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So I'm trying to extend my wireless network (uses a thomson modem/router) using a AP acting as a client and a router to broadcast a new SSID but the problem is I can't get it to work, DHCP is enabled on the thomson router, the AP acting a client is a D-link and when directly plugging it to my pc with a cable it works fine my pc receives an ip and the internet works fine, but when I connect my router (TP-link) to the AP (D-link) it doesn't work, it broadcasts the new SSID but no internet, and I tried turning on the dhcp and off and also tried manually configuring the IP of the router like a client of the main one and also it doesn't work, so what am I doing wrong ? do I need to APs instead of AP and router to extend it with another SSID or what I have is enough ?

This is what I'm trying to do:

(THOMSON ROUTER DHCP)-->--wireless-->--(D-LINK AP CLIENT)-->--wired-->--(TP-LINK ROUTER)

I'm sure that the D-LINK AP is working fine and when connecting it to a pc instead of TP-LINK router it's working fine.

thanks in advance.

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1 Answer 1

AP clients can only connect clients. This is due to an ancient misfeature in the WiFi protocols that an AP will only talk to its wireless clients wirelessly, not unknown machines. You have a variety of choices with a variety of limitations.

If your D-Link device can run Tomato, DD-WRT, or OpenWRT, your best choice is probably a "client bridge" configuration. With this configuration, the AP registers as a client, but it also impersonates its clients to the remote access point, so they all appear to have the same hardware address. It's kind of like the Ethernet version of NAT.

Another possibility is to set up WDS between the Thomson router and the D-Link AP, if they both support it. WDS allows each access point to recognize the other's clients as legitimate participants of the wireless network.

Sadly, WiFi is just enough like Ethernet to make you think it should just work like Ethernet. It does not, and you can't easily mix wired and wireless links like that. It's a major pain for people who try to build more complex networks than the usual.

A lot of things will magically "just work" if you use alternative firmware. Major manufacturers have to do a lot of objectively stupid things just because the official WiFi specifications say so. (For example, enabling WDS typically disables 802.11n even though they work perfectly fine together.) Alternative firmware is free to do what makes sense, not what the rules say.

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TP-Link supports 6 APs per device, and OpenWRT, so both routers are OK –  ZaB Apr 24 '12 at 13:09

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