Requirements for multiple APs sharing one SSID
Posted on 2013-06-27
Imagine a small network, 10-20 computers, and they are spread out over several floors of a building.
Typically, to get good wireless coverage on all of the floors, I'd put in three access points - one on each floor. The APs are connected via ethernet cable to the switch, which is connected to the router. The APs all have the same SSID and security/encryption configuration, but use different channels.
The thing is - cheap routers or access points don't tend to do this properly. For example if you buy 3x WRT54G routers, turn off the NAT/router/dhcp, and use them as wireless APs, they'll confuse each other and NO computer will connect successfully to any AP at all.
If I use something "good" - generally I put in an Engenius EAP350 APs, then everything is fine, the APs can co-exist together and everything works great.
So my question is - is there some kind of determinableFEATURE of the access point that it needs to have in order to support this configuration of multiple APs with the same SSID? Is there some portion of the 802.11 spec that I can check that it supports, or something else?
Is there a strict requirement that all the APs be the same make and model? Can it be a mixed environment?
Basically, how do I differentiate between a "cheapo" access point that won't support multiple APs with the same SSID, and a "good" access point that will?