Increasing coverage with a 2nd router

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by vamichael, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. vamichael

    vamichael LI Guru Member

    When trying to add a second router as an access point, is just setting the SSID and security credentials to be the same enough?

    Do I need to switch channels?

    Will clients pick up the best signal and switch when necessary?

    My office has ethernet ports all over the place, but a lot of people still prefer to connect to the network with their wireless. I installed Tomato on a Buffalo router last year and configured it just go be an access point, turned off DHCP server etc. and things have working fine.

    The only complaint I get is from a couple if users who are in a dead spot on the far side of the office. I really don't want to move the router from where it is right now, so I got a 2nd buffalo and loaded the firmware up and turned on WDS mode and plugged it in.

    Ok --- I just found outthat WDS when bridged with ethernet is a bad idea! My entire network just stopped until I pulled out the router. But I'm still stuck trying to find the optimal solution.

  2. roadkill

    roadkill Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I used a Kamikaze repeater configuration in a couple of places...
    the other solution if you have an ethernet connection to both routers would be to configure a second router as an AP like the first one and change channels so that it will have a gap of 3-5 channels... disable dhcp server on the secondary router and set the first router as the gateway...
  3. vamichael

    vamichael LI Guru Member

    Would this allow users to walk their notebook from one connection to another seamlessly?

  4. TexasFlood

    TexasFlood Network Guru Member

    Sorry to be dense but I read your post a couple of times and can't quite understand what configuration you tried or what in the network "stopped". Maybe you could do a simple diagram of what you tried? It's probably something simple but I just can't quite picture it. I've WDS for some time at home and had pretty good luck with it (so far, knock on wood).
  5. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    @vamichael: To increase your coverage, connect your 2nd AP somewhere on your wired backbone (as an AP only) with identical settings to your 1st AP, but just a different wireless channel - as roadkill mentioned, some 4 or 5 channels away from the 1st AP's channel to minimize mutually induced noise (the one AP sees the signal from the other AP as noise, and vice versa).

    You don't need WDS, WET, or anything else - several APs connected to the wired backbone is the best solution you could ever have.

    Yes, when set up this way (and you can have several APs), when users walk from the coverage area of the one AP into the coverage area of another AP, the AP- and channel switching will be automatic, and just about seamless.

    However, the "just about seamless" depends on a couple of things:
    1) The client, i.e. PC, or more specifically, the setting of the client's wireless adapter's "roam" aggressiveness, determines how soon the switch occur.
    2) If you use WPA, try setting all clients (and APs) to use WPA2. The WPA2 scheme includes a pre-authentication mechanism, where clients that connect to one AP, can be pre-athenticated on other APs, so the switch occurs faster.

    Not that it has anything to do with roaming, but do use AES encryption - it's significantly faster, and a tad more secure, than TKIP.
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