling with for over a
    year. The diagram is found here:

    I started over from scratch about 6 months ago. Brought all the AP's and
    set 'em up in our conference room and set everything up step-by-step.
    Worked then, but not deployed.

    My Guest WLAN is set up as follows:
    (1) A wireless router wired to my main router. The main router is at The wireless router is set to It uses the main
    router as the Default Gateway. The WLAN is setup so it ( is
    also a DHCP server. The IP scope is - .199. The AP's are
    given static IP's.
    (2) I have 2 AP's in the main building wired to the wireless router. They
    are in AP-only mode. They work great; clients can get an IP easily,
    maintain connection, etc.
    (3) I have one AP in the main building wired to the wireless router set to
    WDS with AP mode, meaning it acts as a bridge and an AP simultaneously.
    It's antenna is mounted on the roof (about 50-ft above ground), and is
    omni-directional. I have the MAC addresses of the remote AP's entered in
    the setup table on this AP.
    (4) All AP's have a unique SSID to denote their location, and all are on the
    same channel. Security is WPA-Personal/PSK.
    (5) The AP's in buildings A - D are set to WDS with AP mode. Each has the
    MAC address of the other AP's in it's table.

    Using a Dell laptop with a 802.11b/g wireless card, I can walk around and
    detect all the AP's, but can't get an IP. When I plug a CAT-5 from thr
    laptop to the AP, same problem.

    The wireless router is a D-Link DI-524. The AP's are a mix of D-Link
    DWL-2100AP's and DWL-2200AP's.

    That's my situation. Many thanks for your offer to help!

    Mike in Nebraska, Oct 20, 2008
  7. The wireless devices need to be on different channels.

    The firewalls are backwards. It needs to be:
    LAN---[firewall]---Guest Network---[firewall]---<Internet>
    Guest Network---[firewall]---LAN---[firewall]---<Internet>

    I doubt I can help with this one. There are just way to many things that
    you are doing that I would never do, does not matter if you
    "can",...and it does not matter if the manufacture says "it can",...I would:

    1. never use a "wireless router" in anything except its "normal" mode.

    2. never use any AP as both a bridge and an AP at the same time.

    3. I would never even use a "wireless router" in this case to begin with.
    The "routers" are *Firewalls* and I would separate the job of Firewall from
    the job of "wireless device" in this case.

    What I would do:
    Every device would have a clearly define "job". They would not wear
    "mulitple hats"

    1. Use two *wired* Firewalls "back-to-back". This creates a back-to-back
    DMZ between the two Firewalls which would serve as the Guest network.

    2. I would hang an AP on the DMZ (Guest) network for the guests to use.
    This would only be available in or near the building it is physically in.
    There is no "good" way to bridge this one over the campus unless you wanted
    to bridge evey building *twice* (once for each network) or start mixing
    VLANs into and already confusing situation.

    3. The Main building's LAN would then be behind the second Firewall and
    would still be *wired* at this point. Then I would hang separate APs and a
    Bridge off of the LAN

    4. I would use "real" wireless Bridges between the buildings to link them.
    The LAN within each building would be *wired* downstream of the Bridge. I
    would then hang and AP off of the building's wired LAN downstream of the

    I believe this is the same description I recommended a year ago except that
    I don't think there was a Guest Network at the time.

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Oct 21, 2008
  8. I take that part back. It may not be true.

    You see there's the rub when you don't have clearly defined jobs for each

    APs normally run different chanels & different SSID,...or different channels
    & same SSID if roaming is used. The different channels are to keep them
    from interferring with each other in the signal's "overlap zone". However
    with Bridges,..particularly when there is one central omi-directional Bridge
    with multiple other Bridges connecting to it they need to obviously be on
    the same channel and same SSID. Then the APs in the signal area of the
    Bridges need to use channels that don't interferre with the Bridges. To
    help with that all the Bridges except the one Central Bridge use directional
    antennas so the signal does not propagate into areas of conflict.

    Like I said, I don't think I can do anything with what you have there.

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Oct 21, 2008
  9. Thanks, I appreciate your time! It IS helpful. Let me iagram this all out
    and see if I ccan do this with my current resources.

    Mike in Nebraska, Oct 21, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.