Implementing Inexpensive Multiple SSID Networks: Part II - Page 3

By Eric Geier

December 04, 2007

Overcoming Multiple SSID (Not BSSID) Connectivity Issues

The use of multiple SSIDs with DD-WRT may cause confusion (or at least to your wireless client utility) when attempting to connect to the router. This is because the firmware only implements multiple SSID, rather than multiple BSSID method. The differences of these types were pointed out in the previous tutorial.

 

The way wireless clients handle and display the numerous network names on multiple SSID (not BSSID) networks varies. Some client utilities may show the main SSID along with all the virtual ones; however some clients may only show a random listing of just one of the broadcasted SSIDs. In the case of multiple BSSID networks, the clients should just show all the SSIDs as normal.

 

If you find you’re having this type of problem remember you can manually connect to a SSID, like you would for non-broadcasted SSIDs:

 

  1. Add the SSID (and other applicable settings) of your desired network to the preferred list of your client utility.
  2. Remove any entries of the other SSIDs of your DD-WRT-enabled router from the preferred list.
  3. It should then connect to the SSID you specified; if not try to refresh or restart your wireless adapter.

 

Bear in mind even though you know this workaround now, consumers and the public won’t. They may not even see the network in their list of nearby wireless networks. Therefore if you’ve setup an SSID intended for public access or for external members of your organization, you may think about disabling the broadcasting of all your other SSIDs, leaving the single broadcasted SSID for those less-inclined users. This way wireless clients shouldn’t get confused, it should always show the one broadcasted SSID.

 

Conclusion

 

You have a few places to turn to if you run into troubles when setting up DD-WRT:

  • DD-WRT Wiki: Contains information and help on installing and setting up DD-WRT and its features through frequently asked questions (FAQ) and tutorials.
  • Discussion Forum: You can review previous discussions and/or post questions or start conversations with the developers and other users worldwide.
  • IRC: You can chat with DD-WRT users and developers using an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client.
  • Wi-Fi Planet Forums: Lastly but not least, you can hit the discussion forum here on the site where you might find some experienced DD-WRT users.

 

Whether you are trying to setup virtual SSIDs to give public access, for segmenting reasons, or for multi-security support--remember if the DD-WRT solution doesn’t work out there are inexpensive out-of-the-box APs out there for your choosing.

 

Eric Geier is an author of many wireless networking and computing books including 100 Things You Need to Know about Upgrading to Windows Vista, published by Que and Wi-Fi Hotspots: Setting up Public Wireless Internet Access, published by Cisco Press.

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