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  1. #1
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    Cannot roam between WiFi Router & WiFi Access Point on same network

    I have a seemingly simple desire: to achieve acceptable wifi coverage of my entire house and the ability to use my wireless devices in multiple locations within that house. To achieve this aim I have tried a variety of hardware combinations over the last two months but am now at the point where I'm almost ready to abandon the project.

    In my current setup I have:
    • Downstairs: A new & working Wireless Router (TP-Link TD-W8961ND) from which I can connect to (1) the internet, and (2) the internal network devices (NAS, printer, and network shares).
    • Upstairs: A new & working Access Point (TP-Link TL-WA801ND). The AP is connected by a physical cable to the downstairs router. The AP is in "Access Point Mode" with a different SSID and the channels are far apart. From the AP I can also connect to (1) the internet, and (2) the internal network devices (NAS, printer, and network shares).
    Clearly therefore, parts of my setup are correct and complete. However, I cannot roam between these two devices. Once a device is connected to one of these devices it cannot connect to the other. When downstairs, if I connect any device (iPad, iPhone, Win7 ThinkPad, WinXP Netbook) to the router's Wifi network, it connects to the router as expected and is fine. When upstairs, it connects to the second router but cannot get to the internet. It seems to get an IP address but simply cannot establish a useful connection with the world outside the house. The same is true if I take a machine that is successfully connected to the upstairs network and move downstairs.

    I've read many "How To" articles on the web about how best to configure what is in essence two wireless networks on the same LAN but despite my best efforts at following multiple contradictory paths (some argue that the SSIDs must be identical, while others insist that's a direct path to hell), I'm no better off.

    Have you successfully setup a wifi network with a TP-Link router and a TP-Link Access Point so that roaming works? If so, what's the secret?!

  2. #2
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    Why use different SSIDs? It's the same network, I would definitely use the same SSID. Without the same SSID you won't be able to roam, as they will be seen as two different networks.

  3. #3
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    The manual for the AP instructed me to use a "unique SSID".
    In addition, as I said, many of the online how-tos advised the same. I'll try again with the identical wireless settings on both.

  4. #4
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    You should use different channels, but same SSID.

  5. #5
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    I've now setup both with an identical SSID and it seems to have resolved the problems. My WinXP Samsung Netbook still isn't seamlessly switching between the two but otherwise things are good. Thanks,

  6. #6
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    Glad to know the situation is solved. Regarding the netbook, make sure it can access all the channels that may be in use by the wireless router and AP.

  7. #7
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    I spoke too soon. The situation is not resolved.

    First it was the netbook but other devices followed. Once again I'm in the position where, if a device is connected to either the AP or the Router it will not be able to establish a connection to the other.

    The situation is effectively the same: I have two appliances (the AP and the router) both transmitting usable wifi networks for full coverage in my house and multiple devices connecting to the internet through each. The only thing missing is the ability to roam between them. When I do so, the DNS is clearly failing and I am unable to get a usable IP address to continue using the internet.

    Today I had someone from the locally respected tech troubleshooting company spend almost 2hrs looking at the problem. Made no progress.

  8. #8
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    See if this information helps in any way, especially regarding the channels used: http://www.velocityreviews.com/forum...ss-points.html

  9. #9
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    Thanks, but it's nothing I'm not already doing:
    • Modem Router broadcasting on channel 1
    • AP broadcasting same SSID on channel 11
    When I'm connected to the internet through either, if I move to the other one I establish a connection with it but don't get "through it" to the internet.

    In other words, if I'm on my Thinkpad and connected to the internet via the router and then I move to the area covered by the AP, I'll see a "Strong" connection with the AP but will get an IP address beginning "169." and have no access to the internet. Meanwhile, other devices will be connected via the AP and be working. If I then restart the router, I'll get a valid IP address and can continue using the web until I need to move back to the area covered by the router (when I'll need to restart it again).

  10. #10
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    It seems weird that you'd need to restart the router. What happens if you disable and re-enable the wireless adapter, instead?

  11. #11
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    Try switching the AP to bridged mode.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browni View Post
    Try switching the AP to bridged mode.
    Firstly, the two devices are connected via a cable so I was under the impression that "Bridge Mode" is inappropriate.
    Secondly, on the TL-WA801ND this mode is called "Bridge with AP" and described like this: This operation mode bridges the AP and up to 4 APs also in bridge mode to connect two or more wired LANs. Please input the MAC address of other APs in the field "MAC of AP1" to "MAC of AP4". AP function will also startup.

    Doesn't sound relevant to me. Do you still think this is appropriate?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    It seems weird that you'd need to restart the router. What happens if you disable and re-enable the wireless adapter, instead?
    It's ALL weird! This should be so simple but it's just not working out that way.
    Disabling and then enabling the wireless adaptor usually is insufficient. I've got quite slick with my iPad now at getting online when I'm on a 169.x address: "forget network", airport mode on, wait a couple of seconds, airport mode off, find the network, enter the key, success. Or just reboot the router.

  14. #14
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    The fact that you don't get an IP assigned is weird, even without the AP, which leads me to thing the issue may be with the router. Just for testing, what if you set an IP lease to expire in a rather short interval (say 5 mins) and you roam near the end of the interval?

  15. #15
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    I just went to the Maintenance>Diagnostics tab of the router's config pages.
    There I see 8 tests:

    >> Testing Ethernet LAN connection ...PASS
    >> Testing ADSL Synchronization ...PASS
    >> Testing ATM OAM segment ping ...FAIL
    >> Testing ATM OAM end to end ping ...FAIL
    >> Testing ATM OAM F4 segment ping ...FAIL
    >> Testing ATM OAM F4 end to end ping ...FAIL
    >> Ping Primary Domain Name Server ...FAIL
    >> Ping www.yahoo.com ...PASS

    So I changed the Interface Setup>LAN>"DNS Relay" from "Use Auto Discovered DNS Server Only" to "Use User Discovered DNS Server Only". Then I set the primary and secondary DNS servers to Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8/8.8.4.4). When I went back to diagnostics, the "Ping Primary Domain Name Server" had changed to a "Pass".

    What's confusing me now is how I've been online this whole time (accessing this forum etc!) if my router couldn't ping a DNS server!
    Last edited by melvynm; 2012-01-12 at 03:47. Reason: Cleaned up the table

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