Suggestion for building a medium size wifi network

Hi everybody!

I have to build a wifi network for a touristic residence. I am doubtful about which architecture choose.

This is the physical part of the network:

There is a VDSL2 modem that sends all traffic to an OpenWRT router. Then there are 4 gigabit switches around the residence. For every apartament I have an ethernet cable connected to the LAN, where I have to place the access points. On every access point I can run OpenWRT, they all support it.

Now I want to configure the router and the access point so that there will be a unique SSID (I suppose that every access point will have to work on a different channel). And I want that the traffic that every access point manages will run on the ethernet network (to which the APs are connected).
I don't know if the routers I have support 802.11r for fast transition, but that would be great.
It would be great to have an equal distribution of the available brandwidth too.
Then I will have to configure on the main router a captive portal service.

My question is: do you have some suggestions about what software to use on OpenWRT to do somthing like this? Am I looking for mesh WIfi? Or I only have to setup the access points in some particular way? How could I reach load balancing?

Thank you for your suggestions and advices!

Configure non-overlapping channels to nearby access points, e.g 1, 6, and 11 in 2,4GHz band.


They are connected by cable, so I don't see the reason for that.

What do you want to load balance? If you have multiple internet uplinks there is mwan3.


Thank you a lot for your exhaustive answer! Some of the solutions you proposed me are exactly what I was thinking, but to listen to somebody else's ideas is always useful.

I'll start to do a little project of the network and some practical testing on the functions and modules that I never used before on OpenWRT.

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You may be interested to check this for reasons to not bother users with a captive portal, if you are in a position to suggest or to decide a policy against general wisdom for the WiFi-network you are building.

(Preview suggests that I'm better to quote first message here.)

Open Wifi Security (Friday evening rant)

  1. Yes, at our @nordic_choice hotels we have open wifi as standard. No Client<->AP encryption (WPA/23), and no captive portal to logon to.

Let me first explain some obvious reasons for doing so. (Often disregarded by infosec pros.)

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