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Cannot roam between WiFi Router & WiFi Access Point on same network

Last response: in Networking
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January 5, 2012 8:13:16 PM

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). Broadcasting on channel #1. DHCP = On.
  • 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 the same SSID and security settings as the router. From the AP I can also connect to (1) the internet, and (2) the internal network devices (NAS, printer, and network shares). Broadcasting on channel #11. DHCP = Off.

    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 gets an IP address beginning with 169.). It reports a "Strong" connection 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.

    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?! Should I use the "Bridge with AP" mode for the AP?
    July 10, 2012 9:46:10 PM

    Melvynadam said:
    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). Broadcasting on channel #1. DHCP = On.
  • 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 the same SSID and security settings as the router. From the AP I can also connect to (1) the internet, and (2) the internal network devices (NAS, printer, and network shares). Broadcasting on channel #11. DHCP = Off.

    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 gets an IP address beginning with 169.). It reports a "Strong" connection 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.

    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?! Should I use the "Bridge with AP" mode for the AP?



  • Did you find a solution? I have exactly the same problem!
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    July 10, 2012 10:54:43 PM

    What happens if the SSIDs are *different*? Does everything (except roaming, of course) work perfectly?
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    July 11, 2012 5:14:50 AM

    drjhwheat said:
    Did you find a solution? I have exactly the same problem!


    Not really. I returned the AP and bought two of these to boost the signal of my router:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002VYP5QW/ref=oh_de...

    Overall, the situation is better than it was before I bought the AP and those antennae help but it's still not the "full coverage" I was aiming for.


    eibgrad said:
    What happens if the SSIDs are *different*? Does everything (except roaming, of course) work perfectly?


    No real difference.
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    November 10, 2013 5:56:32 PM

    I am interested in hearing an answer for this as well. I am having the same issue.
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    November 10, 2013 9:35:19 PM

    jlee14 said:
    I am interested in hearing an answer for this as well. I am having the same issue.


    Sorry to report that I never solved the problem. All I did was workaround it as described above (larger antennae on my router).
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    April 12, 2014 8:40:01 AM

    Melvynadam said:
    jlee14 said:
    I am interested in hearing an answer for this as well. I am having the same issue.


    Sorry to report that I never solved the problem. All I did was workaround it as described above (larger antennae on my router).


    Was there a modem router connected to the ap or the router downstairs?
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