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Auto Switching wifi by device.....

sswilson

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Need / want to call upon the RL experiences of folks here, and have my "assumptions" confirmed or denied..... :)

My understanding is that you can use the same SSID/password on different wifi "APs" (using AP here as a generic term referring to any device that allows wifi connections to it) within the same location and that it's up to the connecting devices to negotiate a switch between them when one or the other is providing a much stronger signal....

Is this correct? If it is, how effective are most consumer grade wifi devices (think cell phones mostly, but I suppose wifi connected streaming devices would also be common) at choosing a good signal when there are more than one with the same SSID?

My current setup is the bell router at one end of the basement, and an AP at the opposite end, but they're running different SSIDs that I connect to depending on which signal is better. Can I just change the SSID on the router to the same one as my AP, and/or pick up a second stand-alone AP to run in that end of the basement while disabling the router/modem's wifi?

TLDR: Does client switching between two different wifi sources with the same SSID/password work in RL?

edit: If it does work reasonably well, would it make sense to ensure the two devices were on different channels (keeping in mind that some of the channels interlap)?
 
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sswilson

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Heh.... judging by the crickets I'm hearing in this thread I suspect I'm just going to have to test this out myself.... :)
 

JD

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With a setup like this, there is no tracking of the connection/AP association, so you'll have a minor "blip" if you are streaming/VoIP call/downloading/etc.

Generally speaking, I think it will work better for you than flipping SSID's manually though.
 

supaflyx3

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Your clients need to support 802.11v/r/k. Every modern client should support it. Here's a good explanation from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202628

When you're running multiple APs set their transmit power to the absolute usable minimum and make sure they're on seperate channels
 

djbrad

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We had some glitches at my job with iphones not taking the nearest / best signal, but overall it works well. No complaint from laptop, they usually switch fast and well.

If you don't move from room to room while streaming, you won't notice.
 

clshades

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In my experience the wifi part works fine. The switching part is flakey at best. If you run 5ghz you'll have better luck with the switching as the distance is longer with 2.4ghz. I have 3 seperate cloud wifi networks running at the same time. So far no issues.
Each with their own ssid, 2 on 5ghz and 1 on 2.4ghz
 

Izerous

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This whole thing is why mesh networks have taken off the way they have making it pretty much seamless.
 

MRobi

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My understanding is that you can use the same SSID/password on different wifi "APs" (using AP here as a generic term referring to any device that allows wifi connections to it) within the same location and that it's up to the connecting devices to negotiate a switch between them when one or the other is providing a much stronger signal....

edit: If it does work reasonably well, would it make sense to ensure the two devices were on different channels (keeping in mind that some of the channels interlap)?
One thing to keep in mind here, it's the device itself that decides which AP it connects to. Some devices will quickly jump to the strongest signal. Others will try to hold its current connection as long as possible.

And definitely keep them on separate channels otherwise your AP's could end up interfering with each other.

Lastly, hardwire your AP if possible. While mesh networks can be attractive due to their simplicity, for performance they won't even compare to wired AP's. General rule of thumb is if it can be wired, wire it. If wiring is impossible then go wireless mesh.
 

Izerous

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Lastly, hardwire your AP if possible. While mesh networks can be attractive due to their simplicity, for performance they won't even compare to wired AP's. General rule of thumb is if it can be wired, wire it. If wiring is impossible then go wireless mesh.
I did some testing of the Google wifi, forcefully connecting to the root node vs the remote nodes and the root node is faster, but they do support being hardwired to each other and that will happen and help make up the difference. It has just been a low priority as anything "important" is already hardwired anyways, phones and tablets don't really matter.
 

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