Multiple Router network.... same or different SSIDs?

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
I spent some time searching, but wasn't able to find any answers. Likely not typing in good search parameters..... So....
Years ago, when I built my home network, I used AC68U routers. As in THREE of them throughout the network...in order to supply sufficient wifi around the property/buildings. One is the "main" router connected directly to the ISP/modem, and the other two are connected to that main router via the LAN ports. A that time, my research showed that I SHOULD NOT have the same SSIDs/credentials on each router within the network (meaning I currently have 6 different SSIDs... three 2.4 and three 5.0)

Fast forward to today....
Was researching hardware to update/upgrade my network..... and I stumbled across a couple of articles stating that with multiple routers within the same network, is recommended to use the same SSID names/credentials for all the wifi on the same network...and that devices would "seamlessly" connect to different wifi routers based on signal strength. (sounded a lot like mesh networking, but that wasn't what was being referred to, and is something that I don't think I'm interested in)

Since that is completely opposite of my research years ago..... and how I have SSIDs/credentials setup on my current network..... what's the "proper" way of doing this? Should all three of the 2.4 networks be named and credentialed the same, and likewise with the 5.0? AND... would it work as a seamless network, which seemed to be implied in the reading I did?? It could also be a ton or work, as there are a number of wireless security cams on the various wifi networks that would require resetting/reinstalling. But.... it might be worth if I am updating the entire network with new hardware throughout.

Thoughts? Many Thanks in advance!
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I think I would want the SSIDs to be the same on all wireless devices. But I would want security cameras, guest accounts to be separate SSIDs on separate VLANs from regular LAN users. So, I would run multiple SSIDs on each wireless AP.

I would want regular users to be able to roam around the network and stay connected. If you are facetiming or phone calling then you will get bumped out if you setup APs as separate APs and you roam around. You want one big virtual AP.

Whether this works with your hardware or not I don't know but this is what you want one big virtual AP.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I spent some time searching, but wasn't able to find any answers. Likely not typing in good search parameters..... So....
Years ago, when I built my home network, I used AC68U routers. As in THREE of them throughout the network...in order to supply sufficient wifi around the property/buildings. One is the "main" router connected directly to the ISP/modem, and the other two are connected to that main router via the LAN ports. A that time, my research showed that I SHOULD NOT have the same SSIDs/credentials on each router within the network (meaning I currently have 6 different SSIDs... three 2.4 and three 5.0)

Fast forward to today....
Was researching hardware to update/upgrade my network..... and I stumbled across a couple of articles stating that with multiple routers within the same network, is recommended to use the same SSID names/credentials for all the wifi on the same network...and that devices would "seamlessly" connect to different wifi routers based on signal strength. (sounded a lot like mesh networking, but that wasn't what was being referred to, and is something that I don't think I'm interested in)

Since that is completely opposite of my research years ago..... and how I have SSIDs/credentials setup on my current network..... what's the "proper" way of doing this? Should all three of the 2.4 networks be named and credentialed the same, and likewise with the 5.0? AND... would it work as a seamless network, which seemed to be implied in the reading I did?? It could also be a ton or work, as there are a number of wireless security cams on the various wifi networks that would require resetting/reinstalling. But.... it might be worth if I am updating the entire network with new hardware throughout.

Thoughts? Many Thanks in advance!

I'd setup the WLANs the same as with AiMesh... since the AC68Us do not support Smart Connect band steering, set a different SSID per band but the same SSIDs across APs/nodes... and use the same channels. Then see how the wireless clients like it.

OE
 

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
Wow! In just two short replies, I have MUCH to think/learn about.... and possibly implement! I've already wasted most of my day researching the things mentioned in coxhaus's reply..... now I'll need more time to explore OzarkEdge's. Thank you!!
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I don't think you want to use the same channels as you cut your connections in half or thirds depends on how many APs. Plus you mess your roaming up using the same channels.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
I don't think you want to use the same channels as you cut your connections in half or thirds depends on how many APs. Plus you mess your roaming up using the same channels.
As the network is right now, with the multiple SSIDs, I have each assigned to different wireless channels. (same for the bands... 2.4 and 5.0) If I don't necessasarily have to change that, and it wouldn't affect how mobile devices roam/connect to the various routers' signals, I'd just as soon leave it until I install newer/upgraded hardware..... then I'd just have to do it along with new hardware's setup....... which is eventually where this will take me.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
OK.... I am at the point were I want to begin updating my home network. Right now, because the Asus AX86U is so far out for delivery, for the present I've picked up a Asus RT-AC88U, and plan to install the Merlin firmware.
This will be my "main" router/backbone, connected to the modem/ISP connection (inside the house/in the basement). Ethernet connected from one of it's LAN ports, to a LAN port on the 2nd router(set to AP mode) which is inside another building. Then, Ethernet connected from a LAN port of the second router, to a LAN port of the 3rd router (set to AP mode) in another building. (both the 2nd & 3rd routers are AC68U models with DDWRT firmware (that was before I knew of Merlin)

Also been trying to do some homework the last few days on the SSID/channel subject. What I need is some confirmation that I am thinking/heading in the right direction. In my research it's about a 60/40 split in favor of using the same SSID across all routers and/or APs within the same home network, while others recommend to use DIFFERENT SSIDs across multiple routers within the same home network..... but the channel issue mentioned here, doesn't seem to come up in any of it.

That being said, here's my plan: Main router (AC88U/the one connected to my ISPs incoming cable connection/modem), and two "extension" routers further down the network will all have the same SSID for the 2.4 band, and the same SSID for the 5.0 band, but each router/AP will have it's given SSID for each band, set to different channels. Does that sound right? The idea/hope being that wireless devices will seamlessly move from host to host as the device moves around the property.

While typing this, something else occurred to me..... I know 5.0 is typically the faster connection, but less distance, where as the 2.4 is slower, but better over distance. My thought pattern is to utilize both the 2.4 & the 5.0 bands..... but I could use one or the other only. Thoughts?
 

EdCaffreyMS

Occasional Visitor
Well, through trial and error I believe I have it figured out.....

My Network:
Asus AC88U as the backbone, connected to the incoming cable/modem. From one AC88U LAN port to LAN port into the next router in line/in the nearest outbuilding router (AC68U (#1). LAN port from AC68U #1 to the next building/AC68U #2. Of course each of those routers has ethernet connections to various devices within their respective buildings, but I simply needed the wifi coverage too.

All SSIDs and auth keys the same across the 3 routers. Initially all the routers' wireless channels were set to "Auto", but that didn't work. Devices did not automatically change from weaker to stronger SSID/signal, and the network/IP security cams I rely on, kept "skipping" from one IP to another, which made it impossible to find/load/monitor with Bluestacks/TinyCam Pro. (Looking forward to when Windows 11 handles android so I can dump Bluestacks.)

I used a wifi utility to see the SSIDs and channels in my area.... I changed each channel, of each SSID to as far apart as possible in my network, while not running any of the same channels that are nearby. So far...so good. Iphones quickly jump from one weak SSID to another/stronger SSID as I move around the property, and no more of the IP security cams skipping around.

The only issue I don't think I can solve is with my backbone/AC88U.... for no apparent reason the wireless bands drop out randomly. Sometimes the 2.4 band, other times the 5.0 band, and sometimes both. Sometimes they will return, sometimes it takes me rebooting the router for them to return, and still other times no matter what I do, then just don't come back....until they decide to. Since I can't have that, I am waiting on a new AC86U to arrive, and as long as it tests out OK, I'll return the AC88U.

The moral of the story..... You can have multiple routers within the same network, provided they are properly connected, AND you can use the exact same SSIDs and auth keys throughout..... PROVIDED you adjust the wireless channels to be different on each router/SSID.

Something else I've learned too.... if you're running a VPN on your router, CPU speed makes a world of difference! I went from 800MHz on the older router, which cut my speed by more than half with a VPN active/on the router, to the 1.4MHz on the AC88U, and got over 1/4 of that speed back! Actually kinda glad that this router is acting up, otherwise I'd not have purchased the AC86U.... which has a 1.8GHz dual core processor.
 
Last edited:

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top