Today I finally made the switch from WEP to WPA2. My house is so big, or insulated, that I cannot cover my whole house with one wireless access point. Until today I used my ADSL router as my first access point, this used to be a Thomson but this recently became a Fritzbox. To extend my network I used a now 10 year old Linksys WRT54G with OpenWRT. The technology I used to use this thing as a repeater was WDS or Wireless Distribution System. WDS could not work with WPA or WPA2 and therefore, for years, I took the risk of using the unsafe WEP as wireless encryption method.
When the Fritzbox arrived last year the use of WEP started to irritate me. So I upgraded my WRT54G to the latest OpenWRT to try to get WPA over WDS to work, but it didn’t. Last week I wanted to configure my Fritzbox as a VPN gateway for my Ipad, to make working through open Hotspots safer. But when the Fritzbox denied to do that with WEP configured I was ready with it.
I ordered a Fritz Repeater to extend my network using WPA2. The thing does not use WDS but uses a proprietary technology to repeat the signal. Setup was very easy using WPS. The repeater had my SSID and WPA2 key configured and started repeating my signal. Handover from one to the other works without any interruption whereas I had a very short interruption in the WDS setup. Overall the repeater works great, has some configuration options, which you don’t need. Default it repeats the SSID of the router, which shows me on most devices only one network. For testing purposes I changed the SSID to something else so I could choose between the two. Of course then the handover to the other network gives an interruption.
I can recommend both the Fritzbox and the Repeater, especially in combination.