wpa_supplicant, hostap & virtual access points?

Jouni Malinen jkmaline at cc.hut.fi
Tue Mar 14 21:46:30 EST 2006

On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 09:03:23PM -0500, Tony Espy wrote:

> I recently caught wind of something called 'Virtual Access Points' which 
> allows a single access point to broadcast multiple ESSID utilizing a 
> single BSSID.

> 1. How prevalent is this kind of configuration and does it really follow 
> the 802.11 specification?

There are number of implementations of multiple SSID per BSSID type of
virtual AP and couple of multiple BSSIDs per a radio. I would assume
someone can find a clause in 802.11 that would be against something that
is done, especially so for multi-SSID case, but at least some
combinations of security modes in multi-SSID work find with most
clients. Multi-BSSID looks like multiple devices to a client, so it
allows even more transparent virtual AP implementation.

> 2. Does wpa_supplicant support this kind of configuration?

Yes it does, as long as the driver allows this to be done. Multi-SSID
looks somewhat like hidden SSID, so wpa_supplicant needs to be
configured to either use ap_scan=2 mode or scan_ssid=1 if the driver
supports that. Multi-BSSID case does not require any special
configuration since that looks exactly like multiple devices on
everything that wpa_supplicant would care about.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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