Wireless mesh required or not, advice needed

I have 3x TPLink devices on each floor of the house.
2x devices on a switch, 1x devices on another switch

both devices have a number of vlans on the wireless. i.e. guest, home, iot
currently i have all devices configured to use the same wireless channel.

when moving between floors (particularly when on viber,etc) there is a drop out while it establishes on the other device.

is this something where i should be looking at a mesh? the two managed switches are on different subnets.

If all the APs are connected to the network by cabling then no.

Are the subnets for each wifi network the same across all the APs?

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for the two devices on one switch, they are on the same subnet. the 3rd one is on a different subnet

If the wifi networks use different subnets then you'll always get a drop out when moving to between the relevant APs. Why have you got it set up that way?

yes, because the two managed switches are on different lan segments

Doesn't really answer the question I asked...

the managed switches the tplinks connect to, are on different lan segments on the router.
the tplinks vlans are therefore different. so the answer to your question is, yes, the wifi networks use different subnets.

Still doesn't really answer the question of why it's set up that way. You have managed switches which would imply the ability to use VLANs so there doesn't really seem to be any clear reason why you wouldn't use a single subnet for each wifi network and just set up appropriate VLAN trunking between the router and APs.

But anyway, the way you have it set up means you'll always get disconnections when moving from one AP to another as a whole new connection on the new subnet will need to be created.

one switch is connected to a LAN port on the router. the other switch is connected via a lagg connection to the router. They are therefore on different networks

You keep repeating this, but I'm not sure why..

Either change your internal network layout (ideally by using VLANs properly) or live with disconnecting wifi networks. There's nothing more to it.

There is no reason why those couldn't be all on the same layer 2 network, once they are, then they can also be on the same layer 3 network... So I think the answer is fix this and it'll work smoothly like it's supposed to. If you want help fixing it, please provide a diagram we can look at

pretty straitforward.
8 port pfsense box with

  • 1 port connected to netgear managed switch + 2 tplinks off that
  • 2 ports connected as lagg0 to netgear managed switch + 1 tplink off that

tplink lan/wan ports bridged in unmanaged configuration.

A mesh network provides a layer 2 network generally used as a "backhaul" to provide interconnectivity between meshnodes.

Generally user type devices cannot connect to a mesh backhaul and have to connect via an access point mesh gateway.

So a mesh network will do nothing for you unless you want to get rid of your ethernet cables - but then, wifi is pretty much always slower than ethernet....

Mesh has nothing to do with wifi roaming.


thanks for the lesson. so what is the solution to seemless roaming for me, on the basis it is not possible to put all the devices on the same subnet

There is no solution.

how am i not using vlans properly? even if i assign the vlan 10 to igb0 and to lagg0, i have to assign an ip to both of those vlan interfaces but they still need to have a different subnet.

Yeah, that's not how VLANs work. The point is that they're not restricted by the physical topology of your network and the connections between your router, switches and APs can carry traffic from multiple VLANs at the same time.

I think you need to go and do some reading around VLANs. Get a bit of an understanding about what they are, how they work, and how to set them up. But currently, based on what you've told us, there's no reason all 3 of your APs couldn't use the same subnet. And, if they are running OpenWRT, then there's no reason the wifi networks couldn't use one subnet each across all 3 APs.

You can easily configure your APs such that the clients will roam through the space, even with VLANs... but it has to be done properly.

  • Your APs must not be on the same channel. Neighboring AP should use different channels to encourage roaming and to avoid interference. If you're using the same channels, that is responsible for part of your issues.
  • Each of the APs needs to have the same SSIDs and passwords for each of the networks that require roaming. They also need to be connected to the correct VLANs (both at a hardware level -- the trunk ports need to be configured properly for the backhaul lines, and the SSIDs must be associated with the right VLAN ID in your network configuration). This means that all of your APs must be VLAN aware and setup correctly.
  • You also need to tune your power levels appropriately. This is both art and science. You want the clients to roam easily by reducing the coverage overlap between APs, so it actually means reducing power well below the max in most cases.

If you intend to "roam" between different VLANs, it will never work -- that is not a thing. It would constitute a complete disconnect and reconnection cycle and a new DHCP lease.

Why do you use a LAG between the router and main switch? What is your internet speed and how much inter-VLAN routing are you doing? How is that LAG configured with respect to the VLANs (as stated before, LAG actually has nothing to do with VLANs).

Maybe you should start by drawing a system diagram so we can understand your physical topology. Be sure to include the VLANs and addresses of each device as well as the models of each of the infrastructure devices (APs, router, switches), and where applicable the OS that is running on each of those devices.

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well when i had the switches cascaded, i had a flat network inc flat vlans.
but i need to connect the switches directly to the pfsense box.

in pfsense I have
INT_LAGG (igb1, igb2)
INT_GS108 (igb0)

I create VLANs tag 10 and assign to igb0 and lagg0
that creates two more interfaces

VLAN_10 on igb0 - opt2
VLAN_10 on lagg0 - opt2

then i have assigned and

so far as i know, if i want them on the same network, i would have to create a bridge and assign the ip to the bridge. i tried that and found the performance what not good.

otherwise, can you see from that what i might be doing wrong

Why are you using LAG -- do you need the additional bandwidth and/or the redundancy?
How fast is your internet connection?
Do you have a lot of inter-VLAN routing happening?