Linksys WRT3200ACM - 2x Wired "Dumb" AP - roaming advice

Hi everyone,

So I finally flashed my old Linksys routers with OpenWRT.
I have two identical set up as AP connected via Wire to a pfSense Firewall that handles everything like DHCP etc.

I have a fairly big house, so i have set them up with the same SSID, Channel etc and I would ideally like clients to swap between the "best" AP - but i cannot seem to figure this out. I can only find guides that sets up roaming when the AP's are connected wirelessly to each other.

Sorry if this is an already answered question, but if someone could point me in the right direction, that would be awesome.

Thank you!

802.11r FTW

I would be surprised if you actually get something that advanced to work on a wrt3200acm.

1 Like

Dawn: a decentralized wireless controller

Thank you everyone - DAWN looks like it'll fit the bill, so I'll check that out after i have fixed another issue first.

@flygarn12 - what do you mean that advanced? I was under the impression that the WRT3200ACM was one of the better AP's still...?

The Linux wifi drivers are abandonware...


I would say it is a crash and burn.
If you don’t believe me just search the device name in the forum.

But for the same price you get 2-4 business class AP that actually work.

But the ethernet pieces in it is really heavy stuff so that is true.

Dawn is likely overkill for the small/home office scenario you describe. 802.11r OpenWRT configuration with maybe the addition of FT802.11k Neighbour Report distributor daemon will do what you really need.

However, see this post for details on an incomplete Linux core mac80211 patch (aka bug) that was implemented between 19.07 and 22.03. This has impacted Fast Transition FT which used to work well for me, but hasn't since.

@fodiator has a patch that he is working to develop further to the point where it will be accepted by OpenWRT and hopefully Linux kernel itself. Can't wait.


Oh dear....
I believe you - and the fact that I am having some problems with connecting my Manjaro laptop to the AP at all might be down to the AP and not the laptop.

The question becomes then which one(s) to get to replace them? OpenWRT comparable? Wifi 6 preferably?

Belkin RT3200 is the most popular AX device ATM.

Thank you.

I see have it on offer

Seems like a good deal and a good upgrade to WiFI6 and WPA3?

At 40£, it's a steal.

WPA3 is a sw thing.


Lets see how this goes - i might need some help setting the Belkins up too :slight_smile:
Thanks again!

There's a wiki page :slightly_smiling_face:


If you're bored, read the device specific thread Belkin RT3200/Linksys E8450 WiFi AX discussion :slight_smile:

Emphasis added for channel... this must be different on each AP.

To setup roaming, the same SSID, encryption type, and password must be the same, but the channels need to be different. Additionally, you should reduce the power levels on the AP such that you provide the coverage required while minimizing the overlap.

Roaming is a client side operation, so you want to encourage the clients to roam. By reducing the power levels and setting different channels, the clients will make better decisions for when to roam and to which AP to attach.

To have high performance roaming, you don't need to use 802.11r, nor do you need 802.11k or 802.11v... just well tuned and positioned APs. With the r/k/v standards: in some cases it can be beneficial, but some devices just don't play well with this standard and you may have worse performance than without in certain scenarios. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try/use these standards, but I'm asserting that it is not necessary.

I like this video for explaining how to setup a high quality roaming scenario. This is designed around Unifi APs with their stock firmware, but it applies to all wifi provided that the controls are exposed (and they are in OpenWrt).

EDIT: Also, you do not need DAWN, either, IMO. Although it may simplify management of multiple APs, I suspect that the effort involved with installation and configuration of DAWN will eclipse the time/energy you would spend administering each AP individually... DAWN is best suited for larger deployments with many more APs installed.