Q

Can't access work stations on the wireless LAN from stations on the router

I have a wireless network in which two stations are connected via a router, and the other two stations are connected to an access point on the wireless network. The access point is also connected to the router. I cannot access any of the computers on the wireless with the computers on the router (but I can access the computers on the router with the computers on the wireless). One of the computers on the wireless has printers that I want to share. I want to be able to access the computers on the wireless with the router (wired) computers. I have an ADSL modem connected to the router as well and all computers can connect to the Internet. All the computers are running Windows 2000. Can you help me?
It sounds like your router-connected stations do not know how to route traffic to your AP-connected stations. To summarize your topology:

 

 Wireless--------AP----------Router---------Internet STAs 1-2 | | Wireless----------------------+ STAs 3-4
All four stations should be assigned IP addresses in the same subnet. The router serves as the default gateway for all four stations, and must relay all intra-WLAN traffic out the right switch port to reach each station's MAC address. Based on your description, I think your router may not be relaying traffic for Wireless STAs #1 and #2 out the switch port that's connected to your AP.

If you are not using the DHCP server on your Router to assign dynamic IP addresses to all four stations, try that first. If that doesn't help, or you need to use static IP addresses, see if your router has a configuration option for static ARP entries. Configuring static ARP table entries on the router so that traffic for Wireless Stations #1 and #2 are mapped to the AP's router-facing MAC address might help. You can also try configuring static ARP entries on your Wireless STAs #3 and #4 -- your router or AP may not be responding to ARP requests on behalf of Wireless STAs #1 and #2, so #3 and #4 can't "find" them on the LAN. To debug this, try using the Windows 2000 arp and tracert commands to see where intra-WLAN packets are being sent and how far they get.

This was first published in May 2004

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