Extending wifi coverage using LEDE-PROJECT

Dear all,

First, thanks for the hard work. I have been using a TP-LINK N600 (TL-WDR3600) for a year now under LEDE-PROJECT and it rocks. This is a home project, not for professional use.

I would like to extend WIFI coverage outdoor (one access point) and indoor (two access points at total).

For information, I bought a single TP-Link TL-CPE210 v1 for testing outdoor, which I am planning to install with LEDE. For network, I will use RJ-45 + PoE, not WIFI client (I don't want to add the wireless channel mess).

Do you recommend a separate WIFI AP outdoor name (ex: AP-outdoor) with different WIFI channels or a repeater (same AP name, different channel)? Does LEDE support repeater mode? As I will be connected using RJ-45, I doubt repeater mode is possible, please advise.


Firewall : TP-LINK N600

Wireless access points :
Indoor = TP-LINK N600
Outdoor = TP-Link TL-CPE210 v1 (with PoE)

Does it seem correct to you?

The best would be to see TP-Link TL-CPE210 within TP-LINK N600 LEDE-PROJECT web interface, but I doubt it is possible (easily). Please advice. If you know any way to smooth configuration of the TP-Link TL-CPE210 v1, please let me know.

Kind regards,

That's just adding an access point to an existing network. It works fine and is imho best as the devices connected to the wifi will connect automatically to the best AP in range.
This is done commonly in professional setups (LEDE or not) where you have dozens of physical access points (to cover a large area) but a single wifi network with same password (or better authentication systems anyway).

The TP-Link TL-CPE210 v1 will need to be configured as a "client device" as explained in the Quick start guide here. Then you can connect to it fine over ethernet at its static IP address and power up its wifi as normal. That way you have configured it as Access Point, a dumb device that only generates a wifi network and offloads everything else to the main router.

Btw, the "repeater mode" you mention is a wifi device that connects to a wifi network and then generates its own wifi, acting as a... wifi repeater (unsurprisingly) and is doable in LEDE but requires a bit more setup https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/recipes/relayclient

Thank you for your answer.

So all I need is a small authentication system (better IMHO). To manage a centralized authentication system, do I need FreeRadius + OpenLDAP? I found this nice GUI: https://www.fusiondirectory.org/fr/ Of course, it will not fit on LEDE.

Will a simple FreeRadius script make in on a LEDE router? All I need is to set wireless network parameters: AP name, protocol, WPA2 key, etc ...

I fou this nice tutorial about WPA2 enterprise:

Kind regards,

is better

So all I need is a small authentication system

If all you got is 2 wifi access points (your main router and the other thing for outside) and you are making a home network, that's probably a bit overkill.

You can just set up the same name/password/encryption-algorithms in both wifi networks (i.e. only thing that differs is the wifi channel), and it will work fine.

The centralized authentication lets you change settings/password easily if you have many access points, but if you have only 2, you can just change wifi settings/password on both devices when you need to.

Thanks, I am planning to write a HOWTO section on the WIKI.

The configuration with the WDR-3600 as main router and CPE210 as outdoor wireless is working. Now, I would like to manage DHCP on the main router (WDR-3600). Is there a way to make CPE210 part of the main LAN on WDR-3600 or should I segment network using one IPv4 subnet for each CPE210?

in short, when a client is roaming from one AP to another AP with same SSID, does it change IP?

If you connect the two routers using a fixed connection between LAN ports, the whole thing is ridiculously easy, as you can dumb down the APs. (The key to making things really easy is to NOT use the WAN port in the slave APs at all.)

I have written a rather detailed guild about it in Openwrt forum:
(pretty much the same advice as in LEDE wiki that bobafetthotmail linked above, but with other words)

Since then, I have also configured wifi in all my APs to use ieee802.11r fast roaming, (as all my client devices support it), so the devices pretty seamlessy roam between APs.

Sounds good. This is what I started to do at first when trying to remove WAN using Luci. I will work with the command line and make it. It is a better setup, obviously. Also, by default PoE is bound to LAN plug, so it will work in any cases and we don't need to plug a second cable to LAN1.

Tested and it works like a charm. Thanks.

I don't want to double-post, here is a short HOWTO:

I will write a deeper one later.