Do I need WDS for this simple configuration?

Hello, I need to connect my TV receiver to the internet through TP-Link 703n.

I was unable to connect without using the WDS function

741nd without WDS + 703n without WDS = Wireless does not connect (disabled)

741nd without WDS + 703n with WDS = Connects but does not navigate, does not receive IP, without any interactivity

741nd with WDS + 703n with WDS = Everything works.

My question is, shouldn't it work without WDS? My smartphone doesn't use WDS and it works, why do I need it in this case? WDS doesn't use too many resources? Do I lose processing, memory, speed or signal using WDS?

I'm using 19.07.10 made with imagebuilder on Linux with these packages:

741nd (wpad-basic because I use 802.11r)
kernel base-files busybox libc libgcc uboot-envtools uci logd urngd netifd swconfig kmod-ath9k kmod-gpio-button-hotplug mtd wpad-basic htop nano iperf3 uhttpd luci-mod-admin-full luci-base libiwinfo-lua luci-theme- bootstrap

#703N (wpad-mini)
kernel base-files libc busybox uci swconfig uci dropbear libgcc logd fstools kmod-ath9k uboot-envtools netifd urandom-seed htop nano iperf3 uhttpd luci-mod-admin-full luci-base libiwinfo-lua luci-theme-bootstrap

The difference here is quite material.
Your phone has direct access to its wlan card.
Your satellite receiver does not, it only comes with ethernet. IEEE802.11 as a standard (suite) does not have any means for bridging client interfaces (there are phyiscally only three MAC addresses reserved in its 802.11 packet header, while four would be required with bridging in mind), so some beyond-standard ('proprietary') extension is needed to get this working…
Enter scene, "WDS/ 4addr".

openwrt-19.07 has been EOL and unsupported for almost two years by now, it does contain known security vulnerabilities that aren't going to be fixed for openwrt-19.07, upgrading to a security supported version of OpenWrt (22.03+) is non-optional. I realize that this upgrading with entail replacing the hardware (on both ends) as well, but it's nevertheless required.


Yes, WDS helps for this use case.

To expand on that - WDS helps when the wifi station (703n in your case) needs to relay packets from/to another device (TV receiver in your case). Your phone doesn't need WDS because any packets it sends or receives are intended for itself rather than relayed to a different device.

There are also other possibilities than WDS, for example you could set up your 703n device as a router rather than a bridge, and then WDS would not be required. But that's often more complicated to set up, because then the tv receiver would have to be in a different subnet than the rest of your home.

WDS is not expensive, so there is no reason to avoid it i fit helps. The main limitation with WDS is that not all vendors support it and/or have compatible implementations. But, that limitation tends to go away if you can use openwrt on both ends of the wifi link...