Wireless Client and Wireless Access Point Manual

Document revision 1.23 (30-Dec-2003)
This document applies to the MikroTik RouterOS V2.7

Table of Contents

Summary

The MikroTik RouterOS supports the Atheros AR5111, AR5211, AR2111 chipset based wireless adapter cards for working as wireless clients (station mode), wireless bridges (bridge) mode and wireless access points (ap-bridge mode).

On account of that MikroTik RouterOS provides a complete support for IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networking standards.

Specifications

Packages required : wireless
License required : 2.4/5GHz Wireless Client, 2.4/5Ghz Wireless Access Point (optional)
Home menu level : /interface wireless
Standards and Technologies : IEEE802.11b ( IEEE802.11b), IEEE802.11a ( IEEE802.11a), IEEE802.11g
Hardware usage : not significant

Related Documents

Software Package Installation and Upgrading
Device Driver Management
IP Addresses and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
Log Management

Wireless Networking Ranges

The Atheros card has been tested for distances up to 20 km providing connection speed up to 17Mbit/s. With appropriate antennas and cabling the maximum distance should be as far as 40 km.

These values of ack-timeout were approximated from the tests done by us, as well as by some of our customers:
range ack-timeout
5GHz5GHz-turbo2.4GHz-G
0km defaultdefaultdefault
5km 523062
10km 854896
15km 12167133
20km 16089174
25km 203111219
30km 249137268
35km 298168320
40km 350190375
45km 405--

Please note that these are not the precise values. Depending on hardware used and many other factors they may vary up to +/- 15 microseconds.

Description

Atheros 5G/ABM Wireless adapter is a new generation solution for wireless applications. This universal Multi-Band (2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, 5.8 GHz) PCI operates in any existing IEEE wireless standard. It minimizes any potential confusion or incompatibilities caused by having three separate wireless devices.

The Multi-Band Wireless PCI operates in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless bands

Hardware Notes

The MikroTik RouterOS supports as many Atheros chipset based cards as many free adapter slots are there on your system. One license is valid for all cards on your system. Note that maximal number of PCMCIA slots is 8.

Some chipsets are not stable with Atheros cards and cause radio to stop working. Via Epia, MikroTik RouterBoard and systems based on Intel i815 and i845 chipsets are tested and work stable with Atheros cards. There might be many other chipsets that are working stable, but it has been reported that some older chipsets, and some systems based on AMD Duron CPU are not stable.

We can not be responsible for the performance and stability of Atheros-based cards that are not purchased from us. There are some cards that due to their design are unable to provide reasonably good stability and speed.

Wireless Interface Configuration

Submenu level : /interface wireless

Description

The wireless interface operates using IEEE 802.11 set of standards. It uses radio waves as a physical signal carrier and is capable of wireless data transmission with speeds up to 108 Mbps (in turbo-mode ).

Property Description

name (name; default: wlanN) - assigned interface name
mtu (integer: 68..1600; default: 1500) - Maximum Transmission Unit
mac-address (MAC address) - MAC address
arp (disabled | enabled | proxy-arp | reply-only; default: enabled) - Address Resolution Protocol setting
sta-count (integer: 1..2007; default: 2007) - maximal number of clients allowed for simultaneous connections
card-type (read-only: type) - adapter type and model
mode (station | ap-brige | bridge; default: station) - operating mode:
  • station - the card is operating as a wireless client
  • ap-bridge - the card is operating as an AP
  • bridge - the card is operating as a bridge
    ssid (text; default: MikroTik) - Service Set Identifier. Used to separate wireless networks
    frequency (integer; default: 5180) - operating frequency of the card
    band (2.4GHz-B | 2.4GHz-G | 5GHz | 5GHz-turbo; default: 5GHz) - operating band:
  • 2.4GHz-B - IEEE 802.11b
  • 2.4GHz-G - IEEE 802.11g
  • 5GHz - IEEE 802.11a up to 54Mbit
  • 5GHz-turbo - IEEE 802.11a up to 108Mbit
    scan-list (multiple choice: integer | default-ism; default: default-ism) - the list of channels to scan
  • default-ism - for 2.4GHz modes: 2412, 2417, 2422, 2427, 2432, 2437, 2442, 2447, 2452, 2457, 2462, 2467, 2472; for 5GHz mode: 5180, 5200, 5220, 5240, 5260, 5280, 5300, 5320, 5745, 5765, 5785, 5805; for 5GHz-turbo: 5210, 5250, 5290, 5760, 5800
  • supported-rates-a/g (multiple choice: 6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps; default: 6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps) - rates to be suppored when operating in IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g standards
    basic-rates-a/g (multiple choice: 6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps; default: 6Mbps) - basic rates in IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g modes
    supported-rates-b (multiple choice: 1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps; default: 1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps) - rates to be suppored when operating in IEEE 802.11b standard
    basic-rates-b (multiple choice: 1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps; default: 11Mbps) - basic rates in IEEE 802.11b mode
    ack-timeout (integer; default: default) - Acknowledgement Code timeout (transmission acceptance timeout) in microseconds
    tx-power (integer | default; default: default) - transmit power in dB
  • default - default value of the card
    default-key-0 (text; default: "") - default key 0
    default-key-1 (text; default: "") - default key 1
    default-key-2 (text; default: "") - default key 2
    default-key-3 (text; default: "") - default key 3
    station-private-key (text; default: "") - private key of the AP
    transmit-key-id (1 | 2 | 3 | 0; default: 0) - transmission key number
    encryption (none | optional | required; default: none) - encryption to be used for connection:
  • required - require encryption for connection
  • optional - use encryption if possible
    used-authentication (open-system | shared-key; default: open-system) - type of authentication to be used for connestion
    accepted-authentication (both | open-system | shared-key; default: open-system) - accepted authentication types
    default-authentication (yes | no; default: yes) - to enable authentication by default or not
    default-forwarding (yes | no; default: yes) - to use forwarding by default or not
    802.1x-enable (yes | no; default: no) - to use EAP for authentication or not

    Notes

    You should set tx-power property to an appropriate value as many cards do not have their default setting set to the maximal power it can work on. For the cards MicroTik is selling (5G/ABM), 20dB (100mW) is the maximal power in 5GHz bands and 18dB (65mW) is the maximal power in 2.4GHz bands.

    For different versions of Atheros chipset there are different value range of ack-timeout property:
    Chipset version 5GHz 5GHz-turbo 2.4GHz-B 2.4GHz-G
    defaultmax defaultmax defaultmax defaultmax
    5000 (5.2GHz only) 30204 22102 N/AN/A N/AN/A
    5211 (5.2GHz and 5.8GHz) 30409 22204 N/AN/A N/AN/A
    5212 (802.11a/b/g) 25409 22204 30409 52409

    Example

    Let us consider a following example: a MikroTik router is connected to an AP using Atheros card and the AP is operating in IEEE 802.11b standard with ssid=hotspot.
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless> print
    Flags: X - disabled, R - running
      0  X name="wlan1" mtu=1500 mac-address=00:01:24:70:03:75 arp=enabled
           card-type=Atheros AR5211 2.4/5 GHz mode=station ssid="MikroTik"
           frequency=5180 band=5GHz scan-list=default-ism
           supported-rates-a=6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps
           basic-rates-a=6Mbps supported-rates-b=1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps
           basic-rates-b=1Mbps ack-timeout=default tx-power=default default-key-0=""
           default-key-1="" default-key-2="" default-key-3="" station-private-key=""
           transmit-key-id=0 encryption=none used-authentication=open-system
           accepted-authentication=open-system default-authentication=yes
           default-forwarding=yes 802.1x-enable=no
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless>set 0 ssid=hotspot band=2.4GHz
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless>enable 0
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless> monitor 0
                 status: connected-to-ess
                   band: 2.4GHz
              frequency: 2437
                tx-rate: 11Mbps
                   ssid: "hotspot"
                  bssid: 00:03:2F:04:27:73
        signal-strength: 16
                rx-rate: 11Mbps
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless>
    
    The 'ess' stands for Extended Service Set (IEEE 802.11 wireless networking).

    Registration Table

    Submenu level : /interface wireless registration-table

    Property Description

    interface (read-only: name) - interface that client is registered to
    mac-address (read-only: MAC address) - mac address of the registered client
    type (read-only: radio) - type of the client:
    parent (read-only: MAC address) - parent access point's MAC address, if forwarded from another access point
    packets (read-only: integer,integer) - number of received and sent packets
    bytes (read-only: integer,integer) - number of received and sent bytes
    signal (read-only: integer) - average signal level
    rx-rate (read-only: integer) - min/average/max receive data rate
    tx-rate (read-only: integer) - transmit data rate
    uptime (read-only: time) - time the client is associated with the access point

    Example

    To see registration table showing all clients currently associated with the access point:
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless registration-table> print
      # INTERFACE   MAC-ADDRESS       TYPE      PARENT            SIGNAL     TX-RATE
      0 wlan1       00:01:24:70:03:33 radio                       20         6Mbps
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless registration-table>
    
    To get additional statistics:
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless registration-table> print stats
      0 interface=wlan1 mac-address=00:01:24:70:03:33 type=radio rx-rate=36Mbps
        tx-rate=6Mbps packets=0,269 bytes=0,15190 uptime=01:49:23.020 signal=19
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless registration-table>
    

    Access List

    Submenu level : /interface wireless access-list

    Description

    The access list is used by the access point to restrict / allow authentications (associations) of clients. This list contains MAC address of client and associated action to take when client attempts to connect. Also, the forwarding of frames sent by the client is controlled.

    The association procedure is as follows: when a new client wants to associate to the AP that is configured on interface wlanN, an entry with client's MAC address and interface wlanN is looked up in the access-list. If such entry is found then action specified in it is taken else default-authentication and default-forwarding arguments of interface wlanN are taken.

    Property Description

    mac-address (MAC address) - MAC address of the client
    interface (name) - AP interface name
    authentication (yes | no; default: yes) - whether to accept or to reject this client when it tries to connect
    forwarding (yes | no; default: yes) - whether to forward the client's frames to other wireless clients
    private-key (text; default: "") - private key of the client to validate during authentication

    Notes

    If you have default authentication action for the interface set to yes, you can disallow this node to register at the AP's interface wlanN by setting authentication=no for it. Thus, all nodes except this one will be able to register to the interface wlanN.

    If you have default authentication action for the interface set to no, you can allow this node to register at the AP's interface wlanN by setting authentication=yes for it. Thus, only the specified nodes will be able to register to the interface wlanN.

    Example

    To allow authentication and forwarding for the client 00:40:96:37:A3:39 from the prism1 interface:
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless access-list> add mac-address=00:40:96:38:0F:
    20 interface=wlan1
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless access-list>
    

    Info

    Submenu level: /interface wireless info

    Description

    This facility provides you with general wireless interface information.

    Property Description

    tx-power-control (read-only: yes | no) - provides information whether this device supports transmission power control
    ack-timeout-control (read-only: yes | no) - provides information whether this device supports transmission acceptance timeout control
    supported-bands (read-only, multiple choice: 2GHz-B,5GHz,5GHz-turbo,2GHz-G) - the list of supported bands
    2GHz-B-channels (read-only, integer) - the list of 2GHz IEEE 802.11b channels (frequences are given in MHz)
    2GHz-G-channels (read-only, integer) - the list of 2GHz IEEE 802.11g channels (frequences are given in MHz)
    5GHz-channels (read-only, integer) - the list of 5GHz channels (frequences are given in MHz)
    5GHz-turbo-channels (read-only, integer) - the list of 5GHz-turbo channels (frequences are given in MHz)

    Notes

    There is a special argument for the print command - print count-only. It forces the print command to print only the count of information topics.

    Example

    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless info> print
      0 tx-power-control=yes ack-timeout-control=yes
        supported-bands=2GHz-B,5GHz,5GHz-turbo,2GHz-G
        2GHz-B-channels=2412,2417,2422,2427,2432,2437,2442,2447,2452,2457,2462,
                        2467,2472
        5GHz-channels=5180,5200,5210,5220,5240,5250,5260,5280,5290,5300,5320,5745,
                      5765,5785,5805
        5GHz-turbo-channels=5180,5200,5210,5220,5240,5250,5260,5280,5290,5300,5320,
                            5745,5765,5785,5805
        2GHz-G-channels=2412,2417,2422,2427,2432,2437,2442,2447,2452,2457,2462,
                        2467,2472
    
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless info> print
    
    If you have the additional Custom frequency license (please contact support@mikrotik.com to get one), the list will be much bigger:
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless info> print
      0 tx-power-control=yes ack-timeout-control=yes
        supported-bands=2GHz-B,5GHz,5GHz-turbo,2GHz-G
        2GHz-B-channels=2312,2317,2322,2327,2332,2337,2342,2347,2352,2357,2362,
                        2367,2372,2412,2417,2422,2427,2432,2437,2442,2447,2452,
                        2457,2462,2467,2472,2512,2532,2552,2572,2592,2612,2632,
                        2652,2672,2692,2712,2732,2484
        5GHz-channels=5120,5125,5130,5135,5140,5145,5150,5155,5160,5165,5170,5175,
                      5180,5185,5190,5195,5200,5205,5210,5215,5220,5225,5230,5235,
                      5240,5245,5250,5255,5260,5265,5270,5275,5280,5285,5290,5295,
                      5300,5305,5310,5315,5320,5325,5330,5335,5340,5345,5350,5355,
                      5360,5365,5370,5375,5380,5385,5390,5395,5400,5405,5410,5415,
                      5420,5425,5430,5435,5440,5445,5450,5455,5460,5465,5470,5475,
                      5480,5485,5490,5495,5500,5505,5510,5515,5520,5525,5530,5535,
                      5540,5545,5550,5555,5560,5565,5570,5575,5580,5585,5590,5595,
                      5600,5605,5610,5615,5620,5625,5630,5635,5640,5645,5650,5655,
                      5660,5665,5670,5675,5680,5685,5690,5695,5700,5705,5710,5715,
                      5720,5725,5730,5735,5740,5745,5750,5755,5760,5765,5770,5775,
                      5780,5785,5790,5795,5800,5805,5810,5815,5820,5825,5830,5835,
                      5840,5845,5850,5855,5860,5865,5870,5875,5880,5885,5890,5895,
                      5900,5905,5910,5915,5920,5925,5930,5935,5940,5945,5950,5955,
                      5960,5965,5970,5975,5980,5985,5990,5995,6000,6005,6010,6015,
                      6020,6025,6030,6035,6040,6045,6050,6055,6060,6065,6070,6075,
                      6080,6085,6090,6095,6100
        5GHz-turbo-channels=5120,5125,5130,5135,5140,5145,5150,5155,5160,5165,5170,
                            5175,5180,5185,5190,5195,5200,5205,5210,5215,5220,5225,
                            5230,5235,5240,5245,5250,5255,5260,5265,5270,5275,5280,
                            5285,5290,5295,5300,5305,5310,5315,5320,5325,5330,5335,
                            5340,5345,5350,5355,5360,5365,5370,5375,5380,5385,5390,
                            5395,5400,5405,5410,5415,5420,5425,5430,5435,5440,5445,
                            5450,5455,5460,5465,5470,5475,5480,5485,5490,5495,5500,
                            5505,5510,5515,5520,5525,5530,5535,5540,5545,5550,5555,
                            5560,5565,5570,5575,5580,5585,5590,5595,5600,5605,5610,
                            5615,5620,5625,5630,5635,5640,5645,5650,5655,5660,5665,
                            5670,5675,5680,5685,5690,5695,5700,5705,5710,5715,5720,
                            5725,5730,5735,5740,5745,5750,5755,5760,5765,5770,5775,
                            5780,5785,5790,5795,5800,5805,5810,5815,5820,5825,5830,
                            5835,5840,5845,5850,5855,5860,5865,5870,5875,5880,5885,
                            5890,5895,5900,5905,5910,5915,5920,5925,5930,5935,5940,
                            5945,5950,5955,5960,5965,5970,5975,5980,5985,5990,5995,
                            6000,6005,6010,6015,6020,6025,6030,6035,6040,6045,6050,
                            6055,6060,6065,6070,6075,6080,6085,6090,6095,6100
        2GHz-G-channels=2312,2317,2322,2327,2332,2337,2342,2347,2352,2357,2362,
                        2367,2372,2412,2417,2422,2427,2432,2437,2442,2447,2452,
                        2457,2462,2467,2472,2512,2532,2552,2572,2592,2612,2632,
                        2652,2672,2692,2712,2732,2484
    
    [admin@MikroTik] interface wireless info>
    

    AP Configuration Example

    Consider the following example:

    You need both the 2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Client and the Wireless AP Licenses to enable the AP mode. To make the MikroTik router work as an access point, the configuration of the wireless interface should be as follows:

    The following command should be issued to change the settings for the wireless AP interface:
    [admin@AP] interface wireless> set 0 mode=ap-bridge ssid=test1; enable 0
    [admin@AP] interface wireless> print
    Flags: X - disabled, R - running
      0  R name="wlan1" mtu=1500 mac-address=00:01:24:70:03:75 arp=enabled
           card-type=Atheros AR5211 2.4/5 GHz mode=ap-bridge ssid="test1"
           frequency=5180 band=5GHz scan-list=default-ism
           supported-rates-a=6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps
           basic-rates-a=6Mbps supported-rates-b=1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps
           basic-rates-b=1Mbps ack-timeout=default tx-power=default
           default-key-0="" default-key-1="" default-key-2="" default-key-3=""
           station-private-key="" transmit-key-id=0 encryption=none
           used-authentication=open-system accepted-authentication=open-system
           default-authentication=yes default-forwarding=yes 802.1x-enable=no
    
    [admin@AP] interface wireless>
    
    Then we need to configure the wireless client interface:
    [admin@client] interface wireless> set 0 ssid=test1
    [admin@client] interface wireless> enable 0
    [admin@client] interface wireless> print
      0  R name="wlan1" mtu=1500 mac-address=00:01:24:70:03:33 arp=enabled
           card-type=Atheros AR5211 2.4/5 GHz mode=station ssid="test1"
           frequency=5180 band=5GHz scan-list=default-ism
           supported-rates-a=6Mbps,9Mbps,12Mbps,18Mbps,24Mbps,36Mbps,48Mbps,54Mbps
           basic-rates-a=6Mbps supported-rates-b=1Mbps,2Mbps,5.5Mbps,11Mbps
           basic-rates-b=1Mbps ack-timeout=default tx-power=default
           default-key-0="" default-key-1="" default-key-2="" default-key-3=""
           station-private-key="" transmit-key-id=0 encryption=none
           used-authentication=open-system accepted-authentication=open-system
           default-authentication=yes default-forwarding=yes 802.1x-enable=no
    
    [admin@client] interface wireless>
    
    Now we can monitor our connection both from the AP:
    [admin@AP] interface wireless> registration-table
    [admin@AP] interface wireless registration-table> print
      # INTERFACE   MAC-ADDRESS       TYPE      PARENT            SIGNAL     TX-RATE
      0 wlan1       00:01:24:70:03:33 radio                       20         6Mbps
    
    [admin@AP] interface wireless registration-table>
    
    ... and the client:
    [admin@client] interface wireless>monitor 0
                 status: connected-to-ess
                   band: 5GHz
              frequency: 5180
                tx-rate: 18Mbps
                   ssid: "test1"
                  bssid: 00:01:24:70:03:75
        signal-strength: 20
                rx-rate: 6Mbps
    
    [admin@client] interface wireless>
    

    Additional Resources

    www.atheros.com
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