About technologies for your digital home

For beginners and tinkerers

The same SSID for multiple access points

October 4th, 2015

OpenWRT DD-WRT The same SSID for multiple access points

I have two access points at home connected through the TP-Link powerline adapter. The first one is Belkin F6D6230-4 with DD-WRT on board, while the second is Netgear WNR2000 v2 with OpenWRT firmware.

If you are going to put some 3rd party on your wireless access router, you can read a bit about bricking the router and the recovery process in one of my previous posts.

Initially, I setup both of them to use different SSIDs. However, that caused some discomfort to re-connect my WiFi device, once I changed the room & floor. Until few days ago, I  decided to setup WiFi, like in the hotels to use only one SSID on both.

Let’s begin

Before starting to tweak, just check used WiFi channel on your access point. You might know that there are only few non-overlapping channels. For instance for 2,4GHz bandwidth, these are 1, 6 and 11. The same principle is applicable for all of your access points (independently if you want or not to have multiple access points with the same SSID). If you live in a bigger city, there are pretty high chances that your WiFi setup is suffering from the interference with your neighbors. So, just scan what channels are occupied by your neighbors and choose either non-overlapping channel or at least not used 🙂 E.g. OpenWRT has such functionality of scanning the channels, while the firmwares from the vendors (D-Link, Belkin, Linksys etc.) posses it not always. You can reach it on OpenWRT by going to Network->WiFi and clicking ‘Scan’ button:

OpenWRT The same SSID for multiple access points

Once, you channels aspect is sorted out, you will get the max performance from your WiFi and we can progress further 😉

The same SSID for multiple access points

So, you have to use two different channels (frequencies) for your WiFi access points, but the same SSID. All rest of the settings should be absolutely identical.

Here, you can see a screenshot of OpenWRT wireless router settings:

Openwrt The same SSID for multiple access points

And here are the settings for DD-WRT Wireless router:

DD-WRT The same SSID for multiple access points

Setup

You should setup identical settings on both (all) of your wireless router, especially for Wireless security (security mode – WPA version and encryption method etc.). You can see my examples below for these settings (DD-WRT):

DD-WRTThe same SSID for multiple access points

OpenWRT WiFi security:

OpenWRT The same SSID for multiple access points

Let’s test it a bit!

Your setup is finished. So, it is time to test it with your own WiFi clients – does it work???

In my case, I used four WiFi clients – Sony VAIO Windows laptop and tree different smartphones: LG G2, Sony Xperia T and some older version of Sony Xperia.

The winners were Sony VAIO laptop and … LG smartphone 😉 That surprised a little bit me. Well, the meaning of that is such that roaming from one access point to another depends also on WiFi client software.