[SOLVED] WiFi access point and roaming?

Aug 14, 2019
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Hi all, I just set up an access point and I have a question. My main router/modem is located upstairs centurylink C3000Z, and I just setup an access point downstairs TP-link AC1750. I set everything up correctly to my knowledge, they have different IP addresses, on different channels, etc

They are on the same SSID. My question is, how do I know if this access point is REALLY working (aka roaming) when I go downstairs closer to my access point router? I did notice the signal strength is stronger and speed pretty consistent downstairs as compared to before I setup the access point.

However, when I change the SSID of the new router to something different, my device (iPhone) never jumps off my main router to the access point unless I manually change it. As I said above it seems to be faster if I’m on the same SSID. Doing some Speedtests when I turn the access point off the download speed fluctuates 20-37 mbps and when I have it on it stay a consistent 37-38 mpbs ( we don’t do much gaming)

I’ve read that this WiFi roaming only occurs if the original signal from the main router is so low it searches for the next signal, however I have no idea if this is actually occurring with my new access point. Do you guys have any comments or insight if this is working as it should? Is there another way to get full house WiFi coverage (home mesh ORBI or ubiquiti access point)?

Thank you all! I’m super new at this and curious. Thanks!
 
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I am pretty sure it has to be all ubiquiti. I am not sure how they really force the disconnect. It is one the better known denial of service attacks where you spoof the router mac and tell all clients to disconnect.
I think they send the disconnect from the device you are actually connected to so they couldn't send it from the router.

Even if it does force a drop when you have that strong a signal the end device may choose to reconnect to the centurylink instead. It works ok when one source has 4 bars and the other has 1.

This tends be why sometime people use different SSID so they can force a connect where they want. This is why your 2.4g and 5g should be different. If they are the same the device will connect to 2.4g because the signal is stronger but since there is less bandwidth it will be slower.
 

nigelivey

Distinguished
Roaming is not achievable with this equipment. Dropping a connection to an AP is done on the client side (your phone), they arent clever enough to do this, it will hang on to a connection until a threshold is reached and then connect to a stronger signal. (Dropping packets while it does so). Roaming is achieved using commercial grade wireless equipment where a physical controller will move your device between APs. If you change the SSIDs so they are different on the separate APs you will see it disconnect and reconnect but your mileage will vary. Ubiquiti have a software version but in my experience it isnt that effective. Is it worth the expense of APs all from the same vendor and a wireless controller? Price it up with Cisco or Meraki or better still Ruckus with their ZoneDirector!!!!
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Roaming is not achievable with this equipment. Dropping a connection to an AP is done on the client side (your phone), they arent clever enough to do this, it will hang on to a connection until a threshold is reached and then connect to a stronger signal. (Dropping packets while it does so). Roaming is achieved using commercial grade wireless equipment where a physical controller will move your device between APs. If you change the SSIDs so they are different on the separate APs you will see it disconnect and reconnect but your mileage will vary. Ubiquiti have a software version but in my experience it isnt that effective. Is it worth the expense of APs all from the same vendor and a wireless controller? Price it up with Cisco or Meraki or better still Ruckus with their ZoneDirector!!!!
Wow thanks for the information. So basically with my new access point with different SSID I MIGHT see my device drop my main router to pick up my new access point (if the signal weak enough), is that right?

Should I change my SSID of access point to a different name so I can manually connect to it if I’m closer to it? If I leave it the exact same SSID how would I manually connect to my access point if they’re the same name?

Also, is it worth to return my TP-link and go with ubiquiti? Is it that much of a difference or does it do the same thing my TP link will? I have a 3000 Sq ft home with 40 mbps internet speed, it seems to be achieving that throughout the home now. Is it even worth it? Thanks
 
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Why do you need roaming. You going to be one of those people that fall down the stairs watching netflx.

The best way tends to be the user deciding the device did not switch and force it. Some people like to control exactly where each device connects so they use different SSID. You can use the same SSID and then all you do is stop and start the connection and it will switch to the strongest signal. This is all those fancy controllers really do. They just force a drop and hope the device connects to a better source.

There are/were some very high end systems from cisco and other enterprise vendors that loaded special clients that allow the AP to control the client like cell towers do. Lots of incompatible end devices.

The new version of wifi coming "soon" is suppose to have some improvements but this means replacing every router and end device so it will likely be a couple years before it is very common.

Generally you want different SSID on 2.4 and 5g. 2.4g tends to always have stronger signal levels but it has less bandwidth so it is slower. Again the end user tend to know much better than the wifi equipment what is the best to connect to.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Wow thanks for the information. So basically with my new access point with different SSID I MIGHT see my device drop my main router to pick up my new access point (if the signal weak enough), is that right?

Also, is it worth to return my TP-link and go with ubiquiti? Is it that much of a difference or does it do the same thing my TP link will? I have a 3000 Sq ft home with 40 mbps internet speed, it seems to be achieving that throughout the home now. Is it even worth it?
Why do you need roaming. You going to be one of those people that fall down the stairs watching netflx.

The best way tends to be the user deciding the device did not switch and force it. Some people like to control exactly where each device connects so they use different SSID. You can use the same SSID and then all you do is stop and start the connection and it will switch to the strongest signal. This is all those fancy controllers really do. They just force a drop and hope the device connects to a better source.

There are/were some very high end systems from cisco and other enterprise vendors that loaded special clients that allow the AP to control the client like cell towers do. Lots of incompatible end devices.

The new version of wifi coming "soon" is suppose to have some improvements but this means replacing every router and end device so it will likely be a couple years before it is very common.

Generally you want different SSID on 2.4 and 5g. 2.4g tends to always have stronger signal levels but it has less bandwidth so it is slower. Again the end user tend to know much better than the wifi equipment what is the best to connect to.
Thanks. What I want is to extend my range so it reaches the far side of the house. Is there a better way to achieve this other than an access point?
 
Aug 14, 2019
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Access point is the best way to accomplish that. You just need to deal with the so called "roaming". It is trivial to stop and restart the wifi to get it to switch and most people are not running back and forth that often.
I’ve read people claiming Ubiquiti is so much better than an access point. Is there any truth to this claim? I’m only running 40 mbps
 
I like ubiquiti products and when you need a actual AP they are some of the best. They are targeted at smaller business that can not afford massive systems like HP or cisco sell. The key is the central controller software. Mostly this is management but when you only have a couple of device how hard is it really to log in and configure them. It is not likely you are making changes on a daily basis.

For many people a inexpensive router being used as AP work just as well. If you need things like PoE and ability to reduce radio power then real AP are a better choice.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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In
I like ubiquiti products and when you need a actual AP they are some of the best. They are targeted at smaller business that can not afford massive systems like HP or cisco sell. The key is the central controller software. Mostly this is management but when you only have a couple of device how hard is it really to log in and configure them. It is not likely you are making changes on a daily basis.

For many people a inexpensive router being used as AP work just as well. If you need things like PoE and ability to reduce radio power then real AP are a better choice.
Would I still have to manually switch SSID/access points with ubiquiti as I would with my tp link router? Can you explain the controller part of ubiquiti, as compared to using a router as AP? Thanks
 
You run them on the same SSID in both cases. All the ubiquiti does is force a drop and hope the device picks the proper AP to connect to. It works to a point but it assumes the signal level the AP sees is the same as the end device does. It guess it really depends how important this really is to you. It takes me 2 seconds to push the wifi icon 2 times on my phone. The vast majority of the controller function is setup and coverage planning.
 
Aug 14, 2019
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AH, so let me ask you this. If I’m connected to my main router (centurylink), can the ubiquiti force my device to drop the signal from my main router and pick up the ubiquiti? Or does ubiquiti force drops more seamlessly between 2 ubiquiti AP?

My signal strength from my centurylink isn’t too bad, instead of 4 bars it’s 3 bars, so do you think the signal strength is low enough from my centurylink that ubiquiti would force a drop?
 
I am pretty sure it has to be all ubiquiti. I am not sure how they really force the disconnect. It is one the better known denial of service attacks where you spoof the router mac and tell all clients to disconnect.
I think they send the disconnect from the device you are actually connected to so they couldn't send it from the router.

Even if it does force a drop when you have that strong a signal the end device may choose to reconnect to the centurylink instead. It works ok when one source has 4 bars and the other has 1.

This tends be why sometime people use different SSID so they can force a connect where they want. This is why your 2.4g and 5g should be different. If they are the same the device will connect to 2.4g because the signal is stronger but since there is less bandwidth it will be slower.
 
Aug 14, 2019
20
0
10
0
I am pretty sure it has to be all ubiquiti. I am not sure how they really force the disconnect. It is one the better known denial of service attacks where you spoof the router mac and tell all clients to disconnect.
I think they send the disconnect from the device you are actually connected to so they couldn't send it from the router.

Even if it does force a drop when you have that strong a signal the end device may choose to reconnect to the centurylink instead. It works ok when one source has 4 bars and the other has 1.

This tends be why sometime people use different SSID so they can force a connect where they want. This is why your 2.4g and 5g should be different. If they are the same the device will connect to 2.4g because the signal is stronger but since there is less bandwidth it will be slower.
Bill really appreciate your help and knowledge! Based on your information I will probably stay with my tp link router and connect to it when needed. Thank you
 

nigelivey

Distinguished
Thanks. What I want is to extend my range so it reaches the far side of the house. Is there a better way to achieve this other than an access point?
This is not entirely true
Why do you need roaming. You going to be one of those people that fall down the stairs watching netflx.

The best way tends to be the user deciding the device did not switch and force it. Some people like to control exactly where each device connects so they use different SSID. You can use the same SSID and then all you do is stop and start the connection and it will switch to the strongest signal. This is all those fancy controllers really do. They just force a drop and hope the device connects to a better source.

There are/were some very high end systems from cisco and other enterprise vendors that loaded special clients that allow the AP to control the client like cell towers do. Lots of incompatible end devices.

The new version of wifi coming "soon" is suppose to have some improvements but this means replacing every router and end device so it will likely be a couple years before it is very common.

Generally you want different SSID on 2.4 and 5g. 2.4g tends to always have stronger signal levels but it has less bandwidth so it is slower. Again the end user tend to know much better than the wifi equipment what is the best to connect to.

"This is all those fancy controllers really do. They just force a drop and hope the device connects to a better source."

This is far from the truth, the controller prevent the need to re-establish the connection. It's the whole point, your connection, state and session is preserved! (Without dropping packets).
 
Aug 14, 2019
20
0
10
0
This is not entirely true



"This is all those fancy controllers really do. They just force a drop and hope the device connects to a better source."

This is far from the truth, the controller prevent the need to re-establish the connection. It's the whole point, your connection, state and session is preserved! (Without dropping packets).
What access points would do this? Does ubiquiti have a built in controller that takes care of this for me? Or am I looking a more advanced (and expensive) system?
 

nigelivey

Distinguished
What access points would do this? Does ubiquiti have a built in controller that takes care of this for me? Or am I looking a more advanced (and expensive) system?
No Unfortunately Ubiquiti does not implement this at this level, as mentioned you are looking at Cisco/Meraki or Ruckus. Depending on how large a space this can be done on a budget with second hand equipment. Look for something like Zone Director 1100 on ebay and compatible Ruckus APs. The ZD1100 comes with a 6 AP license included (More APs can be added with further purchased licenses) Why you would go to this effort in a home environment is another matter!!
 

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