• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

One network, two routers WiFi handoff problems

rbaibich

Senior member
Jun 29, 2001
571
0
71
Hey guys,

I have this setup at home:

Modem <---> E2100L router (DD-WRT) <---Powerline AV---> Airport Express

Both the E2100L router and the airport express are configured to broadcast the same SSID with the same pre-shared password. The E2100L is on channel 4, the Airport Express on channel 1.

There's only one problem: it seems like my laptops aren't switching to the nearest router when I walk around the house. I have to turn wifi off and on again for that to happen.

What did I miss here? Shouldn't it be seamlessly handing off to the the other router once the RSSI is higher for the nearest router?
 

kevnich2

Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2004
2,465
8
76
No, and it won't work that way unless you have an enterprise grade wireless controller. For SOHO devices like that, your laptop will generally pick the one with the highest signal at first and stick with that unless it becomes unavailable, then switch. I have mine like that and it works fine for me. I don't care if it's not the strongest signal. No real way around that unless you invest in some wireless controllers that handle that for you.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,167
284
126
Entry Level Wireless does not really provide seamless roaming.

You need expensive pro equivalent to achieve it.


:cool:
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
The APs have nothing to do with the client roaming, that is strictly up to the client. You can normally configure how "sticky" the client is to an AP in the driver. The clients isn't supposed to just automatically jump to a better AP unless it's a big difference in signal to noise. Otherwise the client will just hop around a lot leading to even worse performance.

What you're seeing is normal.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
Doesn't matter. 2.4 Ghz is G and/or N. The decision to roam is purely up to the client. Most times the client wants to stick to its first association until it's on the edge of the wireless cell, only then will it switch. As I explained this is normal behavior and can be controlled to an extend via the driver.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,734
6,775
126
Isn't it bad to use channel 4? Won't you get interference between 1 and 4? I would stick with 1/6/11.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
Isn't it bad to use channel 4? Won't you get interference between 1 and 4? I would stick with 1/6/11.
All channels here are for US.

In a "b" channels, yes 1 and 4 intrude on each other and are not good channel combos to use best being 1, 6, 11. (22mhz)

For "g" 20mhz channels 1 5 and 9 work in the US but near by B will intrude on those.

For "n" 40mhz channels 3 and 11 do not intrude.

As for hand offs, yes the it is 100% driver (client) driven. One of the things I do in areas where it is better to hand off rather than be sticky is disable the lower speed grades in the AP's. In the work aruba system, I shutdown 1mbps 2mbps and 5.5mbps to induce jumping in the wireless cards that seem to want to hold on to a crappy 1mbps connection until it disconnects.
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
16
81
I'd upgrade to better antennas than trying to get AP roaming in a home. B/G should be low hanging fruit on the 2.4GHz spectrum (save using industrial microwave ovens or picking an overlapped channel neighbors are using)...moving to 5GHz becomes problematic I have found with concrete block.

The best practice of dual routers in a home is to handle the g traffic with the n.

Dual Radio/Dual Band routers solve that issue today...however, many of the cheaper ones do not allow external antennas.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,033
548
126
All channels here are for US.

In a "b" channels, yes 1 and 4 intrude on each other and are not good channel combos to use best being 1, 6, 11. (22mhz)

For "g" 20mhz channels 1 5 and 9 work in the US but near by B will intrude on those.

For "n" 40mhz channels 3 and 11 do not intrude.

As for hand offs, yes the it is 100&#37; driver (client) driven. One of the things I do in areas where it is better to hand off rather than be sticky is disable the lower speed grades in the AP's. In the work aruba system, I shutdown 1mbps 2mbps and 5.5mbps to induce jumping in the wireless cards that seem to want to hold on to a crappy 1mbps connection until it disconnects.
What consumer access points support this? All I can see in my Trendnets is the ability to set specific speeds, but not all speeds above a certain threshold.

Are there any workarounds to set this stickiness on Macs?
 
Last edited:

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
What consumer access points support this? All I can see in my Trendnets is the ability to set specific speeds, but not all speeds above a certain threshold.

Are there any workarounds to set this stickiness on Macs?
I have never tried to find a consumer model that does it. I would take a wild stab that ddwrt would because they seem to have everything. I did this on the Aruba systems we use. I have a row of check boxes with all the speed grades and I just checked off (disabled) 1/2/5.5.

The apples are PITA unless you do something like above and have the AP drop the i(whatever) when the signal gets weak. They really like to stick to one AP even if it is bordering on signal death. They will even stick to the (i think it is 7.5 for the next speed grade) until they are having like 75&#37; error rate. The Aruba has hand off assistance which I turned on for those devices. Basically if another WAP is stronger and 'can hear' the traffic from the device, the low powered AP will simply drop the connection to force the device to resync on to the closer AP.
 

bobdole369

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2004
4,504
2
0
I have never tried to find a consumer model that does it. I would take a wild stab that ddwrt would because they seem to have everything. I did this on the Aruba systems we use. I have a row of check boxes with all the speed grades and I just checked off (disabled) 1/2/5.5.

The apples are PITA unless you do something like above and have the AP drop the i(whatever) when the signal gets weak. They really like to stick to one AP even if it is bordering on signal death. They will even stick to the (i think it is 7.5 for the next speed grade) until they are having like 75% error rate. The Aruba has hand off assistance which I turned on for those devices. Basically if another WAP is stronger and 'can hear' the traffic from the device, the low powered AP will simply drop the connection to force the device to resync on to the closer AP.
DD-WRT with WDS enabled will do this, but the 2nd AP is only acting as a repeater. Its fine for small traffic. Otherwise invest in Aironet and a controller.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
DD-WRT with WDS enabled will do this, but the 2nd AP is only acting as a repeater. Its fine for small traffic. Otherwise invest in Aironet and a controller.
Not disagreeing but I would want to point out this is really the difference between consumer and Pro gear. I don't do anything with WDS for example. All the APs have cables etc. The AP's themselves actually have almost no brains for that matter.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,033
548
126
Bah. I just checked online and the Cisco Aironet 1200 units are about $70-100 shipped used, and that's only for 802.11g. And I'd probably need 3 of them.

Oh well, I'll just deal with the limitations of consumer gear.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY