[svlug] 802.11b bridge

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sun Nov 25 14:51:01 PST 2001


On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 12:37:15 -0800 
Mark C <Mark> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 03:06:32PM -0800, Breen Mullins wrote:
>> At 12:36 -0800 11/23/01, J C Lawrence wrote: 

> Actually, the LinkSys WAP11 does not have a web-based interface.

Umm.  Yes.  Damn.  

A good starting point for this area seems to be the 802.11b blog:

  http://80211b.weblogger.com/

And in particular:

  http://80211b.weblogger.com/cheapgateways.html

Also interesting:

  http://www.nwfusion.com/reviews/2001/0205rev.html

Unfortunately the Cisco Aironet boxes are $1,400 ($800 EBay).

> I've got 3 access points in my apartment: one AirPort AP, and two
> WAP11's.  I use the AirPort for notebook and handheld wireless
> access, and I'm using the WAP11's to bridge two wired networks in
> my apartment (my main LAN and a small secondary net in my living
> room).

<nod> I may be interested in doing that as well (wireless bridging).
The ZoomAir AP11 looks interesting for that use as well, tho a mite
expensive.

> The WAP11's can only have their firmware upgraded using a windows
> utility and the USB cable.  Initial configuration also requires
> this setup.

> Further, the WAP11s have several firmware updates available for
> them, which fix several bugs.  One of the bugs causes the wireless
> link to go to sleep seemingly at random.

<nod>  Annoying.  The SMC SMC2655W is also an interesting box, a
little expensive, and makes me nervous over the power over CAT5:

  http://www.smc.com/index.cfm?action=products_show_description&productCode=SMC2655W

They also have the same F/W upgrade problem (and link drop
behaviour).

> There's also been reports on the BAWUG mailing list that the WAP11
> power supply doesn't seem to ground properly, putting other than
> logic-level current on the CAT5.

Ouch.

> The dual external antennas with diversity mode are also nice, but
> really only a concern if you intend to replace them for long-haul
> wireless.

As one of the secondary purposes of this project is neighborhood
networking, that is an interest here.  I suspect I'll be going for a
non-wireless<->wireless bridging solution in the short term, working
on the assumption that by the time I really need/want that they
equipment will be much cheaper and more common.

Summary:

  WAP11 has Windows-only config and F/W upgrade problems, but does
    wireless bridging, fair signal range, can use an external
    aerial, concerns over bad grounding/power bleed.
  DLink needs a Windows-only init, and can then be driven off SNMP
    (they provide a MIB).
  SMC has windows-only F/W upgrade problems, but is otherwise SNMP
    based.  Also uses power over CAT5 which is mildly scary, good
    signal range.
  Buffalo has windows-only init, web based config, poor thruput (see
    reviews)

-- 
J C Lawrence
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.




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