Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Networking, connecting to the internet, wi-fi and home entertainment
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John Gray
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Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Post by John Gray »

I was idly thinking about the following scenario.

There is currently a fibre broadband line with a wireless router at one end of a long corridor, with a specific SSID/Network Name and wireless access password, and broadcasting on a specific channel, running DHCP on subnet 0.

What would happen if a second fibre broadband line were introduced with an identical wireless router, at the other end of the long corridor, using the same SSID/Network Name but broadcasting on a different channel, and running DHCP on channel 1.

Consider what would happen if a laptop, which has previously been connected to each of the routers, and which has been set to connect automatically to the strongest signal (say!) is walked slowly down the corridor. Would you expect that the laptop's wireless card would seamlessly switch subnet and IP address at some point down the corridor, as it moves from one router to the other?

How should the two wireless routers be set up to ensure that a laptop would automatically connect to the strongest wireless signal wherever it was?
John Gray

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Jay Freedman
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Re: Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Post by Jay Freedman »

How long is this hypothetical corridor? If it's any less than about 100 m, I'd be surprised to find a laptop that could sense the difference in signal strengths from the two routers.

In a practical trial, I think it might depend on the algorithms used in the WiFi receiver circuit and the OS. If the laptop initially connects to one of the routers, you might not see it switch to the other one unless the first router's signal becomes so weak that the laptop starts to sense dropouts.

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Rudi
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Re: Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Post by Rudi »

If Jay's advice is still theoretical, I'd say we are dealing with a corridor of uncertainty! :crazy:
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Leif
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Re: Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Post by Leif »

A similar discussion at Two wireless networks connected to my router: select on signal strength? | Windows Secrets Lounge which leads on to Auto selection of strongest wifi signal? | AVForums which may give you some tips.

Otherwise, I am led to believe that if you have a 'power save' setting (as found in mobile 'phones) in your NIC, this may cause it to more aggressively look for the strongest signal in an attempt to save power.
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John Gray
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Re: Whimsical question about two broadband lines

Post by John Gray »

The "corridor" is in fact two corridors, one directly above the other, about 30 metres long, with rooms each side, like a hotel. The inhabitants of the rooms will have laptops, smart-phones, tablets, and such-like electronic wireless-requiring gear.

The new router will be located in the loft near the very far end of the top-floor corridor, and the original one is behind a plywood blocked-off doorway at the near end of the ground-floor corridor.

HOWEVER, the routers are the spectacularly-useless Virgin Media Super Hub 1 devices (the positively worst wireless product I've ever encountered, the result of Netgear allowing someone else to write the firmware). And no, it isn't possible to put these business-firmware items into modem mode, and add a decent wireless router...

Thanks, Leif, for the links, which look useful.
John Gray

Think how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of the population are stupider than that.