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Difference Between WDS Relay and WDS Remote

WDS Relay vs WDS Remote

A wireless distribution system or WDS allows you to create a network of access points that act as one without the use of wires. The devices communicate wirelessly with each other. WDS capable devices are able to work as either a WDS Relay or a WDS Remote. The main difference between the two is their function. A WDS Remote acts just like an access point where wireless clients can connect to. The WDS Remote communicates with the base station and passes information to and fro. In comparison, a WDS Relay only acts as an intermediary between two access points.

The main purpose of the WDS Relay is as a range extender to let WDS Remotes be spaced farther from the main base station. In this manner, you have more freedom in placing your WDS Remote to achieve optimum coverage. You can even daisy chain multiple repeaters in order to extend the range even more. You just need to consider that the bandwidth suffers greatly with each device you put between the client and the base station; the bandwidth is approximately divided by two. This is good enough if the purpose is just for internet access and emailing. But having a lot of devices would not be good for file transfers and other bandwidth heavy applications.

There are limits to the number of devices that you can connect using WDS. You can connect up to four WDS Relays to a single base station. You can then connect up to four WDS Remotes to a single WDS Relay or Relay chain. This gives you 16 WDS Remotes, connected to 4 WDS Relays, which in turn are connected to a single base station. This should provide more than adequate coverage for most uses.

WDS is optimal if you want to cover large open spaces or areas where the WDS Relay can provide line of sight to the base station and the WDS Remote. In closed spaces where there are thick walls, it is better to use wires to connect the access points as obstacles can greatly affect WiFi signals.


  1. WDS Remote acts as an access point while WDS Relay serves as a repeater between two devices
  2. You can daisy chain WDS Relays for an even longer range
  3. You can have up to four WDS Relays per base station and up to four WDS Remotes per WDS Relay

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