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I live in an apartment block with >20 other routers normally in range; when I'm next to my cable modem/router in the main room of the apartment, I get >150Mb speeds but moving to my bedroom (which is 20M and 2 walls away), I then start to get variable speeds from about 2Mb to 20Mb.

I tried to setup a wifi repeater using an openwrt router to connect to my main Cable modem/router and place it nearer the bedroom but this didn't cause any significant change in wifi speed.

I also tried to have my openwrt router to be the primary router but i didn't get any better speeds than what i normally get from the cable modem/router.

I do have an ethernet port in my bedroom that I can connect my openwrt router to, which would then be wired to the router in the main room.

One option is to simply have 2 ESSIDs - e.g. 'Main' and 'Bedroom' and switch between them manually based on where i am in the apartment but ideally,i would like for my laptop to automatically pick up the strongest/fastest wifi signal and connect to that - e.g. When in the bedroom, connect to the bedroom router as it is closer to the laptop(that is routed back to the main router wifi ethernet) and drop the 'slow' wifi connection from the main room and vice versa when i'm in the main room.

Is this possible?

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    In my experience with a single ESSID you will have to bounce your wifi off and back on to get it to switch APs. Unless the signal gets so bad it won't stay connected it never tries to find a better signal. – Tyson Jun 8 '16 at 14:29
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This can be done. Ideally you want both ap's to match their settings identically, except for the ap's channels and internal IP numbers. Make sure the two are on separate non-conflicting channels. Make sure that the encryption settings & authentication settings match on the two. Turn off mixed network modes, don't allow wireless-b on either router. These the most common reasons I have found that a client will drop out.

If this is a new setup, do a little research on the first router, figure out what chipset it uses. If it's broadcom, match it with broadcom for the repeater. If it's atheros match it with atheros, ralink with ralink, etc etc.

This works well with web browsing and streaming. But the only way I was ever able to get real-time traffic (voip etc) to roam without dropping the session was with some other device doing authentication. I.e the routers off-loaded Auth, DNS, DHCP, to pfsense & enabled EAP caching on PFsense. This way all processor intensive tasks are essentially sent to a separate device(pfsense), giving back crucial milliseconds during roaming events.

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