AI Mesh roaming between two networks?

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nu1mlock

New Around Here
Hi!

I have a setup that might be a bit strange, so I'll start off by trying to explain it:

I have two houses that share one fiber connection. I have one Edgerouter X and one ethernet cable goes to my house and the other ethernet cable goes to the second house. Edgerouter X is setup so the two are different networks - that way we won't bother each other with stuff like Chromecast and things.

However, I still would prefer seamless roaming throughout both houses and outside. Is this possible while still maintaining two networks? Obviously, when I go to the second house I would switch to that network, but would it be seamless?

I was planning to use two pairs of 2-pack Asus ZenWiFi AC Mini (CD6) for this. They will have wired backhaul.

Thank you!
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I wonder if one network operating with separate building Earth Grounds will cause issues (?).

OE
 

nu1mlock

New Around Here
I wonder if one network operating with separate building Earth Grounds will cause issues (?).

OE
I wouldn't know, but the second house is the home of the electrician who did the electricity. Then again, that being his home, it might not be done properly. I had no idea that was a thing, so I guess I'll be googling some of that today. Both houses uses the same 20A fuses (is that what they are called?) and the same electric bill, same solar panels etc. No idea if that makes a difference.

It can't be seamless if two houses have different subnets. A device's "roaming" from one house to the other will terminate all establised connections.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that it wouldn't work to have them all in one AiMesh since the AiMesh would all be on the same subnet and that would mess things up with Casting etc. For example, if I add more nodes to my AiMesh in their house, their hardwired Nvidia Shield wouldn't be on the same network as their phones. Likewise, if they were Casting, I would see their content and such.

I guess I don't need "seamless" roaming per se, I just need it to be better than it is now. As of now, my phone stays on my AP when I go outside, even though there's another AP with a lot higher signal. I always have to manually disable/enable WiFi for it to change.

Would it work "properly" if I had one AiMesh in my house and some of the garden and another AiMesh in their home and the rest of the garden, but using the same SSID? Would that mess anything up?
 

toaruScar

Regular Contributor
For example, if I add more nodes to my AiMesh in their house, their hardwired Nvidia Shield wouldn't be on the same network as their phones. Likewise, if they were Casting, I would see their content and such.
Chromecast uses mDNS for service discovery. mDNS uses multicast to communicate.
So you could have one single AiMesh, and prevent one house from seeing casting devices in the other house by setting up a firewall rule on Edgerouter X to block multicast packages between 2 Ethernet ports.
 

nu1mlock

New Around Here
Chromecast uses mDNS for service discovery. mDNS uses multicast to communicate.
So you could have one single AiMesh, and prevent one house from seeing casting devices in the other house by setting up a firewall rule on Edgerouter X to block multicast packages between 2 Ethernet ports.
Interesting!

So many things to keep in my head at the same time, so maybe I wasn't thinking clearly; If I were to use my AiMesh and simply add nodes to their house, those nodes wouldn't have wired backhaul and I wasn't planning on getting anything expensive for my parents house. Granted, they only browse the web and stream 1080p on Netflix and other streaming services, so it's not like they need extremely fast and low latency connection.

If I would connect the nodes with a wire in their home, they would be on another subnet.

What you're suggesting would be configuring Edgerouter X to block packages between two ports, but I assume those ports would still have to be on the same subnet? As of now they are not, essentially using the Edgerouter X instead of two different routers connected to the fiber box (whatever that is called in English).
 

nu1mlock

New Around Here
If you're dealing with reasonable adults, just tell them not to cast to receivers not in their house.

I don't see how you can see their content,
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I was under the impression that if they were Casting content to their TV, I would get a notification on my phone, being able to control their content. Also their smart speakers, TVs and similar would clog up my list of already too many speakers and other casting devices. If we're on the same network, I'd get their stuff into my network.

I'm sure there are settings for some things - I can limit users seeing what I'm Casting via settings in Google Home. But I am not in control over their devices and cannot configure their phones and other stuff they purchase. And neither can they unfortunately. Obviously the best solution is to have separate networks for the two houses (as of now), but I am assuming it'll create issues for AiMesh in that case.

Other than that, it could be that I don't want to share my local stuff with them. I know my way around a regular router basically, but I don't know how to configure all the things that need configuring to keep my home network off of their home network while using the same network, if that makes any sense?
 

Joseph Gan

Occasional Visitor
I guess I don't need "seamless" roaming per se, I just need it to be better than it is now. As of now, my phone stays on my AP when I go outside, even though there's another AP with a lot higher signal. I always have to manually disable/enable WiFi for it to change.

Would it work "properly" if I had one AiMesh in my house and some of the garden and another AiMesh in their home and the rest of the garden, but using the same SSID? Would that mess anything up?
It sounds like setting up two separate WiFi networks would work well for you.

Primarily, I would recommend enabling the "Roaming assistant" setting, under Wireless -> Professional. You can set it to a RSSI level where you want it to switch over to the other network. This would force the wireless client to switch to the stronger network earlier than what it is doing right now.

I don't think using the same SSID is a good idea. You could try, and see whether it works. The main issue I can think of is that the client may not trigger a new DHCP lookup when it switches to the other wireless network, but it's on a different subnet so you need to do so. You're better off using a separate SSID for the two networks.
 

nu1mlock

New Around Here
It sounds like setting up two separate WiFi networks would work well for you.

Primarily, I would recommend enabling the "Roaming assistant" setting, under Wireless -> Professional. You can set it to a RSSI level where you want it to switch over to the other network. This would force the wireless client to switch to the stronger network earlier than what it is doing right now.

I don't think using the same SSID is a good idea. You could try, and see whether it works. The main issue I can think of is that the client may not trigger a new DHCP lookup when it switches to the other wireless network, but it's on a different subnet so you need to do so. You're better off using a separate SSID for the two networks.
Sorry for the late reply!

Well, I would like one network for both houses, guesthouses, garden etc. I want Mesh or Accesspoints + controller to handle handoff etc. since the clients suck at that.

However, when in House 1 you should only be able to cast and see devices in House 1.
 

Crimliar

Occasional Visitor
Okay, so I could be completely misreading this, and would need confirmation regards some of my assumptions!

It would seem to me that if you went for the Zen WiFi AC mini, you would do better using the master unit to connect to your internet, and if you need extra ports repurpose the Edge RouterX as a switch (or sell it). So no double NAT or problems regards features of the Zen units being restricted if used in AP mode.

Depending on how much isolation you need, you could then set up the guest networks for BOTH properties, which should isolate devices at the subnet level. It does mean that you would need to manually select the SSID to connect to for yourself, but for regular users, it should all be transparent.

*Personally I'd probably not go for the Zen units if they don't have the ability to run the Merlin Firmware. Running Merlin gives you the ability to run YazFi which I could see being beneficial!
 

nu1mlock

New Around Here
Okay, so I could be completely misreading this, and would need confirmation regards some of my assumptions!

It would seem to me that if you went for the Zen WiFi AC mini, you would do better using the master unit to connect to your internet, and if you need extra ports repurpose the Edge RouterX as a switch (or sell it). So no double NAT or problems regards features of the Zen units being restricted if used in AP mode.

Depending on how much isolation you need, you could then set up the guest networks for BOTH properties, which should isolate devices at the subnet level. It does mean that you would need to manually select the SSID to connect to for yourself, but for regular users, it should all be transparent.

*Personally I'd probably not go for the Zen units if they don't have the ability to run the Merlin Firmware. Running Merlin gives you the ability to run YazFi which I could see being beneficial!
I am using Edgerouter X as router, since it is better suited for it than the low-end Zen WiFi AC Mini. The Zen is set up as AiMesh AP + nodes so there is no double NAT. All 4 Zen (main + 3 nodes) does use ethernet backhaul.
 

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