How To Set a router to extend a single wireless network's range?

omega3111

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Nov 10, 2016
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I have a router/modem (R1) and an old router (R2) I want to use to extend the wireless network range of R1 wirelessly - without connecting the routers with a cable. I need help configuring R2. It is an Edimax BR-6228nS.

Do I need to configure WISP (in the manual it's section 3-2-6)?

In Wireless configuration (section 3-2), what mode do I set it to? Universal Repeater?

One of the issues I have is that no matter which configuration I use, I always need to enter an ESSID which wireless devices discover in addition to that of R1. So as I move around the house, I need to reconnect manually to the closer router. Can I not have a single wireless network name and the wireless devices won't care what router sends/receives their signal because R2 is just a relay that amplifies the signals of R1?
 
Not sure without reading the manual. What you are trying to do is run the second router as a repeater....this should be a solution of last resort when you have no other method you will take a lot of performance hits. The device should have a feature called WDS that makes this possible.

Most repeaters use the same SSID but some can use different. Both methods have good and bad. Most the problems with roaming in your house are related to how the radio chip works in the end device. They were never really designed for mobility unlike say a cell phone. It mostly works but does not always select the correct signal. How much roaming do you actually do and is it really that big a inconvenience to manually reset the connections.

It is not a simple signal amplifier it is actually a different session. This is part of the reason it is so complex to make roaming work. Part of the encryption keys are the mac addresses of end devices. The mac addresses of the radio chips in the routers are not that same so different encryption keys must be generated when you move. This is why even in the perfect case where you automatically move from one router to the second you still get a tiny outage while the keys are redone.

Pretty much when you use a repeater you just suffer with the lower throughput and the roaming issue. It is better than your other choice of no connectivity in the remote area.
 

omega3111

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Nov 10, 2016
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Thanks for the detailed reply! I didn't know that it's as complicated as it is. What would you recommend I set my old router to then?

BTW, the manual is here, it didn't help me much, which is why I'm asking.
 
There is no good way to do roaming like it works for cell phones. They have multiple antennas of the same band to look for better signals. The only time wifi looks for the best signal is when it's looking to connect.

With wifi you know your current signal strength and some access points can be configured to drop the client when it gets weak. Then the client will reconnect to the strongest. With minimal overlap it's easier to do. You can adjust the AP power to make it not overlap as much if they are close. Another feature is fast roaming. This shares keys for each client across all the access points so when you reconnect it's faster. If you buy all Unifi you can get this stuff. connections still drop when roaming. so you might drop VOIP calls walking around.

The mesh kits probably do the same stuff and their mesh setup is automatic. I'd recommend doing wired access points. Throughput drops quite a bit every wireless hop you do.
 

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