How to have a wireless router and wireless repeater on the same SSID work well when moving away from the router and closer to the repeater

Hi, I have been trying to understand wireless better and for the most part have a pretty decent understanding of the differences between 2.4Ghz wifi and 5.0Ghz wifi.  What I have always struggled with is trying to setup a wireless repeater so that there can exist only one SSID in the house and my wireless laptop can just improve in wifi signal as it leaves the range of the router and enters the range of the repeater.  The way I usual set it up is the router has been Router ssid name: Home and the repeater ssid: home_ext  Then I would have to change wifi networks depending if I was close to the repeater or the router.  The reason I had to do this was because my wireless devices like laptop or phone would try to hold onto the router signal at 1 bar poor signal even though I was close to the repeater.  I have been told to make sure the router and the repeater are on different channels but that doesn't seem to do the trick.  I put the router on channel 11 and the repeater on 6 or even 1.   Can someone explain this better on how to make this work perfect so that as I go from the router to the repeater its seamless and the signal stays good.

Thank you
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Any reason why you don't just make the SSID the same on both devices?  When the signal becomes better on the other channel, it will just switch to the better signal.

We do this all the time to provide wireless coverage in office buildings.
Craig BeckCommented:
^^^ As the OP states, simply using the same SSID doesn't force the client to use the strongest AP when roaming.  That's an advanced feature and normal Soho setups don't really do it.

There's not much you can do about it really in your situation other than to try and adjust the roaming aggressiveness on the client devices.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
I believe the root cause is that one signal has to be *dropped* before another can become a candidate.  While this may seem a bad thing, imagine if a connection would be dropped each time there were a short disruption for whatever reason.  That wouldn't be good either.  

If the signals are on the same band/channel then maybe that would help in the sense that one would be "interference" for the other and help force a dropout.  A lot depends on the geometry.  I'm not suggesting this, just wondering.

Otherwise, using different SSIDs and manually switching is a sure way - if somewhat inconvenient.

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Craig BeckCommented:
The original signal doesn't have to drop before a client can decide to connect to a new AP.  If that were the case, seamless roaming would never work.

The problem is purely to do with roaming thresholds at the client.  The APs don't have a mechanism to force the clients to move to another AP as they simply don't know about each other even though they're broadcasting the same SSID.  The client must decide, once its RSSI drops below a certain trigger-level typically, to connect to an AP with a stronger signal.  Unfortunately this is not seamless unless the APs are part of a distributed system using WDS or a controller, for example.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
What craigbeck says is correct.  It's what I tried to say but perhaps I didn't make clear that it's the client that has to drop a connection and NOT an access point.  Like craigbeck, I have no idea how the latter would work either.  It appears there's total agreement.
snipa911Author Commented:
So is the only way to make this work to use cisco wireless controller with lightweight accesspoints.  I can't just use comsumer grade equipment on different channels to make this work?
Craig BeckCommented:
You don't have to use Cisco kit.

Look at Ubiquiti.  They're cheap but don't let that fool you; their kit is excellent.  They have a free software controller that should help to provide what you want.
Craig BeckCommented:
Hmmm someone agreeing with my comment is the answer??
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