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Recently I had to reset my Fonera 2.0 WLAN router. I reconfigured it immediately with the same private SSID, security mode (WPA2-PSK) and key. However, when I looked at my Windows notebooks, they were not automatically connected to the new/old network. Unfortunately I did not take a screenshot, but it showed a red symbol next to the SSID (with a red X). My WLAN printer and my Android phone lost their connection, too, and failed to regain it.

I was under the impression that identical settings on identical hardware should lead to identical results. I expected my network devices to recognize the new settings as the old and reconnect automatically.

An answer on Superuser (http://superuser.com/questions/122441/multiple-access-points-for-the-same-ssid) states:

Many clients assume that these kinds of settings will be the same across all APs with the same SSID.

It further suggests to vary the channel between two APs. I did leave the channel selection before and after the reset on automatic, so this should have had no influence.

All my clients - printer, smartphone, notebooks - failed to recognise the network after reinstalling it with identical settings. Why was this the case? Could it be the router that sends a different signature or uses a different certificate after the reset (if something like that exists)?


January 2012 edit:

Here's some more food for thought. After switching from my Fonera to a Zyxel 660 HN modem-router with identical WiFi settings most of my devices - Android smart phones, one Ubuntu netbook, an HP printer, an old notebook with a plain vanilla windows 7 - gladly accepted the new network without reconfiguration. A newer HP notebook with Windows 7 did not - though it has HP crapware installed that "manages" my network connections.

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I would appreciate any input! –  user 99572 is fine Dec 7 '11 at 13:53
    
Did you just reset the router or did you change it for another identical one. Take into account that if you have changed the hardware, even being an identical model, the MAC address is different, so it is managed as a different (no configured) connection. –  jap1968 Dec 14 '11 at 19:13
    
No, I did not change the hardware. Same router, I only pressed the reset button on the backside. –  user 99572 is fine Dec 15 '11 at 20:05
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I was tempted to delete the question since I presume that I had something in the original configuration that I had not accounted for. Therefore the error was probably my own.

I've reached this conclusion after switching to a totally different router (Zyxel) where I re-entered exactly the same Wlan config as in the Fonera - same SSID and WPA2-PSK, though with a different channel - most of my devices accepted this switch without complaining. Except for a Windows 7 on a newer HP notebook. I get an error message about invalid credentials (or something like that - it's in German).

My plain vanilla Windows 7 made me re-select the type of network I was in (Home, Office, Public), but other than that it works fine with the new router.

To answer my original question: It appears that something was set in the initial configuration that I failed to transfer to the new settings after reset. And it also appears some clients - especially Windows - will not accept a "new" network with identical parameters like before if their internal IP address or the router's MAC address change.

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