Today I picked up a TP-Link MR3420; it’s the cheapest router (that I know of) in Kenya that can run OpenWRT. I’ve already got a pretty sweet Buffalo router in my house which serves as my gateway, has 802.11n, gigabit Ethernet, etc, so I want to use this one to experiment with mesh networks.
Technically a “mesh” isn’t what I want (as that refers to ad-hoc wireless networks which have resilient routing), but it’s a good word that conjures a nice graphic of what I do want. More specifically, what I’m after is similar to a cell phone network: you talk talk talk while you’re driving along the highway, passing seamlessly between cell towers, never knowing or caring. Basically, I want to have better coverage in my house, so that all rooms have sufficient wireless signal strength.
I believe what I want is actually “wireless roaming.” I’m not sure how to implement this yet. From talking to some people on the OpenWRT IRC channel, here’s some technologies I’m considering:
- 802.11f – Inter-access point protocol
- 802.11r – Fast roaming
- Two wireless access points using the same SSID (wireless network name), on the same physical segment. One access point serves as the gateway, providing NAT and DHCP. Clients can join either, and still access the same resources.
More to come. 🙂