To mesh or not to mesh - advice appreciated

My current setup is that I have a R7800 as my main router, and a WNDR3700 as an AP (both wireless and wired). These are connected through a managed switch, and I use two VLANs to keep traffic for a guest network separate.

Both routers provide Wifi (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), and both have main and guest networks. The radios are set to different channels, and traffic between the routers travel in the wired backbone. The SSIDs and keys are the same on both routers, so a wireless device can switch from one to the other as it sees fit.

I am now in the process of updating to 22.03, and the WNDR3700 will be replaced by another R7800 that I have purchased.

I basically have two questions:

  1. If I keep a similar setup to what I have now, would it be better to have both routers use the same wifi channel, or is it better to have them on different channels? I'd guess they'd interfere with each other if they were at the same channel.

  2. Would it be better to set up two mesh networks, one internal and one for guests (both on 2.4GHz and 5 GHz)? Using the wired backbone is of course advantageous, but I guess if using wifi mesh this is not going to provide anything.

I've also read that the ath10k-ct driver isn't good with mesh, so I suppose I'd have to switch to ath10k mainline if I'm looking to use mesh.

Doing a little more reading, I don't think mesh is in any way useful for my situation. At least not until I'd like to add another non-wired AP somewhere (which I might do).

The remaining question is then number 1. Does using different channels make it easier or harder for devices to roam to wherever the signal strength is better?

Edit: Nevermind. I should have researched this better before asking. My current setup is probably how it should be, so I'll just replace the WNDR3700 with a second R7800 (configured similarly) and call it a day.

Have you set up fast roaming? It will allow your devices to switch from one AP to the other seemlessly. The SSIDs, encryption type and passwords have to be identical. Just tick fast roaming and put in the same mobility domain (example, 2222). Done.

Different channels won't make a difference for switching from one AP to another. It's always good to use the least occupied channel for each AP. No need to stick to the same channel everywhere.

No, I haven't tried fast roaming, because the WNDR3700 runs Chaos Calmer (yes, I know...), and it isn't supported there, as far as I can tell.

I'll try it when I replace that with the new R7800, thanks for the tip!

Fair enough. If it's going to be a while before you replace, you can always update to latest supported version of openwrt, especially for security purposes.