Wifi extender with same SSID

Hi everyone,

I need to extend the range of my wifi network(s) and I'm a bit lost in all the possible options.

My MAIN_ROUTER is a Turris Omnia. It is the one connected to the Internet.
I have SECONDARY_ROUTER , a quite capable TP Link WDR3600, that I want to reuse as a wifi extender, connected to MAIN_ROUTER as a wifi client, and behaving as an AP also to extend MAIN_ROUTER wifi range.

Currently I have a very basic setup: SECONDARY_ROUTER as a station to MAIN_ROUTER AP (over 5 Ghz), SECONDARY_ROUTER serves a different wifi SSID over 2.4 Ghz. Clients of SECONDARY_ROUTER are not on the MAIN_ROUTER's LAN, and SECONDARY_ROUTER wifi AP has a different SSID. I want to improve on that situation.

I would like :

  • a single LAN bridged over the MAIN_ROUTER wifi 2.4 & 5 Ghz and ethernet, and SECONDARY_ROUTER wifi
  • MAIN_ROUTER works as both 2.4 & 5 Ghz wifi AP
  • SECONDARY_ROUTER works at least as a 2.4 Ghz AP, ideally as a 5 Ghz AP also.
  • the SSID/password of both 2.4 Ghz wifi AP is the same so that it's really transparent for the devices, and they would be connected to the AP giving the most signal. When mobile devices / laptops move around the house, everything behaves as one single big wifi network with good signal everywhere.
  • ideally SECONDARY_ROUTER also extends the 5 Ghz wifi range.
  • ideally, but not mandatory, SECONDARY_ROUTER ethernet ports would also be bridged with MAIN_ROUTER's LAN.

I have seen relayd configuration (https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wifi/relay_configuration?s[]=relayd), which could fulfill my needs. Is it possible for the SECONDARY_ROUTER to advertise the same 2.4 Ghz network (same SSID/pwd) than the MAIN_ROUTER ?

Then I have read about mesh 802.11s, and configuration snippets here :


but I don't quite understand if the configuration is the same on both MAIN_ROUTER and SECONDARY_ROUTER, and so if both APs can use the same SSID, so it really extends MAIN_ROUTER wifi range.

What's your recommandation for my use case ?

Anything else I should look into ?

Thanks

Enable WDS for the wireless link between the devices, then set up the second router as a Bridged AP/dumb AP. The wired ethernet link mentioned in the dumb AP articles is replaced by the WDS link.

1 Like

Thanks a lot @mpa !
Indeed I managed to do what what I wanted with WDS. Seeing the simplicity of the configuration modification, this was surely the way to go.

I set up the WDS bridge over 5ghz wifi, and both routers are serving as AP for the same SSID over 2.4 Ghz.

I validated that the roaming works as expected with iwinfo $dev assoclist and it works like a charm. Impressive!

Since the secondary router is configured as STA for the 5 Ghz network, I guess it can't also be an "AP extender" for this same network ?

Many thanks for the hint!

Depending on the hardware (check iw list for the supported interface combinations), it can (the tl-wdr3600 certainly can).