A WDS transparent bridge is a great way to wirelessly connect two buildings to share network resources. It is commonly used in conjunction with a wireless access point to provide coverage into a building where running an ethernet cable is not an option.
You will also need a laptop/PC, 3 ethernet cables and power available.
Configure your laptop with a static IP address of 192.168.1.100 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 (you do not need to configure a default gateway or DNS server at this stage).
If you need assistance with this, follow the steps in our blog here for Windows machines.
Unbox your unit. Plug the supplied PoE injector to power. Connect an ethernet cable between the PoE port of the injector and the port labelled "Lan1 (PoE)" on the ENS500-ACv2. Connect another ethernet cable between your laptop/PC and the LAN port on the PoE injector.
You should now see the PWR, LAN and WLAN LEDs light up.
Open a browser, e.g. Chrome or Firefox, and type 192.168.1.1 into the address bar and press enter. This will present you with the login screen of your device. Log in using "admin" for both username and password:
Navigate to the Basic tab under Network settings. Here we will configure a Static IP address for management access. In this instance we have chosen 192.168.1.200 as it is available on our network. It is always best to verify this address is free before configuring this as it will be the address used to manage the device once installed.
Configure the Gateway IP to match your network's default gateway. This is typically, but not always, either 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.254.
Configure your Primary and Secondary DNS - in my case I am using Google and Cloudflare's public DNS servers.
Scroll to the bottom of this page and click Save
At this stage you should see the Changes icon increment with the number of changes you have made. For now we will not apply these changes.
Navigate to the Wireless tab under Network settings. You will be presented with a dialog box instructing you to select your country of use. This is important to meet the EIRP and channel regulations for NZ.
There are a few settings here that we will change. For starters, give your device a friendly name to make it easier to identify (in our case we have chosen EnStation-AP to indicate its model and role).
Next we will change the operation mode to WDS Access Point.
We will leave the Channel HT Mode at 40MHz and Channel as Auto for this blog but you may wish to change this based on the requirements/RF environment of the link (distance, speed, noise levels).
Please note, I have reduced the Transmit Power for this blog as the devices are quite close to each other. Configure this according to your needs or leave this on Auto if you are unfamiliar with the role of Transmit Power in a wireless link.
We will now rename our SSID to something unique (EnGenius Test Link in our case). A recommendation would be to name the SSID based on its purpose or location e.g. Link to Shed etc.
We will disable the Management Interface 2.4G as this is no longer required.
We are also able to configure a Management VLAN at this stage if needed. For simplicity's sake we will leave this blank.
Finally, click the Edit button under Wireless Settings - Access Point. This will open a new window where we can edit settings such as Hidden SSID and Wireless Security. Here we will change the Wireless Security Mode to WPA2-PSK and enter a secure password. In this blog we will configure this as P@$$w0rd but it is recommended to use something more complex. Scroll down and click Save to apply these changes.
Click Save to apply all Wireless settings.
Navigate to Account under System Manager settings. Here we will change the default login credentials of admin/admin to something more secure.
Step 7 (optional)
Navigate to Time Zone under Management settings and configure the NTP server. We have used 0.nz.pool.ntp.org as ours. Doing this will allow your Log to accurately detail events using the correct time.
Open a new browser tab and go to https://www.engeniustech.com.sg/. Under the Products dropdown, select your radio (ENS500-AC in our case). Download the latest firmware available. At the time of writing, it is v3.6.6.
Navigate to Firmware under System Manager settings. Browse your downloads and upload the file downloaded in the previous step.
Apply all unsaved changes. Once applied, disconnect the ethernet cable between your laptop/PC and LAN port of PoE injector. Leave the ethernet cable connected between the radio and PoE injector connected.
Follow the previous steps to power on and log into the other EnGenius radio. Configure a Static IP address (192.168.1.201 for our device), set NTP server, change default log in credentials and upgrade firmware.
Navigate to Wireless under Network settings. Similar to previous steps, select New Zealand as Country/Region and give the device a friendly name.
Under Operation Mode, select WDS Station.
Under Wireless Settings - 5GHz, edit the settings of the SSID. Type in the SSID of the access point and type in the password under Security Mode -> WPA2-PSK. These are case-sensitive so ensure they are typed correctly.
Save and apply all changes.
The station radio will now reload and should connect to your access point (this may take a few moments). To verify this, open a new browser tab and type in the IP address of the access point. If you are able to log in, traffic is now traversing the wireless link.
You can also navigate to Connections under OverView to view connection statistics such as Signal Strength and Tx Data Rates.
For more information on what was discussed in this blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on (03) 741 1339.