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Installing an SSID on a working wifi network.

Main SSID is: home_1

When installing the Repeater - does it name has to be the same? home_1 ? or should it be a different name?

If it's a different name - I have a problem understanding the logic behind extending the main SSID - as I need to connect to a different one.

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2 Answers

What a repeater does:

A repeater should essentially:

  • Grab the signal you point it at and simply repeat it
  • Not be broadcasting its own SSID

You will need to tell it which signal, or SSID, to repeat. Clients will not be "connecting" to this repeater; the repeater will be boosting signals for them.

What a WAP with same SSID does:

What you're describing sounds more like adding another wireless access point (WAP) to your network.

  • WAP broadcasts an identical SSID
  • Clients choose access point based on signal strength

If you add a WAP to your network and use the same SSID, clients will choose (roam) between the two access points depending on signal strength. It's important to realize that the client does the math on which WAP to use.

You will have to add the WAP to your wired network however.

What WDS does:

To create another WAP wirelessly, you would need to set up a wireless distribution system (WDS).

  • Functions like a second WAP with identical SSID
  • WAPs/routers are aware of each other
  • Can create a mesh network, bouncing signals off multiple

Expensive (for good reason) proprietary solutions exist, and work well. You can also set this up using DD-WRT and some good matching routers yourself. It's not user friendly to set up.

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Isn't a repeater with the same SSID is actually a WAP? –  Saariko Dec 30 '12 at 18:14
    
A repeater doesn't have an SSID. So I suppose, yes, if it's a "repeater" that's broadcasting an SSID, it's not really a repeater and is in fact a WAP. –  Tanner Dec 30 '12 at 18:22
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While all 802.11 devices must have an SSID (BSSID, actually) in order to function, it is possible to configure a repeater with a different ESSID than it's master node. According to the 802.11 spec it just has to be on the same channel as the master node. Few SOHO wireless devices include this functionality though, and will fail to repeat if SSID is unique.

Commercial grade repeaters, on the other hand, are often configured with different SSIDs to aid troubleshooting and flowcharting, especially in environments with troublesome phase effects. Doing this breaks WDS, however, and WDS is usually a preferable way to extend coverage wirelessly.

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