Network plan for a wannabe openwrt user

I have a 3 floor house with walls thick enough to prevent me to just have a single wifi router in the middle to serve everything.

I currently have 3 different access point with 3 different SSID that I would like to join in a mesh network (I dont find that set them all with the same SSID works well with some of my devices).
and I would like to add new wifi coverage for some new area.

here is my plan:

  • in green the current wifi that I want to merge
  • in orange the place where I want to add new access point to extend the network

I would like to join wifi 1 and 2 with backhaul over ethernet
and I think I could do the same with wifi 3, I currently use a powerline, I think I can just pretend a lan cable is there and keep the rest as it is.
for the new one in the top I would like to have it with backhaul over ethernet, while on the right I want to just a wifi repeater (I just need to expand a little bit the coverage on the garden).

I'm planning on using just 2.4Ghz, I dont need the extraspeed and some of my wifi smart devices do not support 5Ghz.

Do you think it's a good setup?

Sadly the access point that I'm using are not supported in openwrt so I have to replace them.
Any advice for something reliable but affordable? since I need 5 of them I would like to stay below 500€ if possible (if it's below 300€ even better!).

any help would be much appreciated thanks!

Is the drawing a horizontal or vertical view of the building?

My general feeling if you don’t have sheet metal walls is that 3 ap should be able to cover everything with at least some wifi.

But everything will work a lot better through 50cm walls made with reinforced concrete and isolation with 5GHz (wifi5 or 6) and working beamforming.

2,4GHz…well then you will probably need one ap in every room and hope it works.

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If your APs all have a wired backhaul, would be the way to go - use the same ESSID/ PSK for all, problem solved.


The pro concept is to don’t care about the frequency and divide everything in the different vlan networks you plan to use. Inside those vlan both linked wifi 2,4 and 5GHz have exactly the same ssid and key. Then it is up to the client to use the best available option provided over the air.

You don’t need one “ssid_2.4” and one “ssid_5” for every network.

5GHz or wifi 5 / 6 (vs 2,4GHz) is a lot more than speed, it is more about wireless efficiency and data movement efficiency and connection optimization.

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If you can wire the APs to the main router, you do not need any mesh.


I tought it was the opposite, isnt 2,4Ghz able to pass through ticker walls than 5Ghz? I'm using 2,4 also in order to have a better reach.

so im using old routers as access point, they should be dumb (if I properly configured them) but I think I did cause they do no routing, and all devices connected appears like connected directly to the main router in the proper ip range.
the only thing I did was to assign a channel far from each other.

I've tried to set them up with same SSID/password but what happen is sometime the laptop will connect to the router on the wrong floor and loose signal for a bit.

do you think it can be caused by some wrong configuration?

interesting, I dont think my router (which is the one from IPS) is able to create multiple vlan, but it can definitly create both a 2,4 and a 5ghz network.

so what are you saying is that I can make it create both, and set them both with same SSID/pass and the devices will be able to choose between 2,4 and 5 accordingly?

You have to see the problem in 3D and home routers wifi usually see the problem in 2D.

For your building it will probably be cheaper if you buy wifi6 ceiling mounted business class access points and start mounting that in the top floor roof somewhere in the middle on top and middle floor radio cover area and let it radiate the wifi signal vertical through the floor and horizontal on the top floor with actual working beamforming.

And see how much gets covered by that one.

But most of the two top floors should be covered and then you probably need a horizontal radiating AP on the bottom floor…

Not disagreeing, but having the frequency (and location) as part of the SSID makes it very apparent which AP and radio is currently being used, but it comes at the cost of not having seamless switch over between APs and radios.

Btw since I have to buy an access point or a router to use it as an access point...
Any advice for a cheap product ready to be used, that can later work with openwrt if necessary?

Both TP-Link EAP series and Ubiquinti equivalent models are business class access points that have support for OpenWrt.

But I have tried OpenWrt on both EAP245 and 225 and the OpenWrt drivers don’t have the wifi performance of original firmware.

Cudy WR3000
ASUS RT-AX52 (pending support)
Zyxel WSM20 (if you can find one <$35)
Dynalink DL-WRX36

Edit: regarding AP placement this article might provide some relevant info

Depends on where you are located and if used devices are an option. Business class APs (i.e. PoE-powered ceiling-mounted devices) can be found for cheap on the used market.

Ceiling-mounted APs usually cover a wider are of one floor than other options. Go for wired backbones wherever you can (better stability and overall throughput). If you can cover more than one floor depends on the construction of your ceilings - I cannot cover more than one floor because of the amount of steel and concrete in the ceilings.

Options for (new) ceiling mounted PoE-powered AP's
Netgear WAX220
Ubiquiti UniFi U6+

thanks guys, incredible forum.

I think I'm gonna see if my IPS change my router (that has now 10 years) with a new one and use the old one as an access point. Then I'm gonna look what's available on used marketplace.

I wanted to try out mesh network cause I had problem with same SSID solution, but maybe I did something wrong while configuring everything.
I think I'm gonna give it another try