Wifi mesh with xiaomi router 3G

Hello everyone,
I have been playing with Mi R 3G for quite a long time. It is my AC AP, SMB share and VPN server.
WiFi speed is great, but we have thick walls, so the range is poor.
Now, I am thinking about ordering second one and creating WiFi mesh in our flat.
But I haven't worked with WiFi meshes before.
Could someone tell me, if the hardware is compatibile with WiFi mesh, so that device connected to it will automaticaly connect to the nearest one, similar like ubiquiti AP gear?
Also, I should mention, that both APs will be able to be connected via ethernet cable, not relying on wireless.

Regards,
Marek

What a client selects is pretty much its own decision. APs typically don't "suggest" what AP a client connects to with any firmware.

"Mesh" is a marketing buzzword that is swamping out the technical meaning of the word. Most consumer clients (phones, laptops, IoT devices, ...) can't participate in a self-organizing mesh, but instead connect to APs that may be connected together in a mesh.

With only two stations, you've got a point-to-point link, no matter what technology you use, not a mesh of any sort (you basically need at least three stations to have alternate paths between them). That makes things much easier.

Using Ethernet cable makes things even easier! You can use the "dumb AP" approach and basically any hardware that has an Ethernet socket, wireless support, and isn't somehow crippled should work.

Then you won't be using a mesh. You'll simply be using an additional AP. Which is the best possible way to extend the range of your network without sacrificing speed, so that's a good choice :slight_smile: it will work fine.

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Yes, I was wondering, if in the dumb AP mode clients like phone will be able to switch between them.
Guess I will have to try it out.

Yes -- if any client decides that it would be advantageous to drop the current AP/SSID and move to a different AP/SSID, it will do so, no matter how those APs are interconnected. Providing the same SSID on both might make it easier for the client to decide to switch APs.

You'll likely find that the client's choice of AP/SSID is very "sticky" -- the client logic tends to hold on to a known-good connection for as long as possible.

Well, that's exactly the issue which I'm trying to solve. I tried to set the ssid of the openwrt Xiaomi AP to the same, as my main Mikrotik router (Yes, I know this setup is a little bit crude). But all devices tend to stay connected to one AP, even if the signal of the second one is much stronger.
Is there any possibility that APs running openwrt can manage to connecor kick out devices if the signal is low, so that clients will than painlessly connect to the stronger one?

Many threads on this (search "band steering" for example) and there are ways of "kicking" a client from an AP, but:

  • It is up to the client to decide where to connect; it may re-connect to the same AP again
  • Reconnecting for a client can take 1.5 seconds to negotiate encryption and authenticate, causing drops

Apparently there's a workaround for android phones (lollipop and later) which makes them roam more readily: "Always allow Wi-Fi Roam Scans" which is found in developer options.
See: https://community.cisco.com/t5/small-business-wireless/workaround-for-android-devices-do-not-roam-on-wifi/td-p/2681921

Changing roaming aggressiveness / sensitivity may work with some window's wifi adaptors:- https://www.tp-link.com/us/faq-592.html

Ok, this will do.
THX!

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