Passing VLAN tags through a Ubiquiti NanoStation M5

I was working with some wireless bridge the other day that I had never used. I needed to get VLAN tags to pass through this wireless bridge, but for some reason they were not. I thought.. “this is a bridge it should pretty much be plug and play”. I was wrong. These bridges seem to do a great job, and are easy to setup, but I had problems finding out how to do this. I thought I would write up a simple post on how to allow VLAN tags to pass through this bridge.

My first issue was the bridges were on a very old firmware. I was on version 5.3, after finding some documentation I thought it was best that I upgrade. I upgraded all the way to the newest version which is 5.6.

Next I noticed that the WDS was not checked. To give some background on why this is so important:

WDS, which stands for Wireless Distribution System, is a feature that enables single-radio APs to be wirelessly inconnected instead of using a wired Ethernet connection.WDS connections are MAC address-based and employ a special data frame type that uses all four of the (MAC) address fields allowed in the 802.11 standard, instead of the three addresses used in normal AP <-> STA (client) traffic. (In the 802.11 frame header, address 1 is the destination address, address 2 is the source address, address 3 is the BSSID of the network and address 4 is used for WDS, to indicate the transmitter address.)

So that’s the reason that Vlan tags would not pass – WDS was not checked, so basically this was a acting as a switch instead of a transparent bridge.

Here are my settings that in the end fixed my vlan tagging issues. First had to upgrade the firmware, then next enable WDS on both aps, one being a Station (Client) the other being a AP. Last, of course make sure that switches both bridges plug into are trunk ports, and have the vlans created.

bridge2

bridge1

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