Secondary AP – Using secondary AP – access point is one of the methods to extend the coverage of your wireless network. Find out how to setup another wireless router or access point to be your secondary access point and to boost the coverage and range of your WiFi network.
There are more ways to extend the range and coverage of the wireless network. You can check it on WLAN Extend – Seven Easy ways to Make Your Wireless Network Bigger.
Using of secondary AP is similar to using wireless repeater in repeater mode. Wireless repeater doesn’t have access to the wired backbone. The secondary access point needs to have connection to the backbone. It is not using a wireless connection and wireless distribution system or WDS for the internet connection. Secondary AP has a direct wired connection to the internet.
Read article about wireless repeater in the wireless distribution system.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Access Point
There are two main advantages of this method.
- It is very easy to implement. Very easy configuration.
- The throughput is not decreased like it is the case with the wireless repeater.
Disadvantage of the secondary AP:
- You need to have an available wired network for other access point. This could be tricky since the other wireless point is usually at another location – another room, floor or even building.
In configuration you need to be aware of the following:
- Use different non-overlapping channels on access points.
- Use the right distance between access points.
- Configure one AP at a time and have the other turned off. This will avoid conflicts between them.
- Enable DHCP server on the primary access point (usually it is the default setting).
- Disable DHCP server on the secondary AP.
- Configure both access points in the same subnet.
- Use the same SSID, security mechanism and password on both APs.
- Use automatic channel configuration (so that they choose non-overlapping channels).
- If you do manual configuration of channels, pick channels that are far apart.
Access Points with Non-overlapping Channels
Use different, non overlapping channels on primary and secondary AP. If you use two close overlapping channels, you will have problems with the interference. This will not lead to boosting the range and coverage, but on the contrary, performance will decrease. You will have poor connectivity and lower bandwidth.
Use the Right Distance between the Access Points
Make sure to have just the right distance between two access points. If they are too close, you can have congestion, and radio coverage area will be smaller.
Secondary AP – The Final Notes
Using a secondary AP is a great method to extend your WiFi network, boost the range, improve coverage and increase data rates in some parts of the wireless network. It is a similar method of using a wireless repeater. Advantage of secondary access point is that you don’t lose part of the throughput, like it happens with wireless repeater. Wireless repeater uses the part of its bandwidth for wireless distribution system between wireless repeater and root access point. Disadvantage of secondary AP is that you need to provide wired access to both access points.
You can use more than one access point for the secondary AP. In this way you can really extend really your wireless network. In the configuration you need to watch for configured channels on the adjacent APs. In the 2.4 GHz spectrum the best way is to have difference 5 between the adjacent APs.
I can give you a simple formula for frequency channels:
This means that AP1 is on channel 1, AP2 on channel 6, AP3 on channel 11, AP4 on channel 2, AP5 on the channel 7 and so on.
Don’t forget about the configuration tips for secondary AP, I have already provided in the article. I recommend that you read nice article about the subject – How To Extend Your Wi-Fi Network With Simple Access Points.