Help Improving Wireless Repeater Performance


I have a local network built with several Apple AirportExtreme's (for both wired and wireless connections) and was looking to fill in some dead spots using an OpenWrt router. I purchased a Linksys EA 6350 V3 on Amazon and flashed it with 19.07.3 per this guide which worked like a charm.

However, it has proven to be quite a challenge. The device was hard to setup and is now regularly dropping from the network. Speeds are pretty mediocre - using betterspeedtest I am getting ~75down / 10 up vs. the AirportExtreme performance of 225/20 (my rated cable max) - both wireless tests.

Current configuration uses radio1 ( 802.11nac) to connect wirelessly to another AirportExtreme as a Client on the network, bridges with relayd, and repeats the wireless signal back as Master on both radio0 (802.11bgn) and radio1.

Aside from being slow, the router also stubbornly will not follow the MAC reservation I set and keeps going to a random IP, and is dropping from the network after a few hours.

As this is my first OpenWrt project, I am sure I did something wrong. Any pointers on improving this setup would be appreciated.


I would suggest to first test the wireless throughput using a client wired via ethernet to the ea6350v3 (iperf/ iperf3 between a 'server' with a wired connection to your Airport, and a wired client connected to the ea6350v3). Be aware that the 2.4 GHz interface is significantly slower than the 5 GHz band, even if you do use the 5 GHz for both the uplink connection and the repeated signal - so I would recommend to create an AP interface on the 5 GHz radio as well. For optimal performance, a tri-radio device like the ea8300, Asus MAP-AC2200 or similar devices would be better (two 5 GHz radios, one used exclusively for the uplink, the other as (repeated-) AP interface).

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Good suggestion, thank you. Speeds are much better. Apparently clients are only connecting to the 802.11bgn radio and are NOT connecting to the 802.11nac radio.

Dumb question - does OpenWrt support both Client and AP mode out of the box on the same radio, or do I need to install something else (i.e. drivers)? I am using the 5GHz band to connect back to my network and maybe that is the issue?

It's supported out of the box, but needs manual configuration of adding the AP interface.

Thanks, it is already added as an AP. Is there some way to prioritize it over the 2.4GHz radio?

What does this mean...maybe band steering?

Thanks for the suggestion - that was kind of the solution.

I got this to work. What I did was actually adjusting the two antennas. I moved them from both at 45-degrees to one at 90-degrees and one flat horizontal. The antennas are both dual band on this router.

Somehow this fixed it - really was not expecting much, but it worked. Clients now regularly connect to the 5GHz band.

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