My house has dead spots on WiFi no matter where I set up the access point that my ISP gave me. I turned off the WiFi functionality on the ISP's equipment, and set up a standalone 802.11ac router instead. Unfortunately, in this configuration, there are still parts of the house where I can't get a signal, or the bandwidth is very slow.

Can I set up the ISP AP and the standalone router on the same SSID to create an Extended Service Set (ESS) and have signal through the whole house, or will the NAT on the standalone router cause something to malfunction?

Public IP -> (NAT1) -> ISP AP -> (NAT2) -> Archer C7
                         |                   |          
                       ESSID               ESSID

1 Answer 1


The NAT might cause problems, yes. It's assumed that all APs with the same ESSID (network name) are access points to the exact same network – when they're close enough to roam between, it's done transparently to the IP layer.

So what you should do is configure the C7 in "bridge" mode. Some firmwares have an actual setting to disable routing and bridge the "WAN" port along with everything else.

It seems that C7 doesn't, however, you can still disable DHCP and use the existing bridge between its Wi-Fi AP and the "LAN" ports. That is, you should connect both devices through their "LAN" ports and leave C7's WAN disconnected.

  • Thanks for your answer. I previously tried to use the LAN ports to bridge the two APs, but failed. I will try it again with renewed confidence that it should work. Dec 27, 2015 at 16:25
  • Make sure that there's exactly one DHCP server on the network – on the router between LAN & real WAN. (It could technically be elsewhere, but only if it's configurable enough to provide the correct "default gateway" address.) Also make sure all routers and other devices have different IP addresses – they will share the SSID but not the IP. Finally it could be that a gateway would have packet filtering to block other DHCP servers on the LAN ports as a security measure , although that's more of a business-grade feature. Dec 27, 2015 at 23:32
  • Indeed, this worked. Unfortunately, my consumer-grade laptops and smartphones are not smart enough to automatically roam to the stronger signal, because the weaker signal is still technically available. Nov 21, 2016 at 16:21
  • That's partially because the device has to break the connection while trying to associate to the new AP (unless the 802.11r + .11k extensions are used), so frequent roaming might degrade the quality (especially of VoIP or streaming) more than a weak but stable signal. So they delay the roaming until the current signal drops below a specific level, or similar. Nov 21, 2016 at 17:34

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