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Author Topic: When in "Range Extender" mode, can I use the same SSID than my main router?  (Read 31586 times)

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Offline luroch

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Hello.

I haven't bought this product yet, but I'm doing some research to find the one which better meets my needs. I have a Motorola SurfBoard modem at home, which was given to me by my service provider, but its wi-fi signal is not strong enough to cover my entire place which has 2 floors and approx. 4000 sq. feet. So I'm looking for a wi-fi extender to increase coverage.

My goal from a user experience perspective is that I don't need to be switching from one network to another in my gadgets (iPhone, iPad, Win8 notebook) as I walk around my place. Instead, I want my devices to automatically / seamlessly connect to the network providing the strongest signal. I believe the only way to achieve this is by configuring the Almond device with the exact same SSID and password than in my main router's wi-fi network. Will this work, considering my main router is a Motorola SurfBoard? (not sure the exact model, but can figure it out if that's important for an accurate answer).

Thanks in advance.

Essoh

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For what I know, Almond works with any kind of wifi router with 2.4GHz, as range extender (including Motorola Surfboard models).
After connecting almond to the motorola routeur you just have to keep the same name (SSID) via the LCD touchscreen on the wireless icon of almond for a seamless connection on the client devices (Iphone, Ipad, android phone, laptop...)

So Yes, you can use the same SSID as the main router and that is the best way to use almond as range extender, I think.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 02:10:16 pm by Essoh »

Offline luroch

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Thanks for your help, Essoh. From your answer it seems like this is how you expect it to work, but it's not a setup you've tried before yourself, correct? The reason I brought this up is because I've read somewhere that Motorola routers would behave differently than "most of other routers" in this scenario... so I'm trying to clarify that before I buy the product.

It would be really great if someone who has this specific setup (with a Motorola Surfboard) can validate it works. Or if someone from Securifi Staff can jump in and share some thoughts.

Thanks again!


Offline Patrick Wilson

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Thanks for your help, Essoh. From your answer it seems like this is how you expect it to work, but it's not a setup you've tried before yourself, correct? The reason I brought this up is because I've read somewhere that Motorola routers would behave differently than "most of other routers" in this scenario... so I'm trying to clarify that before I buy the product.

It would be really great if someone who has this specific setup (with a Motorola Surfboard) can validate it works. Or if someone from Securifi Staff can jump in and share some thoughts.

Thanks again!

Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world,  and the truth is that it is not possible to have the same SSID at the main router in some cases.  Please provide the exact model of Motorola you are using,  and I'll see if I can look into it for you. 
Patrick Wilson
Victoria, BC Canada

LGNilsson

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My goal from a user experience perspective is that I don't need to be switching from one network to another in my gadgets (iPhone, iPad, Win8 notebook) as I walk around my place. Instead, I want my devices to automatically / seamlessly connect to the network providing the strongest signal.

This isn't technically possible, as the Wi-Fi standard doesn't have support for it. What I'm trying to say here is that as long as your device deems that it has a strong enough Wi-Fi signal, it's not going to switch to a different access point in a Wi-Fi network, regardless of the signal strength from that AP. This is an inherent flaw of the Wi-Fi standard as your device only checks for signal strength at the point of connection to a wireless network and although roaming between AP's work well enough, at times you have to disable and re-enable Wi-Fi to get the device to connect to the AP with the stronger signal. 

Offline eldaria

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Actually it is possible, but not without interruption.

At work we have a massive WiFi network, and you can walk from one end of the building to the other and always be connected. All access points have the same SSID and do not provide any routing or similar. I think it is Cisco based.

If your application handles short disconnects it will not be an issue as it is a back-end system providing routing and DHCP. It is basically as if the Wifi Signal get's weak and then comes back. Most applications will handle this, except perhaps some live streaming applications.
Some routers also have built in functions for providing this, although I never tried it I had a D-link that had such a feature configurable, but I did not have a need for it since my place is not that big, and I only had one router anyway.

But I suppose this are Enterprise solutions, not really consumer level so not sure if it is possible with Almond, Would be cool to set the Almond+ as a Central controller and then use a couple of Almond to extend the network.


LGNilsson

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The gear you're talking about isn't exactly consumer grade, just as you say.

That said, you even admit that there are some slight interruption, he asked for seamless connectivity to the strongest signal at all points, which is not quite what you described.

Not trying to argue about this, just saying.

Offline luroch

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Thanks Patrick, Lars and eldaria for the comments, I'm definitely getting the picture here. This is very helpful.

So I get that really really seamlessly transition will not be possible, no matter what. But on the other hand, what eldaria described about applications being able to handle small "glitches" in the connection makes full sense to me, and might work well for what I'm looking for. That said, it brings back the question of is it possible to configure the Almond to have the same SSID than my main Motorola router, which Patrick was offering to double check based on the exact model.

Patrick, I simplified the explanation a little bit on purpose in the beginning to make it simpler. But here you go: this is my parent's house, and they live in Brazil. The Motorola router was provided by the local service provider, and it doesn't seem to be a popular device in the US. It's the "SVG1202 SURFboard Wireless Voice Gateway", which you can find more details here:

http://www.arrisi.com/products/product.asp?id=909

It's weird that it's called Arris... I got to the link above from motorola.com, browsing at their "Modems & Other Products" category. It seems like split that part of the business to this 3rd party vendor at some point.

Anyway, any additional information you can share regarding this specific device model and the Almond will be helpful. Thank you in advance!

Essoh

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My opinion is that the device is not a normal router (a voice gateway) and it is not easy to understand the way it works since every documentation on you-tube is in "Portuguese" (I think), not in English.  But I am still doing some research on that, hoping I am wrong.
Maybe it can work with almond but more information on the Motorola could be helpful.

Offline patch172858

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To assist with the idea of assigning the same SSID to a WiFi extender or a access point in a network is possible IF the extender or access point allows custom SSIDs, which is firmware dependent.  I have my main modem/router in the front corner of my house on the first floor (unfortunately where the hookup was placed and the router installed by the ISP).  I purchased two WiFi extenders to ensure a consistent signal throughout the house (50'x110' and three stories and a basement).  I named the extenders the same as my modem/router, placing one a third of the way through the house on the second floor, and the other 2/3 of the way through the house on the first floor.  My cell phone, laptop, iPod, and tablet have no problem switching from one broadcast point to another and do so seamlessly.  I did use my phone initially to measure the dBm at various points of the house to choose good places to put the extenders so they are far enough away from each other to extend the farthest, yet close enough together to still maintain decent signal with each other to minimize any packet loss.

I know you're probably thinking what if you're between two of the broadcast points, does a device keep switching between the two trying to decide which is better.  I can walk throughout the house, switching from the router to an extender to the other extender without noticing except for my signal strength and dBm do not drop below 2/4 bars.

Offline rlhess

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Re: When in "Range Extender" mode, can I use the same SSID than my main router?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2014, 04:12:17 pm »
I was looking for an answer to this and found a wide range of opinions on the Web.

I thought since this was a fairly recent thread I'd add that now Netgear is saying it's OK with some limitations, apparently mostly on the remote device.

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/24942/~/how-do-i-set-up-my-netgear-wireless-extender-to-use-the-same-ssid-as-my-router

Cheers,

Richard

 

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