Multiple Acces Points / Wifi Devices


#1

I have multiple wifi routers in my house. The primary one that I connect to is typically up and running, but there could be a time when that goes down. I have other access points (provided by my network provider [comcast]), that I don’t typically use, but might be up when one is down.

Would there be a way to register multiple access points / routers / wifi hotspots (maybe with a priority), where if the outbound request fails, it could fall-back to one of the other hotspots? This way, I could connect it to use my internal network, and fallback to xfinity. (I think there are better use-cases than I’m describing here, but my cellphone has multiple wifi points, and it switches either based on strength or if the connection fails).

might help with:


#2

While that is a nice idea, I doubt it will happen - as even Apple has not done this. I have several WiFi networks and my iPhone cannot be set to pick one over the others by default. It seems to randomly pick one and then it is locked to that as long as it can get a signal. I wish I could tell it to pick a specific 5GHz one as primary.


#3

True … I’m just throwing it out as a wishlist item. The idea that we
could have more than 1 access point could have other uses as well, this was
just one I had thought of as a “nice to have”.


#4

Just to clarify, do you mean you would like to have more than one network (SSID) rather than more than one access point? I have one network (SSID) but four access points under that network. Ergo, the feature I think you are asking for is having the ability for Sense to use an alternate network (SSID) in case the primary network is down.


#5

Yes, multiple SSID would be convenient. I have times when my internal SSID will go down, but the external Comcast “free hotspot” will still respond. Or other times when I reboot a router, and it takes a few minutes to come back online, it would be nice if Sense fell-back to a working network during that off-time.

Thank you for clarifying my terminology, you are spot on with the SSID vs Access Point.


#6

I wrote to Sense support about this question of enabling Sense to connect to more than one SSID. In particular in our place we have two SSIDs for different parts of the house (which is very elongated), and I would like Sense to be able to work with HS110 Smart Plugs on either SSID.

They said it is not yet supported, but that they are looking into it since many users may like this feature.


#7

Why don’t you set up all your access points with the same SSID?


#8

I have found that sense doesn’t like multiple WAPs with the same SSID.


#9

I have a mesh WiFi system. Multiple APs with the same SSID and have had zero issues with Sense


#10

In my case I have two separate Wifi systems:

  • A mesh system from Xfinity, consisting of the cable modem and 3 pods. All of these have one SSID
  • Another mesh system, Samsung SmartThings (Wifi + Z-wave + Zigbee), different SSID

@samwooly1: When I tried to set both to the same SSID, the internet speeds were very low. It seemed that the “repeaters” on each mesh were seeing the network from the other mesh and asking for information from the wrong router.

So I think in my case we’ll have to keep the two separate SSIDs. I suspect that @jonhawkes situation is similar to mine with two different systems, while @jay.m.basen has a single mesh system, and that does work.


#11

I believe your system might work better if you had the mesh system from Xfinity (with enough nodes to cover your home) and just a Samsung SmartThings hub instead of the Samsung router. The SmartThings hub would allow you to integrate all your Z-Wave and Zigbee devices into your smart home and Wi-Fi devices would connect to your Xfinity system and still be accessible to SmartThings.

As one piece of the automation system in my home I have a SmartThings hub. With a single mesh system and the SmartThings hub there are no issues with Sense connectivity.

Hope this helps

Jay


#12

I think @jay.m.basen solution would work for you.
What I was saying did not mean to use a repeater but another SSID of the same name and password on different channels. That would take care of the bleed over. It would require going wired from primary router to the second router.


#13

Back to the original issue/question, it is certainly possible for a WiFi chip to be programmed with primary and secondary WiFi. That being said I don’t see if high on Sense’s priority list.

Another solution would be a dual WAN router or WiFi AP’s with a controller. Having all of these SSID’s and networks flying around without a controller is very inefficient and will slow down you network.


#14

I hate using 2.4Ghz as my WLC system can see 140 SSIDs and I am in an area with houses and not many apartments. It sees only a few on 5Ghz. I only have sense, Kasa and nest on 2.4Ghz. Everything else uses 5Ghz.
5Ghz has a lot of non-overlapping channels(10-20+ depending on use). 2.4Ghz has only 3 at 54Mb/s. You can use all at once if you use 802.11N or AC on 2.4Ghz.
Being able to use only one SSID on one WAP limits failover. If the WAP dies, then the service is down.


#15

Thanks for the suggestion, I am going to give that a try (since I can still return the Samsung hardware).

The one limitation is that our home is very long, and I don’t know if the xFinity pods will carry the signal all the way to the end (unfortunately they don’t support ethernet backhaul). But we shall see.


#16

can you give some examples / links of devices to do what you mean?


#17

If the Xfinity pods won’t meet your needs I would look for another mesh WiFi system. There are plenty on the market these days including the Netgear Orbi, Eero (company was just purchased by Amazon), and the Google Mesh WiFi system; to name a few.

There are tons of online reviews and comparisons of these products and I expect you can find one that would fit your home if the Xfinity doesn’t work for you. However, these are residential grade products and if your home is really too big for them then there are business class systems you can step up to; though at a much higher cost. If you are thinking about going this route I would find a well respected solution provider in your location to help you. Setting up a business class network is much more complex than a residential system designed for the average homeowner to configure.

Hope this helps

Jay


#18

I’d agree with @jay.m.basen, if it’s something you’re not comfortable with it’s probably best you head towards a commercial mesh system. If you have ethernet wired everywhere I’d consider Ubiquiti products. Any true dual WAN router with auto failover = quite expensive.

All a matter of your comfort level and what you’re going for.


#19

Thanks Jay. I am testing this with the xFinity pods. However they lack “ethernet backhaul” capability which would be useful for me and that other mesh systems seem to have (and they don’t have the “b” network enabled, which messes with my Wifi Aria scale, not sure if technical support will be able to fix that). So I may return them and try another mesh system. How would you rank those other mesh systems? (I know there are lots of reviews there, but there are also lots of planted reviews by the companies etc., so it’d be useful to have the opinion of a knowledgeable person)


#20

The only mesh system that I have personal experience with is the Netgear Orbi. It works well, is stable, and has all the advanced features that I’ve ever needed, I haven’t tried the backhaul becuase typically these are placed where it isn’t convenient to get a run of wired Ethernet. The one negative about Netgear is that they only offer 3 months of free phone support. After that you are relegated to the community forum. However, I can say that when I’ve run into a significant issue that a tech support person has come to my aid on the forum.

In the past I’ve worked with Luma. There system worked OK but didn’t offer the ability to VPN into your home network.

Hope this helps