Bridge Mode (WDS) Tp-Link Router Configuration. Connect Routers Using Wi-Fi

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What is WDS and how it differs from repeater mode? In this article I would answer these questions and teach you, how this technology can be used on Tp-Link router example.

Most of the Tp-Link routers don’t support repeater function, so WDS is the only way to make signal distance further.

What is the main difference between WDS and repeater? First is used to connect 2 routers to each other, using Wi-Fi. This can be used to increase wireless network coverage, but there will be one more network with its own password and username.

Repeater is better solution to make your wireless router signal distance further. It clones signal from first router and transmits it on. WDS creates new network, which you can access from part of building, where first signal is unreachable.

There are some nuances of using WDS:

  • Internet connection speed may decrease if you use second router’s wireless network.
  • It’s not really important what main router model you use, but better, when both routers are from the same manufacturer.
  • We will change main router settings. It’s necessary to set static channel.
  • You don’t need to use cable to connect routers to each other.

Tp-Link WDS connection

1) Firstly, you should change wireless network channel on main router to static. Be sure, it works properly and Internet connection is available. Better to use free Wi-Fi channel. Here is article how it can be found and set. Don’t worry if you have not Tp-Link router as main, because there are mentioned methods for the most popular manufacturers routers.

Don’t forget to save done changes!

2) Now, you can enter in second router configurations. This router will be used in WDS mode. Our routers must have different IP addresses to avoid conflict, so let’s change second device’s address. Just change last digit from 1 to 2, so it will be Press save button to complete this operation.

3) Open “Wireless” tab and there will be field called like “Wireless Network Name”. Specify here name of second wireless network name and set the same channel as was set on first router.

Tick “Enable WDS Bridging” and click on “Survey”, where you should choose network from which current router will get Internet connection and press “Connect”.

4) “Key type” is your network security protection method. Type password for new network in “Password” field. Save these changes and reboot router.

5) After reboot, enter in configuration panel again and open “Status”, where it’s necessary to find “Wireless” section. In “WDS Status” you should see “Run”. That means our Tp-Link router is connected to the main router and new wireless network is available.

If you want main router to set IP addresses, it’s necessary to disable DHCP Server in our TP-Link router settings. Open “DHCP” tab and tick “Disable”. Save this.

6) Don’t forget to create password for new network. Open Wireless Security settings. There will be “WPA/WPA2” section, where you need configure “Wireless Password” in “Personal”. Minimal number of symbols is 8. Save new settings.

Now our Tp-Link router is configured to WDS bridging. Second device gets network connection from main router and provides it using new wireless network. Locate Tp-Link in place, where it can be connected to first network.

WDS cable connection troubles

If you configured WDS on second router and cable connection doesn’t work, you need try to disable DHCP server on second router. I knew this from Tp-Link customer support. DHCP server disable steps was mentioned above.

Moreover, it’s necessary to specify main router’s IP address as default gateway and DNS server for our WDS configured router.

Save changes and reboot router.

WDS configuration troubles

Sometimes router can’t connect to main router in WDS bridging mode. In this case, you can try disable WPS function on both routers. In Tp-Link routers It can be done via “WPS” tab.