Access Points with same SSID vs Mesh WiFi?

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My house is quite long and I use three access points connected via ethernet to provide adequate wifi coverage everywhere. In the past I've given all three access points the same SSID and passphrase so that you only need to input the password once and then your device can choose the strongest signal to connect to itself. The problem with this was that when you walk around inside the house your phone will sometimes hold onto an access point that's further away rather than hop onto the closest automatically, which means sometimes you find your wifi on one bar and barely working even though there's a router in the room you're in. When this happened I had to turn wifi on and off again to have the phone find the closest AP. In the end I just renamed the access points to different SSIDs so I can select the closest one to connect to if the phone hasn't worked it out itself. Additionally, when the phone did lose a far away access point and automatically connect to another there was a delay of a few seconds whilst this happened, which means videos or downloads can pause.

My question is this - do 'mesh' wifi systems overcome this issue somehow? Or is a mesh system just a re-branded version of using multiple APs with the same SSID and has the same issues?
 
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My question is this - do 'mesh' wifi systems overcome this issue somehow? Or is a mesh system just a re-branded version of using multiple APs with the same SSID and has the same issues?
sounds like client device wanting to hold the ap and not being aggressive on roaming.
 
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Alternative option you can turn the transmit power down a bit on both APs if they allow you to do so. But there still will be a delay when swapping over.

Mesh can solve this, what APs do you currently have?
 
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Many people forget that the client is just as important in a WiFi context as the access point. Generally it’s not the access point that is holding on to a signal like grim death but the client device. Apple’s older handsets were shocking in this regard.

Additionally, just because a client is showing a stronger signal doesn’t mean it’s going to get a better connection. I’d rather have 4 MiMo streams on a 2 or 3 bar connection than one on a 4 bar connection. I’m not saying that happens often but it does happen.

So before you throw away a perfectly good access point system, maybe answer the question asked by @Orcvader and if the system has the capability we can assist in tuning it so it forces the clients onto a stronger signal access point that has free channels.
 
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Many people forget that the client is just as important in a WiFi context as the access point. Generally it’s not the access point that is holding on to a signal like grim death but the client device. Apple’s older handsets were shocking in this regard.

Additionally, just because a client is showing a stronger signal doesn’t mean it’s going to get a better connection. I’d rather have 4 MiMo streams on a 2 or 3 bar connection than one on a 4 bar connection. I’m not saying that happens often but it does happen.

So before you throw away a perfectly good access point system, maybe answer the question asked by @Orcvader and if the system has the capability we can assist in tuning it so it forces the clients onto a stronger signal access point that has free channels.
I disagree. Mesh is there to solve a real problem, not just one of poorly configured end points.
 
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Mesh and roaming are not the same thing. While you need the APs in your wireless network to support all the features required for roaming, that doesn't guarantee that each client will have a good experience.
 
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I'm currently using a Netgrear N7000 router and two WAC104 APs (all wireless AC). None appear to have a fast roaming setting or similar.
 
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I disagree. Mesh is there to solve a real problem, not just one of poorly configured end points.

You are free to disagree. I love it when people do. Please explain how a mesh system will help with the default RSSI setting on an iPhone 6 or 7 being set to -99dB(I) at which point they never release from the access point? Indeed, feel free to explain how, in any way, shape or form a mesh system is an improvement on a system of wired access points?
 
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My assumption at this point is that unless a mesh system has some way of triggering a device to disconnect from one of it's APs then it's not really any improvement. Suspect I'll stay as I am for now!
 
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You are free to disagree. I love it when people do. Please explain how a mesh system will help with the default RSSI setting on an iPhone 6 or 7 being set to -99dB(I) at which point they never release from the access point? Indeed, feel free to explain how, in any way, shape or form a mesh system is an improvement on a system of wired access points?
Why don't you explain why mesh doesn't solve a problem

My assumption at this point is that unless a mesh system has some way of triggering a device to disconnect from one of it's APs then it's not really any improvement. Suspect I'll stay as I am for now!
That is exactly what mesh can do
 
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Why don't you explain why mesh doesn't solve a problem

Because mesh is just a set of WLAN access points that can use some of their available bandwidth (or even a cable) for their backhaul to a router. They’re generally used solely to get around having to run cables. As far as I’m aware, they have no special WiFi protocols to allow them to release a client that doesn’t want to be released because the manufacturer of said client told it to hang on to an access point for an unreasonably long time. Which is precisely what Apple did with some of their older handsets. On a UniFi system, or most other decent access points, you can set the RSSI or RSRQ for individual clients or for all clients and literally kick them off one access point into another one. As it happens, the Netgear system the OP has does not have this functionality. Ironically, it can run as a mesh.

If, on the other hand, you can point to a special WiFi protocol employed by mesh systems to hand off clients from one access point to the next then I’m completely open to being educated.

If Mesh systems really did have some special features and no loss of performance then businesses would buy them because it would save a small fortune in cabling costs. But the reality is that wired access points are better and that’s why the OP might want to look at replacing their WAC104s with something else that does expose the signal quality stats to the administrator. And it need not cost a fortune. Tp-link Omada has this functionality.
 
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Interesting. How does it do this? I can't find anything on this.
I've conflated mesh with the 'instance' of mesh implementation I am familiar with, but essentially getting the TP Link system for example brings with it:
802.11k/802.11v/802.11r


I don't doubt wired APs are better, but the "mesh marketed" devices you see available for low cost come with all of these clever things out of the box. Stringing your own system of APs together may not net the same benefit.

 
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This is what I was getting at earlier - you can get multi-AP kits with wireless backhaul (let's call them a mesh for consistency) that don't support OKC or the roaming enhancements.

Buying a 3 pack of nodes is no guarantee of roaming performance, you'd have to look at reviews or dig further into datasheets - assuming the vendor bothers to put the detail in there.
 
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