Establishing a Reliable WDS Connection on Standalone APs

Zyxel_Nami Posts: 528  Zyxel Employee
First Anniversary 10 Comments Friend Collector First Answer
edited November 2023 in Other Topics

Feature Introduction:

WDS (Wireless Distribution System) is a network system that allows you to extend wireless coverage in large premises without the need for additional cabling. This feature is supported in Standalone mode.


To set up a WDS for APs, we have two roles: Root and Repeater devices.

  • Root AP: it connects to the gateway or switch through a wired Ethernet connection and has wireless repeaters connected to it to extend its range. 
  • Repeater AP: it connects wirelessly to a root AP and extends the network's wireless range.

Ensure the VLAN settings on both the root AP and repeater APs are the same so they can communicate.

Configuration Steps:

  1. Create an SSID for the WDS connection on the Root and Repeater APs
    Go to CONFIGURATION > Object > WDS Profile > WDS
    • Enter your desired WDS SSID and Pre-Shared Key.
    • Ensure this configuration is the same for both the root AP and repeater AP.
  2. Configuration on Root AP
    Go to CONFIGURATION > Wireless > AP Management > WLAN Setting, then select the Root AP in the 'Radio 1 OP Mode' field. The 'Radio 1 WDS Profile' field will then appear, and make sure to select the WDS profile you created at the first step.
  3. Configuration on Repeater AP
    Select Repeater in the 'Radio 1 OP Mode' field, and choose the WDS profile you created in the first step in the 'Radio 1 WDS Profile' field.
    • Uplink Selection Mode:
      • AUTO: select it to have the device automatically use the settings in the applied WDS profile to connect to a root AP or other repeater AP.
      • Manual: select this to have the device connect to the root AP or repeater with the MAC address specified in the 'Radio 1 Uplink MAC Address' field.


Go to Monitor > Wireless > WDS Link Info on each AP to view the WDS traffic statistics between the root and repeater APs.

  • On Root AP:
    When the AP is in root AP mode and connected to a repeater, only WDS Downlink Info is displayed. It refers to the WDS link from the root AP to the repeaters.
  • On Repeater AP:
    WDS Uplink Info refers to the WDS link from the repeaters to the root AP. When the AP is in repeater mode and connected to a root AP and other repeater, both the uplink and downlink info will be displayed. In this example, the repeater AP is connected to only the root AP.

Alternatively, you can also check the connection at Monitor > Log

  • On Root AP
  • On Repeater AP


  • Make sure that all access points are running the latest firmware version.
  • The 'WDS profile' setting should be the same on all APs.
  • Maintain a strong signal strength (at least -75 dBm) for a stable repeater AP connection to the uplink.
  • If the device is deployed by PoE, ensure PoE setups are compliant with the 802.3at standard if applicable.

Zyxel Nami