I've a home computer network network - a couple of PC's, a Smart TV, the usual stuff. Where possible I prefer to use cables to wire everything together, but obviously with tablet devices this isn't always possible.

There are a couple of areas in the house that don't get a good WiFi signal so I've bought a second WiFi access point. I can wire this back into the house network using cables I've already set up.

So that the tablet devices can connect at in any room in the house I'm going to set up the second access point to use the same SSID.

What I'm not sure about is my choice of WiFi Channel. I know that there will be places in the house that will see both access points, so should the second access point use the same Channel as my existing WiFi access point or should I pick something different?

What's worrying me is:

  1. If I use the same channel for both access points will they interfere with each other?

  2. If I pick different channels will the tablets get confused as I take them around the house?

  1. Yes, using the same channel will result in interference and decreased performance.

  2. No, devices don't get "confused" with wireless. Using a different channel avoids interference and allows for optimal operation of both networks. Once the signal a device is connected to gets low enough, the device will scan for and connect to a stronger network it is also allowed to join.

Note: This setup will NOT work like a Mesh network like you'll see in big spaces where your device jumps from AP to AP invisibly and instantly. You're creating two networks and telling your devices it is OK to connect to either, and so they'll jump between these when one of the signals is low enough. It will cause brief interruptions when this jump happens.

If you wish for a more streamlined experience, you should look up Access Points that support "Mesh". There are plenty of these available. However, you're going to mostly trade off price and ease of setup. More expensive products will do this Mesh setup quickly and easily, generally speaking, while lower cost devices may be just as capable but will likely be more complicated to set up.

  • Mesh implies each AP is not hardwired to a switch so that their network connectivity comes from other APs that are connected. AFAIK, there's no magic "mesh" technology that helps clients hop from one AP to another AP that use the same SSID - simply having the same SSID (with different frequencies) is enough. – Alastair McCormack Dec 18 '19 at 17:45

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