Question about SSID and if they should be the same.

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
190
4
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I have a Sagecom HomeHub 2000 provided by my ISP. I have set it up so that the 2.4 and 5 GHz wifi have the identical SSID. That works well. In order to reach the back of the house, I bought a Ubiquiti LR Access Point, and originally set that up on its own SSID. I did the same thing, 2.4 and 5 using the same SSID (but not the same one as the Sagecom). That also worked well. I had coverage everywhere in the house, and devices would connect to either. I used the same security and passcode for both networks, and all IPs were assigned by the DHCP server running on the Sagecom (no DHCP on Ubiquiti). My son asked me why we needed 2 distinct SSIDs, and why not just rename one of the two so that both were identical. Originally I had set it up with two just to make sure wireless devices were connecting correctly, it was much easier to track what was connecting to which one if they had unique names. But I thought I might as well give it a try.

I used the Unfi controller software to rename the Ubiquiti Access Point's SSID so that it was identcal to the Sagecom's SSID. Problems started almost immediately. On mobile devices, it would find the one SSID but then I could see the connection drop and the SSID was no longer in the list. Normally I can see at least 20 different SSIDs from my neighbour's houses, but they were all gone from the list of nearby networks on my iPhone. I then checked with my son's iPhone, same thing. We chose "Forget this Network", and then put in the password again. It connected, but then within a minute it dropped the connection and once again, all other SSIDs could not be found. The little wait hourglass on his iPhone just spun around and around, looking for networks. So I put everything back the way it was, and normalcy returned to my home network. My devices could connect to either SSID, and there were no further network drops nor disappearing SSID lists.

I don't understand why this occurred. When I had originally set up the Ubiquiti Access Point, I used an Android app to detect what channels were already in use, and then set my Sagecom to use Channel 1, and the Ubiquiti AP to use channel 11. There was no overlap at all. So why would changing the SSID make the network act like there was some massive conflict?
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
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What you're trying to do is setup a mesh network. To do that you need products designed for a mesh network.
 

Bat123Man

Member
Nov 14, 2006
190
4
81
Thanks for the replies, they were very helpful. @XavierMace, yes, mesh networking is exactly the behaviour I am trying to emulate. I've read reviews of Google Wifi and Ubiquiti AmplyFi, interesting stuff.

@my2devnull - That article was very well written. I'll see if my devices support 802.11k and .11v. The latest UniFi contoller software does not have it (I am running 5.5), but the beta of 5.6 does. It's called Fast Roaming in the Advanced features. As soon as 5.6 goes gold, I'll give it a try, that seems to fit the bill providing the many devices in this house support the protocol. Also, that article prompted me to set RSSI threshold to -70 to solve a long-running problem of my own making. I bought the LR because I wanted to ensure my backyard had full wifi coverage. That worked really well, I can stand at the back corner of my 155-foot deep lot and have a strong signal. The problem is that my iPhone hangs on to that signal for dear life, even when 6 houses away. That far away, the signal is useless since it is so weak, but the phone resists switching over to LTE. Setting it to -70 should cut the signal off once it drops too low.
 

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