Advice on how to set it up correctly in my new place

Hi all,

Looking for some input. Been using OpenWRT for about a year now and absolutely love it. Thanks to everybody who contributes to the discussion, it’s helped me heaps along the way.

What I’m seeking input on what I should in the place I’m moving into.

I’m currently using Linksys WRT1900AC v1 as firewall and AP upstairs, and a Newifi D2 as switch and AP downstairs. My setup isn’t complicated.

4x vlans / ad block / SQM / VPN/ 50Mbps internet.

Due to all sorts of issues with Wi-Fi I run a single SSID on 5GHz (ch 36 40MHz) on the Linksys. It’s the only way I’ve found to keep a stable Wi-Fi; and other SSID’s on both 2.4 and 5 on the Newifi.

It’s not an ideal setup, but it works and I’ve been happy to leave it as it is. i.e. working consistently

Now that I’m moving it’s an opportunity to spend some effort in getting it right. Note: I also have access to Linksys WRT1900ACS, WRT1200AC and TPLink C7 AC1750.

Should I start over with 21.02?

With no support for 802.11s, should I ditch the Linksys? I do want to roam and have the same SSID’s throughout the house. Note: If the fact that 802.11s isn’t supported doesn’t cause my SSID roaming issues, I’d love to know that. Main issue with WiFi was solved by dropping fixing ch36 @40MHz. I don’t remember if I tried running the same SSID’s with the newifi after solving it.

I will at some point invest in AX AP’s once we have better support, but am happy to keep running AC for now.

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for any advice!

Regarding tuning your wifi and setting up roaming, this is part art, part science, but there are a bunch of guidelines you can use to get things working well. This assumes your radios are functioning properly in general.

Roaming doesn't require any special standards like 802.11r (fast roaming) or 802.11s (mesh). In fact, many people mistake mesh and roaming.

  • mesh is the wireless linking of remote APs. This is different obviously than wired, but also different than WDS and other wireless repeater techniques.
  • Roaming is what it sounds like -- and it is actually a client side process moving from one AP to another as they deem best, usually based on signal quality metrics and algorithms within their wifi driver stack.

For roaming to work properly, the key things are to ensure that the SSID/password is the same on all APs, and critically that you have tuned the power levels and channels of your APs such that client devices are encouraged to roam. This means (sometimes counterintuitively) lowering the power level as much as possible to minimize the overlap between APs and ensuring that neighboring APs do not have overlapping channels (to the greatest extent possible; this can be hard if you have more than 3 APs on the 2.4GHz band).

If you can use an ethernet backhaul from your APs, you should. The performance and reliability of wired networks is almost always better than that of wireless ones, and by wiring your APs, you ensure that their uplinks are solid and fast, and it will allow you to place your APs in places that may be optimal for your coverage needs rather than compromising in order to get the APs within range of each other.

Regarding tuning, here is a video that describes how to tune each of your APs. This particular video focuses on how to do this within the Unifi ecosystem, but the broad concepts apply to all wifi implementations, regardless of the hardware or firmware involved.


That's great advice @psherman thanks. I'll be sure to check out that resource!
I don't suppose you live at 42 wallaby way Sydney? .. just a finding Nemo reference :slight_smile:

For sure I'd wire each access point! Great to know that roaming isn't reliant on those protocols. It would be great to hear from people with the same device to understand their experiences.
I also wonder if like patching windows/linux, should we all jump on the latest OpenWRT? What's the wisdom on that?