DD-WRT Firmware on the Asus RT-N16 Router – Part 2, Wireless

June 6, 2012

This article continues an overview of the functionality provided by the DD-WRT OpenSource router firmware. The previous article can be found at: DD-WRT Firmware on the Asus RT-N16 Router – Part 1, Setup.

The previous article dealt with the different Setup options available, whereas this article will detail the Wireless configuration options available.

The goal is to understand the different options provided by the DD-WRT OpenSource router firmware and compare it with the firmware provided by Asus when you purchase the RT-N16 device and Tomato Firmware – another popular OpenSource router firmware group.

Wireless – Basic Settings

This includes some of the basic wireless options including Wireless mode, Wireless network mode (Wireless-G, Wireless-N or both = Mixed), Wireless network name (SSID), Wireless channel, Channel width, Wireless SSID broadcast, Sensitivity range (ACK timing) and Network configuration.

An advanced option to add wireless virtual interfaces is also available.
Wireless – Basic Settings

Wireless – Radius (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service)

Radius is a networking protocol designed to authenticate users using a centralized server – a Radius Server. Radius is an advanced option and would typically be used for wireless vlirny roaming between different routers. When properly configured, the centralized Radius Server does the actual authentication against the current client credentials.
Wireless – Radius

Wireless – Wireless Security

The security mode along with the algorithms and shared key can be entered. You can choose from Disable (NOT recommended), WEP, WPA Personal, WPA Enterprise or RADIUS. WPA Personal simply requires entry of a WPA Shared Key – commonly used by most home owners. WPA Enterprise is going to require a RADIUS server, not something commonly configured for home use.
Wireless – Wireless Security

Wireless – MAC Filter

This is an additional security option which allows you to specify the specific network client’s MAC address. For example, your kids keep telling your neighbors the wireless password. As an added step you could enable the MAC filter and enter the MAC address for only the network clients (laptops, desktops, portable devices) into the MAC address list. Only these devices will be allowed to connect.

Every network device has a unique MAC address. In most cases, this can be a reliable way of controlling connections to your wireless or WiFi network. However, as we saw in earlier settings the MAC address can be “spoofed” or “cloned” to be a different address. Therefore it does not provide 100% certainty in keeping out stray MAC addresses.
Wireless – MAC Filter

Wireless – Advanced Settings

Maybe the wireless configuration options so far have not been advanced enough for your needs. Well, then, the next screen will not disappoint you.

Advanced Settings

Some of the Advanced Settings include Authentication type, Basic Rate, MIMO – Transmission Fixed Rate, CTS Protection Mode, Frame Burst, Max Associated Clients, AP Isolation, TX Antenna, RX Antenna, TX Power, Wireless GUI Access and more.

Radio Time Restrictions

Maybe you need to specify wireless access for only certain times of the day. This could keep your kids off the internet with their portable devices. Use this option then to enable Radio Scheduling.

Wireless Multimedia Support Settings

If you’re not sure what you’re doing with these settings, then it’s probably best to leave these settings alone. However, if you still need to change, then it’s best to first backup your current setting values by downloading them. If something goes wrong you can then restore your current configuration from your backup.
Wireless – Advanced Settings

Wireless – Wireless Distribution System (WDS)

WDS (Wireless Distribution Service) creates a wireless backbone link between multiple access points that are part of the same wireless network. This allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them, as is traditionally required. The WDS-enabled access points can accept wireless clients (e.g. wireless laptop users) just as traditional APs would.

Also take note of the fact that all repeaters, including this WDS Repeater mode, will sacrifice half of the bandwidth available from the primary router for clients wirelessly connected to the repeater. This is a result of the repeater taking turns talking to not just one partner, but to two, and having to relay the traffic between them. As long as your bandwidth requirements are within this halved bandwidth amount there will be little or no reduction in “speed”.

More information can be found at: DD-WRT wiki mainpage / Linking Routers / WDS Linked router network.
Wireless – Wireless Distribution System

Next Step

DD-WRT Firmware on the Asus RT-N16 Router – Part 3, Services

Return to the Firmware Overview: Asus RT-N16 Router Firmware Overview