I just got a TP-Link AC1570 router and noticed (via Wifi Analyzer, inSSIDer) a second "ghost signal" for each band (2 and 5 GHZ). The ghost signal shares the same channel and signal strength as the first and the same MAC address except the first two characters are different. It has no SSID name.

If I change the channel, the ghost signal changes also; if I turn the router off, the ghost signal disappears. (If I simply disable the wireless radio for the channel, the ghost signal remains.) I tried connecting to the ghost signal using the MAC address as the SSID name but that didn't work. I've gone through all the TP-Link settings but can't find any that appear to be relevant. The ghost signal is not a guest network: if I enable guest network, there is now a third signal for each band whose MAC is the same except for the first two characters--but the SSID for the guest network is not hidden.

What is the hidden signal? Does it interfere with performance?


I wondered if the two ghost signals might be rebroadcasts of the primary router's two SSIDs (one for each band), but probably not.

This router is a secondary router connected to a primary router by ethernet. The ethernet cable is in a LAN port on the secondary router, not its WAN port. The setup follows the instructions in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5QJb3O19zI. (The secondary router's LAN IP address is outside the range of available addresses allowed to the primary router's DHCP server, and the secondary router's DHCP server is turned off.)

I discovered my speeds were no better with the secondary router, so I switched back to the original, separate 5GHz SSID of the primary router and turned the secondary router off. Then I had no internet connection. Rebooting the computer, modem, and router, resetting the computer's network adapter, forgetting the Wifi networks--none of this helped. I could connect to the primary router only when the secondary router is on.

I'm not sure, but I think the key to resolving this was to unplug the ethernet cable from the primary router connecting it to the secondary router. Even though the secondary router had no power, I could only connect to the primary router via wifi after the secondary was no longer even connected.

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