How to best setup an Access Point-network? (on 2.4, 5 GHz and also a router)


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I have a TP-Link Access Point Deco M4 set.

I would like to fully utilize its power, in combination with my Asus RT-AC86U router.

 

How can I best do this?

 

My current situation:

router (ground floor); 2 bands (2.4 GHz (name: network 1) & 5 GHZ (name: network 2)

1st floor: Access Point 1, wired (name: network 3)

2nd floor: Access Point 2 wireless (cannot be wired) (name: network 3)

 

(a third AP is currently unused)

 

For roaming purposes it's not wise to have a 3rd network name on my AP's. I can change them to either 'network 1' or 'network 2'

From what I read these preferably should be the same SSID as network 1 of network 2 with the same password.

 

However, the configuration of these TP AP's can only be 1 SSID for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz band. So which one to chose nw 1 or nw2? 

The 2.4 GHz band has a further reach, but slower speeds (around 100-150 Mbps) & the 5 GHz is more limited in reach but has faster speeds (500 Mbps) (it can reach the 2nd floor, but with download speeds around 90-120/150 Mbs).

And, how do these AP's actually function? Is the signal 'cloned' (with possible deterioration of speed) from AP1 to AP2? Or is this 'just another' network access, possibly on a different channel? (btw, I cannot select the channel on the TP AP's from what I have tried & seen in de app)

 

What would you guys recommend to be the setup to have the most optimal speeds and workable situation? Which SSID's for 2.4 and 5 GHz? And how to configure these Access Points?

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Why would you not just use the same ssid for both 2.4 and 5?

 

Your client will determine which is best to connect to for it..

 

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Its a mesh network that isn't set up as a mesh network?  The App should basically walk you through the setup as Budman said one name for all let the software & hardware do the work.  

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I fail to understand why users do not do some basic research before they purchase.

 

These mesh systems are designed to work with their router..  If your going to go mesh, you should get rid of your non mesh router wifi..

 

If your desire is to run different ssids for 2.4 and 5.. Then you should of purchased mesh that supports that.

 

But really there should be no need for this - any modern device, even iot devices should work with a common ssid.  I run common ssid for both 2.4 and 5, and have no issues with any devices connecting.  I run multiple vlans based on ssid, all of the ssid are both 2.4 and 5..  iot devices that only do 2.4 connect at 2.4, iot devices that support 5 connect to 5.. Echo devices and Roku's for example all connect at 5.. I have never seen them move to 2.4.. For starters they don't move - so they don't normally move to different AP even.. Only when I do a firmware upgrade and all of the AP reboot, they switch over to another AP during this process.  But once all 3 AP are back, devices normally settle back to the Best AP for them..

 

If you need more coverage with your new mesh, then buy another node/satellite for it.. 

 

If current system does not do what you want - return/sell/bin it.  And get something that will do exactly what you want.

 

While running multiple ssid for different bands has some uses, it would only be when you want to specific assign devices to a specific band and prevent them from jumping to the other band.  Normally for bandwidth sharing issues - maybe you have some device that doesn't need 5ghz bandwidth, and you don't want it using any of that 5ghz bandwidth so you leave it for your higher bandwidth requirement devices.

 

But for devices that move about.. You are going to see issues using more than 1ssid because devices normally will not jump to another SSID unless the one they are connected to goes away or its signal is so poor that it really won't work before they will jump to a different ssid they have saved.

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Why I chose for 2 SSID's is to see which network I'm on (and which max speed I can get). Like I said... the 2.4 is slower, but has a further reach & and 5 is faster, but with limited reach.

When I had these 2.4 and 5 GHz on one SSID I noticed that my speed wasn't as it should be, because for some reason the connected device 'connected' to a slower, or maybe even a SSID with a better reception (but still slower download/upload speeds).

 

I changed everything to one SSID, including the 2 Mesh'es.

Hopefully this works. The first attempted speedtests did show the max speeds (on ground floor).

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The device should pick the best 2.4 or 5 for its connection.  When the device supports both.  When you go to common ssid, it should use band that it determines is the best connection.

 

Adjusting min rssi, and power levels of 2.4 vs 5 for transmit can help.

 

The only reason you would really want 2 different SSIDs - is if you had a problem device that could not connect for some reason when using common.  Something wrong with the device if that is the case to be honest.  Or if you wanted to prevent a device from using a specific band when it supports both.  You would could also want multiple SSIDs when say you had a triband router, and had 2 5ghz radios - you might want to put specific devices on same radio..  For example you might want your roku's on 5ghz radio A, while other devices on 5ghz radio B.. For bandwidth sharing reasons.

 

Can be handy for devices that have problems with picking or switching to the better connection be it 2.4 or 5.. Again setting min rssi and power levels can help here.  Also depending on your wifi setup - you might have the option of opting to "force/push" clients to 5 ghz band..

 

5ghz.png.dc430b0c8e344764d399d69ba106425e.png

 

When you use different SSIDs for your 2.4 or 5 - the client will most likely never switch on its own.. Once it is on 2.4, moving to that 5 ghz SSID - prob would never happen without manual intervention by the user.  If the signal is good, devices normally don't like switching to a different SSID, even when its better signal..  Roaming characteristics of devices may differ - but switching ssid not a common top of the list sort of thing..

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202831

How iOS decides which wireless network to auto-join

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203068

About wireless roaming for enterprise

 

If you find that devices connecting to the wrong band when your set to common ssid.. While your in a specific location of your house - you may want to adjust your min rssi and power levels of your AP.. Or look for better placement of them..

 

Keep in mind as well - that while sure everyone wants to see the max possible speed when doing a speed test over their wireless - with a mobile device moving about.. Does this really matter? Is it going to matter streaming your movie or music for example if your at 2.4 speeds or 5 speeds?  As long as you have the bandwidth available to stream what your streaming..

 

For overall performance what you want is to keep the poorly connected devices off that AP..  When a device hangs onto a connection with poor connection and slow PHY.. It hampers the other devices using that same AP that have better connections.  The point of multiple AP is really for this reason - when you have 1 AP, devices far away might connect - but they are going to have a worse connection than devices closer.. And they will lower the performance of all devices connected..   Multiple AP allow for devices connected to each AP to have similar connections.. So that they best can share the bandwidth..

 

Once you move to multiple AP - blasting power to the max is normally not a good idea..  Once you move past just plugging the wifi system in, and are now wanting to provide optimal coverage and connectivity many of these soho systems don't provide the feature set, or even provide the information about connections of different devices and what AP they are currently connected required to do such things.  Most users that go from single AP to multiple/mesh setups will just plug them in and be happy that hey my IPAD works in the guest bedroom now. 

 

Its unlikely many of these soho mesh systems really give the admin any info to know how their different devices are connecting and performing.  If you are to the point where you wanting to do more than just plug it in "hey mom look your phone" works here in the dining room..  I just took a look at the m4 manual... Yeah you plug it in.. I don't see any info provided at all about a devices connection, its rate, etc. etc.. Can you even see what AP a device is connected too?  You may want to look to something that gives you more insight and control over the wifi.

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