Extending OpenWrt wireless network with tl-wpa4220

Hi,

I've installed openwrt on a Linksys WRT3200ACM-EU. In my kitchen, I also have a TP-Link TL-WPA4220 powerline wifi repeater for extending the wifi network.

From my experience, the wifi settings of both the base station wifi and repeater wifi must be absolutely identical, otherwise devices won't roam seamlessly between the two. This has always been tricky, but worked before I got this new Linksys router in order to use openwrt.

My question: how do I need to configure the wifi networks in order for devices to be able to roam between them? My only configuration options for the repeater are:

The wifi SSID and password are identical on repeater and openwrt. On openwrt, I have only the 2.4ghz radio enabled, have selected WPA-PSK2 for the security and 'auto' for the cipher. Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

According to your description, you'd only need to switch from Encryption=Auto to AES to have them match.

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Great. That helped a little - roaming now works when moving from router -> repeater, but not the other way around.

For clarity's sake, here are my configurations now:

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 20.35.15

Any idea if there's anything else that needs changing?

I don't think there's a whole lot you could improve at this point. Roaming is a client decision, usually these days they do make reasonable decisions, but some are still rather sticky.

Yes, things like 802.11k/v/r can further help the clients to make up their minds, but it's still their decision (and at least the tl-wpa4220 running its vendor firmware can't do either of those).

OK, that's a pity - but thanks for your help and your time! Roaming in at least one direction is a marked improvement :slight_smile:

One last question - would it not help to change the Cipher setting on openwrt from "auto" to something else? (Force CCMP / Force TKIP / Force CCMP and TKIP)

Yes, CCMP.

What hw version of WPA4220 do you have?
With v.3.0 and the latest available software the wi-fi part of the kit is a very weak point, better to avoid using it. At some point it may forget that it supposed to be just a bridge and begins to assign addresses itself.

Hi Andrew, thanks for the reply.

Firmware: 4.0.3 Build 20190326 Rel.43406
Hardware: TL-WPA4220 v4.0

Good luck then. I'm not sure they fixed that with v4 and new software, for v3 the latest sw is dated 2017. I suggest to use a subnet different from 192.168.1.0 and watch for possible problems on the clients connected via Wi-Fi to TL-WPA. As far as I remember, when the problem occurs the client have an address from 192.168.1.0 and wrong gateway.

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