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I have two rooms that I need wifi coverage for. In each room, I have a wifi router connected via wired internet. How do I setup my routers so that they appear as a single AP and my devices can auto switch to the one with stronger signal as I walk between the two rooms?

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migrated from Dec 18 '10 at 1:42

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This question has already been discusses in Buying another router and use as a "signal repeater" in bridge mode?. That information will likely solve your problem. – nhinkle Dec 18 '10 at 1:59
@nhinkle, not quite the same question. The OP has ethernet in both rooms. – heavyd Dec 18 '10 at 2:05
@heavyd, thanks for pointing that out. – nhinkle Dec 18 '10 at 2:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are other, simpler, less elegant solutions, but in order to set this up the way you want it, where moving between access points is completely seamless, you will need routers which support wireless distribution system. Essentially the way WDS works is that each router is configured with the same radio channel, encryption scheme, and (for usability's sake, though not technically required) SSID. One or more base stations is connected by ethernet, and then repeater stations rebroadcast that signal. Clients can move back and forth between access points transparently; you will automatically connect to whichever is closest. You will need routers which are compatible and support WDS for this to work.

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the question asked for wireless roaming, not wireless distribution system. WDS is used to wirelessly distribute the network. @user397390 asked for multiple access points connected by wired network. Also note @heavyd's comment. – bubu Dec 18 '10 at 9:06
@bubu, I see what you're saying, but WDS is still a good method for creating a mesh network in which clients can move around between access points seamlessly. You can set up multiple base stations, so both of his wired routers could be set up as base stations. This should work. – nhinkle Dec 18 '10 at 17:13

router side (better use firmware such as dd-wrt) :

  • set the other additional routers to 'access point mode'
  • set them to have the same SSID
  • set them to have the same authentication method
  • set them to different channels to decrease interference

client side (for windows):

  • check connect when in range
  • check connect to more preferable network if possible
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