Adding an AP to an existing router: same or different SSIDs?

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fandi

Occasional Visitor
Hi All,
My Merlin powered Asus RT-AC68U works pretty well with about one or two drops a week when there's some video casting in the rooms from the far end of the house. I just got a new TP-Link EAP225 as I have lots of devices such as 9 Chromecasts, Ring cameras, 9 phones, etc.. This is not a mesh system.
It's a single story house about 1,500 sf and the router is closer to (3) bedrooms so the new AP will be placed near the other (2) bedrooms.
Should I name the SSIDs differently or the same? For example one SSID for 2.4GHz for both Asus router and the AP, one SSID for 5GHz for both Asus router and the AP.
I heard that they both have pros and cons.
1) If same SSIDs, the devices still see as two wireless sources, and one device tends to connect to one source even when the signal is weak until it's completely out of the range. That defeats the purpose of having the AP.
Also, let's say one Chromecast from the far end originally connects to the router, now it still connects to the router even I now put the AP near that far bedroom, unless I reset that chromecast and do the set up again.
2) If the SSIDs are different, now there are two 2.4GHz and two 5GHz networks in the house. I don't know that would create conflicts in terms of 2.4 GHz/5 GHz bandwidths, packet losses, etc.
Thank you so much for your advice.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Fully Reset / Best Practice Setup / More

The links above should help. Look also at the links below for how I would use the TP-Link in your network (if possible).

Media Bridge Mode

Repeater mode = wireless AiMesh

In a relatively small 1,500 SqFt area, you can easily have 'too much Wi-Fi' within and make the network experience worse, not better by adding a repeater like the TP-Link. I would use it in media bridge mode for your heavily used wired devices where you can (and if you can) instead.
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
Fully Reset / Best Practice Setup / More

The links above should help. Look also at the links below for how I would use the TP-Link in your network (if possible).

Media Bridge Mode

Repeater mode = wireless AiMesh

In a relatively small 1,500 SqFt area, you can easily have 'too much Wi-Fi' within and make the network experience worse, not better by adding a repeater like the TP-Link. I would use it in media bridge mode for your heavily used wired devices where you can (and if you can) instead.
Thanks L&LD for your advice. Since I don't have wired devices as they are wireless, and also I'm not sure the Access Point TP-Link EAP225 can be used as a media bridge, I guess I have to use the Asus RT-AC68U router as the only Wifi source. There are still drops when many chromecasts stream at the same time though. Attached is my floor plan. The new TP-Link access point is about 30ft away from the Asus router. All network equipment (modem, router, access point) is near the ceiling.
Floor plan.jpg
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I hope not too near the ceiling (I would give the main router at least 1M 'free air' in all three dimensions, ideally).

What are your ISP speeds?

Streaming isn't particularly intense work for a router, I would guess you're saturating either the download or upload capacity of your ISP service.

And it also indicates that you do have 'too much Wi-Fi' too.

In addition to the penalty of having a repeater (an automatic 50% hit when it is in use).

How many actual devices are connecting to your router(s)?

How 'many' Chromecasts are streaming when issues start? To what router are they connected to when they begin faltering?
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
I hope not too near the ceiling (I would give the main router at least 1M 'free air' in all three dimensions, ideally).

What are your ISP speeds?

Streaming isn't particularly intense work for a router, I would guess you're saturating either the download or upload capacity of your ISP service.

And it also indicates that you do have 'too much Wi-Fi' too.

In addition to the penalty of having a repeater (an automatic 50% hit when it is in use).

How many actual devices are connecting to your router(s)?

How 'many' Chromecasts are streaming when issues start? To what router are they connected to when they begin faltering?
They're a foot from the ceiling and other dimensions so there's breathing space.
The advertised speed is 400 Mbps.
Is an access point a repeater? I thought they're different?
On top of my head, not a full list of clients connecting to the Asus router: (3) Ring cameras 24/7, (9) Chromecasts, (3) laptops, (5) phones, (2) gaming tablets, (3) video streaming tablets, (3) Echos.
Drops happen when about (3) chromecast stream at the same time of the 24/7 Ring cameras.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
A foot from the ceiling is too close, ime.

Is that 400Mbps symmetrical?

An AP is a repeater if it isn't wired to the main router.

With only 28 client devices, there shouldn't be any issues (consumer routers have a soft limit of 32 clients per radio).

Are these clients all on the same radio?

If you're getting drops with only 3 Chromecast's, then there are other issues at play.

I'd remove the TP-Link from the equation and start testing each Control Channel you have on the 5GHz band and Control Channels 1, 6, and 11 on the 2.4GHz band.

Actually, I would do that, but first I would do a full reset on the router first too. :)

Fully Reset / Best Practice Setup / More
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
A foot from the ceiling is too close, ime.

Is that 400Mbps symmetrical?

An AP is a repeater if it isn't wired to the main router.

With only 28 client devices, there shouldn't be any issues (consumer routers have a soft limit of 32 clients per radio).

Are these clients all on the same radio?

If you're getting drops with only 3 Chromecast's, then there are other issues at play.

I'd remove the TP-Link from the equation and start testing each Control Channel you have on the 5GHz band and Control Channels 1, 6, and 11 on the 2.4GHz band.

Actually, I would do that, but first I would do a full reset on the router first too. :)

Fully Reset / Best Practice Setup / More
Yes, it's symmetrical.
The AP is wired to the main router via Cat 7 cable.
The clients are evenly divided to half and half for 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
I once read your testing method but it's too complicated to an average guy like me so I guess I could do 'trial and error' by playing with different channels and make channel adjustments if needed. I have reset the router a few times following your instruction 2 months ago and 2-3 drops is much better than before. Currently for the main Asus router:
5GHz: Channel bandwidth: 80MHz, control channel 149. and 2.4GHz: Channel bandwidth: 20MHz, control channel 11.
Connect to DNS Server automatically: No. DNS Server 1: 1.1.12, DNS Server 2: 1.0.0.2. Enable Dual WAN: Off. Enable Port Forwarding: Off. SIP Passthrough: Disable. PPPoE Relay: Disable.
- IPv6: disable.
- No VPN.
- Firewall: On. Enable DoS protection: No.
At this point, I would either return the TP-Link Access Point that I just bought or just keep it in case there's more connection drops in the future.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If the AP is wired, move it as far as possible from the main router. Use different Control Channels on it than the main. And different SSID's on the AP than the main router too (yes, 4 SSID's for the 2.5GHz and the 5GHz main bands). Otherwise, you don't know and/or can't control where the devices connect to (the AP or the main router).

Use 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth on the main router. Or, test if 20MHz or 40MHz bandwidth is sufficient to give you a stable network.

And note that with the latest post from @RMerlin on DoS, you may want to try DoS protection set to Yes instead.
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
If the AP is wired, move it as far as possible from the main router. Use different Control Channels on it than the main. And different SSID's on the AP than the main router too (yes, 4 SSID's for the 2.5GHz and the 5GHz main bands). Otherwise, you don't know and/or can't control where the devices connect to (the AP or the main router).

Use 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth on the main router. Or, test if 20MHz or 40MHz bandwidth is sufficient to give you a stable network.

And note that with the latest post from @RMerlin on DoS, you may want to try DoS protection set to Yes instead.
Thanks a lot. I'll try those. I want to move the AP as far as possible from the router but unfortunately the max is 30ft as shown on the floor plan because the AP is between the two far end bedrooms and there's a wall outlet to power up the AP.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If you can put it (wired) in any of the far bedrooms along the outside wall, I think it will be a better overall experience.

Is it possible to exchange the TP-Link for an RT-AC86U instead? You'll have a better overall experience and will gain AiMesh v2.0 capabilities too.
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
If you can put it (wired) in any of the far bedrooms along the outside wall, I think it will be a better overall experience.

Is it possible to exchange the TP-Link for an RT-AC86U instead? You'll have a better overall experience and will gain AiMesh v2.0 capabilities too.
Thanks. I'll do those. It's a great joy to have a chance to discuss with you. Have a great weekend.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I hope some of the suggestions work. I wish you a great weekend too!
 

magic

Occasional Visitor
Hi:

I'm a little late to the game. I had the same equipment. I started off with the RT-AC68U and needed to expand coverage since I started working from home and I have network drops around the house so I tried the EAP-225 to add to my network. I decided on something else so I'm currently not using the 2 now.

I'm not as smart as the others on here but I just wanted to provide whatever $.02 I have...

You cannot do a wireless bridge with your 68U and EAP-225. And the 225 is not a repeater, it's an AP, so you need the cable as you have it.

I learned that location of the wifi unit (wifi router, ap, etc.) is everything. It's a matter of how much work you willing to put in to find the sweet spot and the ascetics of where the unit will reside. Oh, and what you expect from it.

Based on my own experience, and looking at your floor plan, I think the RT-AC68U will be enough for your entire house. You just have to put it in a better spot. I would start at the most central spot of the house or the most central to where everyone uses wifi. If you can't, and the signals are too weak, then you would need to use the 225 to help increase your coverage. The placement you have for both is too close if you have both units on full transmit power. You probably have to space it out better and tone down the power for both units, especially the RT-AC68U.

I would start by messing with the transmit power levels (location first if possible) before messing with the channels, leave channels on auto.

As for the SSID, when we used the RT-AC68U, we gave each band its own SSID, but we did that not knowing you can make it the same. However, if you have the same SSID for both bands, I don't know if the RT-AC68U will do anything in terms of steering the device to say the 5Ghz band. Remember, the device always chooses, not the AP. My guess is the device will choose whatever is the strongest signal is at the moment and stay on it, but you can use the same SSID on the 68U and 225. The 225 is supposed to steer the device to the 5Ghz band if you're on the unit but you need to check if this option is available as stand-alone (not running the Omada software 24/7 or OC200), I can't remember.

If you haven't done so already, you need an app to see which wifi unit you're connected to and the signal level as you test out the different placments. I use my macbook pro and and airport utility on the iPhone. I also use Wifiman on my samsung tablet. There are tons of apps.

I hope this helps.
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for your input.
@L&LD mentioned about RT AC-86U to utilize the AiMesh feature but I wonder if the RT AX-68U (also has this feature) would work, too.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes, it also has AiMesh.

Without using it personally, I am assuming the RT-AC86U is better (looking at the specs) and my experience with it.
 

fandi

Occasional Visitor
@L&LD, So I have returned the TP Link AP. Now the router would drop once a day when no streaming happening at all. I will reset it again and/or might try another 2.4GHz channel other than channel 11.
My question is, what might be the Asus router problem when the streaming video (no other clients using the internet) or a phone browsing the internet pauses for 5 seconds and then resume?
Thanks.
 

wilber.erickson

New Around Here
I had the same equipment. I started off with the RT-AC68U and needed to expand coverage since I started working from home and I have network drops around the house so I tried the EAP-225 to add to my network.
mold removal michigan
 
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