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Wireless Network hardware


Gamul's Avatar
Gamul Gamul is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Experience: Intermediate
13-Sep-2012, 06:45 AM #1
Wireless Network hardware

I want to buy the hardware needed to extend my home wireless network. My concern is that what I want is to extend the same network and not create a new network.

I keep reading reviews of various products where someone mentions that instead of extending their current home network so that their device just stays connected all over, it creates a separate network that they need to manually switch to as they move about the house.

For example, if my current network ID is "HomeNetwork1", I don't want to have to create a new one called "HomeNetwork2" and have to manually switch between them.

I've tried reading various types of devices but I am just getting more confused about which device to buy that would work for what I want and now I'm nervous about screwing it up.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated.
zx10guy's Avatar
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Trusted Advisor with 4,353 posts.
Join Date: Mar 2008
13-Sep-2012, 08:42 AM #2
What you're looking to do is to create wireless roaming. To do this with stand along APs/wireless routers, you need to create a single SSID that is used by both (or multiple) APs/wireless routers. But with each AP/wireless router, you need to set the operating wireless channel to a unique one. So one would be on say channel 1 and the other would be on 6. On paper this looks like it will work and in many circumstances it does.

Here is the problem. Depending on the RF profile of where you want to implement this solution, you can have issues with RF interference on a particular channel. Layer this on top of having to depend on the wireless NIC driver of the device you are using and you can get mixed results. The roaming setup of many wireless NICs isn't really all that great.

With a wireless controller and lightweight AP setup, you have better unification of the wireless APs which means all the APs behave in a unified fashion. The system takes out the guess work of the wireless NIC driver and does the appropriate steering of the wireless device to the best AP for the best wireless connectivity. If you want the best possible solution, the only method is to use a wireless controller/lightweight AP setup or something in between which is a wireless mesh type system that approximates a wireless controller.
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