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Overview of the Wireless Distribution System (WDS)

A Wireless Distribution System (WDS) is a system that enables the wireless connection of access points in an IEEE 802.11 network.  It allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wire to link them, as what is traditionally required.  The notable advantage of WDS over other solutions is that it preserves the MAC addresses of client packets across links between access points.

An access point can be either main, relay or remote unit.

  • A main station is typically connected to the wired Ethernet.
  • A relay unit sends data between remote stations, wireless clients or other stations to either a main or another relay station.
  • A remote station accepts connections from wireless clients and passes them on to relay or main stations.

NOTE:  Connections between clients are made using MAC addresses rather than specifying IP assignments.

All base stations in a WDS must be configured to use the same radio channel, method of encryption (WEP only), and encryption keys.  WDS also requires that every base station be configured to forward to others in the system.

WDS may also be referred to as repeater mode because it appears to bridge and accept wireless clients at the same time (unlike traditional bridging).

NOTE:  The throughput in this method is halved for all clients that are connected wirelessly.




The following Belkin products listed on the table support WDS:

   Product Model


 F5D7230-4 v6

 F5D9630-4 v1


 F5D7632-4 v5

 F5D7230-4 v1

 F5D7230-4 v8

 F5D9630-4 v3

 F5D7234-4 v1

 F5D7632-4 v6

 F5D7230-4 v2

 F5D7230-4 v9

 F5D9630-4 v4

 F5D7632-4 v3

 F5D7632-4 v7

 F5D7230-4 v4


 F5D9630-4 v5

 F5D7632-4 v4


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