Anybody use wifi repeaters with the same SSID?

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
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Boston
Got one coming today and going to give it a shot for the dead zones in my home. Through my research, the default set up is to copy the name of my existing wifi SSID so you don't have to switch. What I'm worried about is that my iPhone will pick up the strong original signal when I walk in the door and won't switch to the repeater when I go upstairs, therefore staying on the weaker signal with no way to switch because I'm guessing my iPhone will only see one.

I'm thinking of giving the repeater a custom SSID so I can manually switch. In a perfect world having the same name and switching automatically would be ideal.

Am I right on my assumptions?
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,226
2,496
You can do either.

I tried both settings and I found the separate SSID to be more effective. My phone stays on the new SSID throughout my second floor.

Router is in basement.
 
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hinesmj

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2015
296
204
New York
I've done both. I found that the phone will usually stay connected to the weaker signal when in range of the repeater. Using a repeater is really better for stationary devices, so, for instance, I have one that extends my router in the basement to upstairs bedrooms, but I gave it a different SSID and only connected the Apple TV upstairs to it. It's worked flawlessly since I took that approach. It was finicky when I used the same SSID.
 

Yesterday

macrumors member
Dec 19, 2007
51
15
Austin TX
I tried using repeaters in the past to resolve dead zones (approx 3200 sq ft) but they have performance limitations and I experienced some odd behaviors (when using the same ssid). I pulled the trigger recently for 3 google wifi mesh network nodes, which have been really good so far. I was debating between Plume and Google but went with Google due to the greater radio energy and processing power.
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
1,566
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Boston
Thanks everyone. I had a feeling that separate SSIDs was the way to go, plus I can actually test it with a different name knowing it is what it is. I just plan to use it for a laptop that stays in a bedroom, so stationary. I have a nightstand iPad mini and a bedroom Apple TV that I might switch over too, but don't have any issues right now. It's the laptop on the third floor. Pretty much all stationary items. I just don't want my phone staying on one or the other and not being able to switch over. I did power line adapters at my old house and they worked well, but this thing is pretty cheap ($20) and it is really needed to solve for one device, a crappy old Windows laptop with horrible wifi range.
 

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
1,566
505
Boston
Well, I ended up returning the $20 repeater. I tested the signal and the signal from my modem was actually stronger than the repeater signal in the affected area of the home.
 

boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
4,267
2,499
1. Get a good repeater, spend the money, it's a game-changer.

2. Use a different SSID. In my home my iOS devices can differentiate the two (signal strengths are very different) and switch over consistently.
 

pgolik

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2011
21
11
If your main router is good enough, so you don't feel like ditching it in favour of a mesh system, then a powerline solution may work for you (depending on the quality of your wiring - buy somewhere you can return if it doesn't work). I got the TL-WPA8630P from TP-Link, and it works OK. Default is to clone the same SSID, but I ended up using separate for the extender. Much better results than a repeater, and still cheaper than a full mesh setup.