How to setup multiple routers for both wired and wireless


Dec 26, 2015
I have a Zyel modem/router from Centurylink. I have Cat5 cable running from that router to 4 points in the house. At the end of each wired cable, I have another router. Easy enough to set each one up as an access point, and turn off DHCP and I get 3 more wired connections from each back to DHCP from my main router.
However, I also have wireless on my main modem/router. Changed the name of the SSID and have WPA/WPA2 personal security with pass phrase. Works great on main modem/router. On first remote router, I gave wireless the same name and all of the parameters the same. I put channel on Auto but thought I would have to put main on channel 1, then the next on channel 6, then 11 and last on 16. Auto seems to work on first remote router, which is a TP-Link TL-WR841N. Had a lot of trouble setting it up but seems to work. Other routers are Cisco/Linksys. One is E900 and one is WRT110. Old but I figured they would work for this. I am way out in the country and only DSL we get is 10 mbs. Router speed is low priority with such low internet speed. Am thinking about junking both of the old Linksys, but don't want to buy new unless I am comfortable that what I am doing will work. I need wireless all over the house and need it to be seamless. Don't want to lose calls walking from one end of the house to the other.
Is there a particular spec on the router that I should be looking for? Just make sure it can operate as an access point? or do I need something more on the wireless. Wireless bridging and wireless extensions don't help. I need the wireless to work through the remote routers in conjunction with the main modem/router over the cable, but have each router broadcasting and using the same SSID and network.
Any insights would be appreciated.
Sounds like you have them setup as AP correctly.

You will never get seamless roaming with consumer grade equipment. Even with commercial equipment it does not work all that well.

The main issue is the end device controls when it switches between equipment and not the routers/ap. The default setting is to stay connected to the strongest source it finds and then not look again until the signal level falls below some level....pretty much when it disconnects. There is not much it can really do since it only has a single radio and can not scan for other signals to connect to while it is communicating with the current active connection.

There are options on many devices to set the level, some call it roaming aggressiveness, but if you set it too high it constantly disconnects and scans. Even when it works really well you get small less than a second outages. Part of the issue is it take a small amount of time to renegotiate the session keys since the other AP has a different mac address which makes the session keys different even if the master pass phrase is the same.