Two APs with same SSID

Dear all,
Apologies in advance for this noob question, but, what is the best setup for having two APs on with the same SSID? I have two separate floors and have the issue that the devices downstairs 'hang onto' the APs upstairs, resulting in a bad signal. 
Is there any standard way to avoid this?
I currently have this device upstairs:
https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/ceiling-mount-access-point/eap225-wall/
And this one downstairs:
https://www.conrad.com/p/devolo-business-solutions-wifi-pro-1200i-poe-wi-fi-access-point-12-gbps-24-ghz-5-ghz-1426120
The one upstairs is newer and was thinking of simply getting a second one, replacing the one downstairs in the hope of solving the problem. 
i could also get a 'controller' but understand that might be overkill for two devices. 
so, in summary, is there any way of dealing with the 'handover' effectively between APs?
Thanks in advance for any hints.

Answers

  • LlamaThumperLlamaThumper Member Posts: 3
    First Comment Photogenic
    Dear all,
    Apologies in advance for this noob question, but, what is the best setup for having two APs on with the same SSID? I have two separate floors and have the issue that the devices downstairs 'hang onto' the APs upstairs, resulting in a bad signal. 
    Is there any standard way to avoid this?
    I currently have this device upstairs:
    https://www.tp-link.com/us/business-networking/ceiling-mount-access-point/eap225-wall/
    And this one downstairs:
    https://www.conrad.com/p/devolo-business-solutions-wifi-pro-1200i-poe-wi-fi-access-point-12-gbps-24-ghz-5-ghz-1426120
    The one upstairs is newer and was thinking of simply getting a second one, replacing the one downstairs in the hope of solving the problem. 
    i could also get a 'controller' but understand that might be overkill for two devices. 
    so, in summary, is there any way of dealing with the 'handover' effectively between APs?
    Thanks in advance for any hints.
  • MarcMarc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,122
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    @LlamaThumper , no its generally not a good practice unless you are using a mesh setup or your router support specifically using the same SSID between multiple access points.  The two unrelated nodes will clash if they are not meant to support this.  Mesh networks specifically support seamless roaming, assuming the host your using does as well and that will allow you to roam and the device your using find the most appropriate node to connect to.
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    ShadyGrady
  • Bud80Bud80 Member Posts: 2
    Photogenic First Comment
    It's the endpoint that makes the decision to roam, so even if you were to go with a controller/mesh solution, you might still run into the same problem to where the endpoint will "stick" to the old AP with a much weaker signal.  We've had to deal with this in the Enterprise since the inception of 802.11.  Could you simply disable/reenable the adapter to force association to the closer AP or will the type of applications you run not support that?
    ShadyGrady
  • LlamaThumperLlamaThumper Member Posts: 3
    First Comment Photogenic
    Thank you both! Will be looking into this.
  • DavidFDavidF Member Posts: 34
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    Another important point here is that on many devices, Roaming Sensitivity can be adjusted. Roaming Sensitivity (or Agressivenes) is how quickly your device/wifi card will change from one AP to another. Here is an article that explains it for Windows and how to adjust this setting. 
    https://www.thewindowsclub.com/wifi-roaming-sensitivity-aggressiveness
    Fully agree with the Mesh solution, which may be better all around. Many of the mesh routers will adjust the strength to minimize overlap, which makes it easier for your device to switch. 
    Hopefully, this helps. 
    David

    ShadyGrady
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    Marc said:
    @LlamaThumper , no its generally not a good practice unless you are using a mesh setup or your router support specifically using the same SSID between multiple access points.  The two unrelated nodes will clash if they are not meant to support this.  Mesh networks specifically support seamless roaming, assuming the host your using does as well and that will allow you to roam and the device your using find the most appropriate node to connect to.
    Marc said:
    @LlamaThumper , no its generally not a good practice unless you are using a mesh setup or your router support specifically using the same SSID between multiple access points.  The two unrelated nodes will clash if they are not meant to support this.  Mesh networks specifically support seamless roaming, assuming the host your using does as well and that will allow you to roam and the device your using find the most appropriate node to connect to.
    This configuration is called seamless roaming and is in fact a 'best practice' provided the hardware (and the client) supports the configuration.  Aside from SOHO routers and most consumer wifi extenders,  any decent AP and enterprise grade extender or mesh point supports seamless roaming.  Access points and wireless cards that support 802.11K, 802,11R and 802.11V handle seamless roaming between access points using a common SSID  very well.

    For the record - seamless roaming is not limited to WiFi only - it's what enables cellular service to work without dropping calls as you roam between cell towers. 
  • PeterPPeterP Member, Beta Tester Posts: 49
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    The other thing to try is to turn the transmit power down a bit on both AP's.  I have a similar situation, two story home with one AP upstairs and another downstairs. Also, the AP's should be configured to use different channels, otherwise you will get signal interference.
  • RainCasterRainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 54
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    I have three WiFi routers in my home (one on each floor) and another in the detached office. All have the same SSID & password, but different channels & IP addresses. Works wonderfully well and expands good WiFi coverage out about 150 feet into the front yard. Make certain that you use different channels on each router, and that needs to be done for 2.4 & 5Ghz bands.
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    I have three WiFi routers in my home (one on each floor) and another in the detached office. All have the same SSID & password, but different channels & IP addresses. Works wonderfully well and expands good WiFi coverage out about 150 feet into the front yard. Make certain that you use different channels on each router, and that needs to be done for 2.4 & 5Ghz bands.
    Routers or access points - not sure why you would want 3 separate routers.  A single router and multiple access points is the best practice unless you are separating networks for some reason.   You are correct in using different channels - though folks using non-standard channels like 2 , 5 , 7 are just creating more problems for themselves.  Depending on the building construction, power balancing for each access point is also recommended, even if you are on the proper channel boundaries for 2.4 - 1, 6 and 11.  
    I currently have 7 access points - 3 ceiling mount, 2 in-wall, a mesh point and an outdoor.  Average coverage across the house is -48 dB and the 2.4ghz only uses channels 1, 6 and 11 - power balanced to avoid interference - and seamless roaming hand-off enabled.  
    Each AP broadcasts 2 SSID - a user SSID and a GUEST SSID, plus a 3rd 'hidden' SSID for IoT - each with a separate VLAN.  

  • RainCasterRainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 54
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    I have three WiFi routers in my home (one on each floor) and another in the detached office. All have the same SSID & password, but different channels & IP addresses. Works wonderfully well and expands good WiFi coverage out about 150 feet into the front yard. Make certain that you use different channels on each router, and that needs to be done for 2.4 & 5Ghz bands.
    Routers or access points - not sure why you would want 3 separate routers.  A single router and multiple access points is the best practice unless you are separating networks for some reason.   You are correct in using different channels - though folks using non-standard channels like 2 , 5 , 7 are just creating more problems for themselves.  Depending on the building construction, power balancing for each access point is also recommended, even if you are on the proper channel boundaries for 2.4 - 1, 6 and 11.  
    I currently have 7 access points - 3 ceiling mount, 2 in-wall, a mesh point and an outdoor.  Average coverage across the house is -48 dB and the 2.4ghz only uses channels 1, 6 and 11 - power balanced to avoid interference - and seamless roaming hand-off enabled.  
    Each AP broadcasts 2 SSID - a user SSID and a GUEST SSID, plus a 3rd 'hidden' SSID for IoT - each with a separate VLAN.  


    I'm using the wrong terminology. I meant to say APs, not routers.
    The_Vorlon
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    I'm using the wrong terminology. I meant to say APs, not routers.
    ah - now that makes sense - out of curiosity what model AP are you using ?  Do you have them cabled into a switch or are you using a mesh configuration?  For the neophyte networking folks reading this - mesh solutions - google, TP-Link and others - the 'base' station is a router / AP, and the remote mesh points are actually AP devices. 
  • RainCasterRainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 54
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    All are different vendors, wired through multiple switches. Only the base switch is managed, and that is where the firewall machine ties in, along with one of the APs, the NAS and some other servers. About the APs- one is Ubiquity, the others are TP-Link & D-Link. As I can afford it, I will replace the others with additional Ubiquity APs.
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    All are different vendors, wired through multiple switches. Only the base switch is managed, and that is where the firewall machine ties in, along with one of the APs, the NAS and some other servers. About the APs- one is Ubiquity, the others are TP-Link & D-Link. As I can afford it, I will replace the others with additional Ubiquity APs.
    Nice approach, for home environments the UBNT Nano AC is a good choice.  Right now UBNT Wifi6 implementation is a bit iffy, some bugs.   The only downside to multi-vendor AP configurations (besides supporting various flavors) is seamless roaming becomes a real challenge in that vendors have different implementations - and of course none work with Unifi controller platform.
    I am in the process of getting a bridge configuration to link my father-n-law's house across the street and provide internet
  • RainCasterRainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 54
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    In our house, there are no WiFi6 devices- yet. That standard is rather new and as you pointed out, implementations are rather sketchy at present. For us, the current WiFi speeds are more than adequate. We are seeing more than 100Mb in the house, and 30+Mb out in the garden where I sometimes work. I am still debating the value of adding another management endpoint to my home network, so I have not installed a Unifi controller yet.
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    Curious how are you managing a ubiquiti AP without controller?  i have found the controller (which can either be the Ubiquiti appliance or the free download software that can run on a unix or windows box) to be a very handy feature.  In concert with a Ubiquiti Security Gateway ( the USG3P works well for most home situations), you have a fully integrated network - not only does the controller manage the network devices - code levels, universal one touch configuration (no need to ssh to mutliple switches) but you can centralize DHCP and other services - as well as add a vpn through the gateway.

    I currently have multiple VLAN - user, IoT, guest, - 279 devices on the network 7 switches, 7 AP, a gateway - simple with a controller.
  • RainCasterRainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 54
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    I use the Unifi app, and manage through the "Stand-Alone Devices" option. VLANs are a nice way to manage when you have visitors, but right now (pandemic world), I have very few visitors, and they are all trusted on our network. Maybe I will complete the move to Ubiquiti APs and the gateway in the next three months. Still investigating how well that gateway will work with my Untangle firewall.
  • The_VorlonThe_Vorlon Member, Beta Tester Posts: 42
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    I use the Unifi app, and manage through the "Stand-Alone Devices" option. VLANs are a nice way to manage when you have visitors, but right now (pandemic world), I have very few visitors, and they are all trusted on our network. Maybe I will complete the move to Ubiquiti APs and the gateway in the next three months. Still investigating how well that gateway will work with my Untangle firewall.
    I front the USG pro with a ubiquiti edgerouter as firewall / border router - which also does failover across two ISP links.  it works very well just matter of configuring the firewall rule sets.  it also gives me a little dmz   isp modem - edge router - 192.160.x.x/30 - usg.  i have all my IoT on a separate vlan with very specific rules at the firewall. to block any phone home traffic -  ip lights, washer, dryer, stove, fridge, two irobot vacs, some other stuff, including a car when it's in the driveway :)  I have no trusted external devices - even my kids friends, my daughter and her husband, kids -they all go on the guest network -  I also use 802.1x radius authet for my devices,  you can't get on the user network even if you have access to a switch port - if it's not a registered device - no access.   I work from home - have for 10 years and serious about security.

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