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Ubiquiti Access Point WDS Setup Guide

By Daniel Allin, Technician (DipCN, MTCNA)

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Scenario: In this scenario we will configure 3 Ubiquiti Access Points in a Wireless Distribution System to allow each Access Point to act as a Backhaul link as well as an Access Point. This scenario also allows users to roam throughout the WDS Network seamlessly. Important Notes: All of the Ubiquiti Access Points (as of writing) have a limitation of WEP / Open encryption when using multiple Access Points in WDS mode. This limitation only applies if there is more than one Access Point WDS Access Point configured on the network. This is not a limitation if you are creating a transparent WDS Network with one Access Point WDS and multiple Station WDS Access Points.

When configuring a WDS Network like the one in this scenario the following rules apply: 1. The NSM2 must have the Wireless MAC Address of ONLY the directly connected peer (PicoM2). 2. The PicoM2 must have the Wireless MAC Address of the Directly Connected Peers (Bullet M2 and NSM2). 3. The Bullet M2 must have the Wireless MAC Address of ONLY the directly connected peer (PicoM2). 4. If both the PicoM2 and the NSM2 are both to be directly connected to the Main Access Point (Bullet M2) they would only have the Wireless MAC Address of the Bullet M2 and not each other. The Bullet would however have both it directly connected peers MAC Addresses (PicoM2 and NSM2)

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Step 1: Start by configuring the first Access Point which in my case is a Bullet M2. This AP will be directly connected to your network / modem. On the Wireless / Link Setup Tab configure the following and then click Change:

Change to Access Point WDS and enable Auto Create a Wireless Network Name for your WDS Network Set the Frequency Width to 20MHz Select an appropriate Channel Select your Security Type (OPEN / WEP ONLY)

Step 2: Configure the IP Settings on the Network Tab and then click Change:

Change the IP Address of this AP Enter the Gateway and Primary DNS IP Addresses. (Generally youre Modems IP Address). Enable Spanning Tree

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Step 3: If you are using an AirMax AirOS Access Point you will need to disable AirMax to allow clients to connect to the Access Point, click Change when finished:

Disable AirMax

Step 4: Finally, on the Main Tab Locate the Wireless MAC Address of this Access Point. Copy and Paste this into notepad or a word document as you will need this for configuring the remaining Access Points.

AP Wireless MAC Address

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Important Note: Configure the next WDS Access Point and ensure it is NOT CONNECTED TO YOUR NETWORK VIA ETHERNET (connect directly to your computer to configure). Connecting the AP to your Network will cause a bridging loop in your network and require you to reboot all of your devices on the network.

Step 5: Click on the Wireless / Link Setup Tab and configure this Access Point EXACTLY as you configured the first Access Point with the following Exceptions:

Enter the Wireless MAC Address of the directly connected Access Points

Step 6: Enter the Network Settings for this Access Point (the only difference from the first AP should be the IP Address):

Notice the IP Address is different

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Step 7: Disable AirMax then Apply all changes. Once the Access Point has rebooted you should see it now has all signal LEDs on the device showing that it is connected to the Main Access Point. You should test internet connectivity now before proceeding to eliminate further issues down the track.

Step 8: Configure the Last remaining WDS Access Point the same as previously with the following MAC Address Exceptions:

Enter the Wireless MAC Address of the directly connected Access Point

Step 9: Enter the Network Settings:

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Step 10: Finally disable AirMax and Apply all changes. Once the Access Point has rebooted you should see the signal LEDs showing the device is connected.

Testing: 1. Test basic connectivity to the internet. 2. Setup a continuous ping to all devices (each Access Point and the Internet Gateway Modem). Walk around your network to ensure you have seamless roaming between Access Points and that you have a stable reliable network. 3. Ideally you should receive a 1-4ms response time from all devices without timeouts or high response times.

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