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I have setup a home network with 2 APs

Internet --[Wired]-- AP1(as router) --[Wired]-- AP2(as bridge)

Both AP1 and AP2 have the same SSID and encryption method, so clients can automatically switch between them. This achieves the goal of extending wifi coverage, but the roaming between 2 APs is not ideal. For example, the video streaming or Facetime call will be disrupted during the romaing.

I know WDS is another possible solution, but my routers don't support that feature. So I want some clarification before investing in 2 WDS routers. My question is how seamless WDS is in terms of roaming? Will I still experience disruption during streaming?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

WDS is just a wireless backhaul. It doesn't aid roaming in any way.

In fact, since it is likely to be a slower, less reliable backhaul compared to wired Ethernet, roaming will probably be worse between two WDS-connected APs. Also, unless you have two dual-radio APs, you'll have to put them both on the same channel so that they can do WDS, which means you'll be effectively cutting your wireless bandwidth in half, as many transmissions will have to traverse the same channel twice.

For best results when setting up a roaming network with a wired backhaul (i.e. what you've already got):

  1. Make sure your two APs are on different channels. If you're using 2.4GHz, make sure they're on non-overlapping channels, such as 1, 6, and 11 (pick any two of those three).
  2. Make sure the SSID, wireless security type, and wireless password is the same on both APs.
  3. Make sure you don't have any dead spots between APs. You want their coverage to overlap enough that you can still get decent speeds anywhere you go in your house. You don't want to completely lose coverage or even go down to crappy 1-2mbps rates when you're halfway between APs.
  4. Make sure (as you've already done) that only one device, probably at the head of your network, directly attached to your Internet connection, is providing NAT and DHCP service.
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