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Definition: wireless distribution system

A wireless distribution system (WDS) extends a Wi-Fi hotspot to a larger geographic area without having to run wires to each access point (AP). It comprises two or more Wi-Fi base stations (access points) that function as a single system. WDS access points (APs) forward packets from ongoing user sessions to other WDS APs while simultaneously accepting new connections from users. However, traffic between the WDS APs does reduce the overall available bandwidth in the WDS network.

Same Algorithm, Keys and Channel
All access points in a WDS network must use the same encryption algorithm, encryption keys and radio channel but can have different names (see SSID). See Wi-Fi, access point, encryption algorithm and 802.11s.

WDS Access Point Configurations
This Trendnet AP can be configured as a WDS AP that connects to Wi-Fi devices and other WDS access points. Two or more WDS Bridge APs provide a wireless backbone between wired networks (like a Client Bridge in non-WDS networks). A WDS Station provides a backbone to WDS Bridges and also connects to other access points. Repeater mode extends wireless signals.