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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers Network
If you have been attempting to follow the various guides posted on the Internet on how to set up the AirPort Express as a bridge using WDS and DD-WRT routers, you may be left wondering why your particular setup does not work even when all the settings are entered correctly.

However, these guides fail to realize that not all routers behave similarly when running DD-WRT. If your router has a Broadcom wireless chipset, then you're probably safe, since Airport Express als runs on Broadcom chip. However, if your router is Atheros-based, such as the D-Link DIR300, Airport Express would not be able to participate in the WDS network.
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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers | 6 comments | Create New Account
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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: deemery on Mar 28, '08 08:26:46AM

H*ll, I've been unable to get my Airport Express and my Airport Extreme (white blob, version with external antenna jack and modem) to work together in any secure mode!! That includes WDS as well as plain old 'join an existing network'.

What I'm trying to do is
a. Configure the white blob to extend the wired network (i.e. same subnet, white blob does NOT issue IP addresses), and use WPA2 security.
b. Configure the Airport Express (older version) in any manner to connect to the wireless network, including the ability to stream through the AirTunes port.

Right now I can get b to work using a (crappy) Dlink wireless router and WEP security.

Anyone else tried this? If so, any suggestions on how to get the two Apple products to work together?

dave (

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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: punka on Mar 28, '08 06:56:23PM

I think what you want for (a) can be found under Airport Utility > Manual Setup > Internet > set Connection Sharing to "Off (Bridge Mode)"

For (b) you can go to Manual Setup > AirPort > Wireless Tab > set Wireless mode to "Join a wireless network" and choose your network from the dropdown. Just note that when you do that, the Ethernet port completely shuts off, so if the settings don't take you'll have to do a factory reset to try again. If you want the Ethernet port to remain active (IE you want to make the AX into a wireless bridge along with USB & Music sharing), you can set up the AX to "Participate in a WDS network".

Just everyone please note the inefficiency of WDS!

The BEST way to extend a wireless network is to:
0) Space the wireless base stations so they cover the entire area
1) Setup a LAN with ethernet between all the wireless base stations (that means plug an ethernet cable into the airport's LAN port!)
2) Set the base stations with the same SSID / "Network Name" & Wireless Security settings
3) Put each base station on different channels (1, 6, or 11)
4) Have the base station with the WAN connection to your cable modem or DSL do "Share a Public IP" and the others do "Bridge Mode."

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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: macgoog on Mar 28, '08 10:04:50PM

I have been using a Airport Expess 802.11g and an airport express g for 4 years. Set the first router up to your modem mine is the Airport g I don't think it matters which one is your main hub. It has to be encrypted with WEP 128 NOT WPA. They can have different device names but they have to be programed to the same Network Name, Password and be on the Same Channel.
Set both devices to Participate in a WDS network.
Set the first device to WDS MAIN. Once its on and working log on to the second device and set it to WDS Remote. It is easier to do this in the manual mode. Again the base station name and password can be different but the wireless or network name and password must be the same.
Check the box to allow wireless clients in WDS on both devices.
Enable Air tunes on the Express under music in the tool bar if you plan to use it.

I know and use this with the Extreme as my main and Express as the remote. I don't see why it would not work the other way. I plugged my original xBox into the ethernet of the Express and was able to log onto the Halo sites.

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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: flammable on Mar 29, '08 05:38:50PM

WPA with AES encryption might work, but don't use WPA2 - that isn't supported by WDS.

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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: jayissrv on Mar 28, '08 12:14:39PM

I have it working on a WRT54G v.5 with DD-WRT flash. However, it will not work with WPA or WPA2. It will work with 128 bit WEP. (make sure the wep key is exactly correct in the Airport Express, apple uses a $ in the beginning to connotate that it is a hex string.

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A note on WDS, Airport Express, and DD-WRT Routers
Authored by: philipday on Mar 28, '08 07:03:25PM

Were the routers working independently before? Are both set to be on the same IP range?

Re the "white blob" connection problems. I find most WDS problems are a result of the units not being on the same channel. Unit A needs Unit B's Airport MAC ID and name, and Unit B needs Unit A's Airport MAC ID and name.

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