Smoother Roaming across Multiple APs with Wired Backhaul

I have a multi-story building with thick floors. I have cat-6 cables running between floors. I have an AP on each floor, and am achieving connectivity across the board with basic LEDE configuration, with the same pair of SSID name on each floor ("Network" for 2.4 GHz and "Network5" for 5 GHz).

However, when a wireless device is moved between floors, it often continues to try to remain connected to the old floor's AP rather than the new floor's AP - especially problematic for 5 GHz, and when a device moves 2 floors. Also, static 2.4 GHz-only devices occasionally attach to APs for different floors.

I've been looking at MESH threads here, under the assumption that MESH-supporting firmware allows the APs to be proactive about directing connected clients to a stronger connection. Is this a correct interpretation?
If so, all configuration guidance seems to assume no wired connection - am I missing something obvious?


I'd suggest to look into IEEE 802.11r fast BSS transition first, luci has gained some initial GUI support for it in snapshots (there are further simplification pending as pull requests), but you can already configure it manually in 17.01.x.

I see the options mentioned in the wiki at

Do you know of any pointers to descriptions of what those options mean? Many thanks!


work with 17.01.x and up.

But importing this pull request can make the situation significantly simpler:

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Thanks @slh - I'll look at these further and see how things go. Quick read suggests the things to keep in mind:

  • 802.11r FT works on both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
  • BUT not all 5 client devices support 802.11r FT
  • 802.11r FT works with 17.01.x and up, BUT requires wpad instead of wpad-mini

Look forward to trying this out.

It may very well be a waste of time. I got it all working and not a single device I own supports it :confused:

There is a way to know if a device support it or not?

Recent / updated Apple clients support 802.11r.

I don't think many others do, at least at this time with OE firmware.

Interesting, this is what I exactly wanted too.
May be you can configure them with the instruction on batman's wiki @openwrt.
The other way is using prebuilt libremesh.
btw, the Chef image builder of libremesh is wonderful.

I am still waiting for my new router for the experiments. I will be back when there is a good news.:slight_smile:

There is what i have tested.
I setup a encrypted mesh network with LEDE 17.01.6 ROM following openwrt's wiki guide.
The roaming works when i move from one place to another, when i take out the phone.
If I connected the mesh at one place, and turn off the screen.
After that I move to other place and turn on the phone later, there is a great chanes that the phone shows a full signal icon but without any data transporting succeed.

I tried to enable 802.11r the make the transition fast. However all wifi disappear when I enable the 802.11r in /etc/config/wireless file.

Any idea?

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