Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Reply
njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I am using a Cisco 802.11n wireless E4200 router (almost exclusively on 2.4 GHz).
I just bought a Cisco 802.11n (supports only 2.4 GHz) RE1000 wireless range extender last night (so the below is based on limited testing and usage so far).

1. The good news is that the signal strength on the other side of the house same floor and on the other side of the house one floor down, when using the RE1000 range extender, are now great (4 - 5 bars of signal strength in the Windows 7 wireless network GUI) throughout the house even wit the router in one corner room.
(Quite frankly given my house size and smallnetbuilder's test results I am surprised the signal strength was not higher to begin with since I am using a Rosewill RNX-N2X wireless USB adapter with two external antennae that outperforms all my other USB wireless N adapters by a long shot).

2. The bad news (aside from needing to try several times initially just to get Cisco Connect * to find the extender,
is that I now see TWO (duplicate in terms of name only) SSID's in my Rosewill wireless utility (that I was only using temporarily to check signal strength in dbM). Windows only shows one available network entry with that specific SSID!

Luckily I had the Rosewill utility running, since the SSID (let's refer to it as 'HomeSSID1') was showing a weak signal under the instance of it that I was connected to. If I had not  seen the duplicate instance which was pointing to the extender instance of my wireless network (also listed as HomeSSID1 with the same password) which had a MUCH higher signal strength in a remote room, I would have returned it.

Now here is why this may be 'bad', at least until I get some answers on the following:
3. For devices (e.g... Blu-Ray players with built-in Wifi (802.11n) adapters where I don't have the luxury of running the Rosewill client utility (which allows me to switch to the stronger of the two 'duplicate' SSID's), I may only see ONE instance of the SSID (like ion Windows) to connect to.
This may therefore not allow me to switch to the higher signal version / instance of the SSID (depending on which one it picks, which leads me to my 2nd question below).

4. For various wifi-equipped various devices (Blu-Ray players and laptops) in my house, which version of the SSID will they connect to (if they see only one)??? Will they be 'smart' enough to select the instance of my SSID with the higher signal strength.
If some of these devices do see both instances of my SSID (the router one and the extender one), and I select the higher signal strength one, which one will it pick next time I turn that device back on and it reconnects to one of my two matching (dupe name) wireless network SSID's upon startup...


5. The other strange thing is that I get prompted for the WPA2 AES passphrase in Windows EACH time when I reconnect after having switched between the two duplicate-but-separately listed SSID's (with differing signal strengths), even though I have it configured that way.

While windows does not show both SSID's in the list of 'available network' when clicking on the taskbar icon, it does appear to have both in control panel under wireless network connections (although one of those could be an old entry or even an old 5 GHz entry before I renamed my 5 GHz SSID differently to avoid confusion).

* (Cisco Connect software is the only way to configure the RE1000 initially at least - i.e.. until you find the assigned IP address for the extender, after which you will be able to use the web browser interface for configuration).

Any answers and insights would be appreciated!

PS: I placed the extender not too far the center of the second floor, as opposed to placing it on the opposite side of the house from the router. This was to ensure the signal being repeated had a strong enough source to begin with and also to spread the coverage nicely to the rooms where it was weak when I only had the E4200 broadcasting.

njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I guess judging by the lack of replies that not many are using repeaters or other repeater users are not seeing the 'duplicate SID's' / 'multiple SSID's for a single wireless network' issue.

 

I just read another thread that makes me wonder whether the duplicate id's is an indication of something being wrong.

I will reset my router (will look up 30-30-30 instructions) and reconfigure it from scratch.

 

http://homecommunity.cisco.com/t5/Wireless-Routers/Variable-signal-strength-and-connection-speed-rec...

castor
Posts: 3,376
Registered: ‎09-07-2006

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

 

I do see two different phases of the issues that you are facing in your network on the devices that you connect wirelessly.....

 

One is that using the wireless adaptor's utility, you are able to see two different SSID's, on each for your router and RE1000....For which you need not to worry as it displays all the working AP's and network broadcasted in your area....It shows you all the networks that are available and you can connect to the SSID having the max. signal strength and it will stay connected...Your utility is showing two different networks because there are chances that your computer specific is in range with the router's broadcasted SSID and RE1000's broadcasted SSID....

 

Second issue over here in your case justifies that it asks for the password each time you make a switch to connect to a different SSID having max. signal strength....Answer to that is you can try removing the networks from the preffered networks list on the computer which displays info. about all the networks that you have connected to in the past (also remove your existing network).....and then try and add the wireless network settings (Your network settings) to that list....

 

Hope it helps....

njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

Thanks!

1. So at least the duplicate ID's ARE intentional as I thought initially (until I read a post about it somewhere wherein the poster who said it was not normal, at which point I wanted confirmation).

 

2. I found out that WPS was enabled on the RE1000 by default... (Keep in midn I set it up at 2 AM and was tinkering till 3 AM so I did not check every tab (thought I set up the wireless but I guess I only typed the password to connect, wehen prompted e.g., but did not make that change in the extender's config page.

I changed it to manual now (i.e. WPS off).

I am sure the above is why I got prompted for the password each time previously though.

 

3. So that leaves my main question (which someone else gave an answer to in the other forum). They stated that the wireless device (laptop, Blu-Ray player etc.) (ideally) should connect to / switch to the strongest of the two duplicate SSID's.

 

I'll try to confirm whether my Blu-Ray players (which do see BOTH SSID's) either stay connected to the instance of the SSID that I selected initially or whether they are smart enough to, somehow, dynamically switch to the version of the SSID with the strongest signal (i.e.  either the router or the extender instance of this same SSID).

 

Is this what others have experienced too?

 

 

castor
Posts: 3,376
Registered: ‎09-07-2006

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

 

Just in case if your blu-Ray player is showing you both the SSID's, please try to remove all the networks that you have connected to in the past including your very own network as well.....

 

Then try to connect to your network with better signal strength which possibly can be your router or your RE1000 as well....

 

Keep posting....interested to know more about RE1000....being a newer product from Linksys....

njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I can only remove them in Windows. That won't help though since my Blu-Ray player is seeing two directly from the router (since Windows has no bearing on what the Blu-Ray player can see).

 

I checked windows wireless networks that I have configured (i.e. not the 'available networks' screen but, under 'amanage wireless network' in the network and sharng center, which shows the networks actually configured on my laptop) and I only see two in all (one is the 2.4 GHz one and one the old 5 Ghz one before I renamed it).

 

I will definitely update this once I play around with things a bit. - need to hook up b2 other blu-ray players (same model but not unpacked yet) in two remote spots where I know the RE1000 hazs the better signal) and see what happens.

 

I hope I can either

1) (since the Blu-Ray players don't move) get the players configured to ONLY (always) connect to either the router or the extender depending on their location (ad never switch between the two).

or

2) IF, by (wifi standards) design, the Blu-Ray players will automatically connect to a given version of the SSID and not the one I selected when I first selected a network on the player's list: Then I hope it will be  based on the strongest signal and hopefully not random or tbe first instance of the duplicate SSID that it "sees") so that at least they automatically connect to whichever has the best signal strength and not switch back and forth between the router and extender versions of the SSID.

 

For the laptop, I will just switch between the extedner SSID and the router SSID depending where I am (and hope that it stays connected to that same one the whole time until I manually disconnect and connect to the other version of the SSID).

 

I would think someone knows how this is supposed to work.

Given that the player only asks for the SSID (and not the MAC address) when the user is prompted to set up the wifi connection, there are three possible ways this works:

1) it always connects to the same instance I first defined (this would imply the player somehow uses the MAC address or other identifying feature that allows it to distinguish between the 'duplicate'; SSID's).

 

2) it connects to the stronger of the tow signals each time it starts up

 

3) it connects to the first of thw tow SSID instances that  it "sees".

Does anyone know if it is 1,2 or 3 (or does it depend on the wireless client, meaning a Blu-Ray player may use one option (of the above 3) and a Windows PC uses a different method to select to which instance of the SSID it will connect at any given time.

I would love to hear what other extender users have experienced in regard to the above (in bold).

castor
Posts: 3,376
Registered: ‎09-07-2006

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

 

You can probably try to Connect your Blu-Ray Player to the wireless network that has got better signal strength and after that your player will stay connected to it as you have already confirmed that your RE1000 is working and there are devices in your network which are working through that....

 

Also share the exact location of your Blue-Ray player in terms of distance from the router and your Linksys RE1000....

njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

[ Edited ]

Well, now that I am home again from a short trip, I decided to try to reconfigure the RE1000.

 

1) I kept getting extender not found when using Cisco Connect to try to connect to the RE1000.

I suspect this is because Linksys is looking for the DEFAULT (i.e. initial SSID).

As a tentative workaround, I then went to my browser history and located the IP address I had used for my extender last time.

Unlike my E4200 though, the RE1000's IP address is NOT static, so it could not find it either!

 

As I noted previously, Windows only shows one SSID for some reason. Luckily I had the Rosewill wireless utility that I had stopped using months ago thinking it was conflicting with my E4200 (it appears this may have only been with the original E4200 firmware, as it now works fine).

Anyway, the Rosewil utility showed my dupliate SID (only way, till the next step [see below], to confirm my RE1000 was still broadcasting).

 

I then recalled that I could see it under my clients list in the E4200 pages (go to your web browser E200 setup page Status section (i.e. http://192.168.1.1/Status_Router.asp or http://192.168.1.1 and then navigate to Status), then go to 'Local Network' section (2nd from left in current firmware) and click on DHCP client table button).

I then looked up the RE1000's NEW IP address and was able to configure it.

In other words Cisco Connect will NOT find the extender ONCE it is already configured!

This was only found by trial and error and needs to be better documented!

 

2)  changed the SSID of the RE1000 to something different. At first it looked good.

The new 'network' (RE1000-specific SSID) showed up in Windows list of wireless networks.

I was even able to connect to it.

But that is where the success story ends. When I tried browsing the web, I now reaslized I was connected directly to the extender. Any web URL I typed ended up redirecting me to the extender's setup page...

I need to do some stuff around the house, but later on I may try to see if there is any way i can get it to work that way or not.

 



unklsckness
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-06-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I have the RE1000 assigned with a static IP address and using the same SSID as my E4200 it is working flawlessly so far. I am not using a blu-ray player. My Android phone see one SSID rather than 2 and picks the stronger signal. However I have a Wifi app on the Android phone and it sees both probably because of the signal strength and mac address. All I can say this is better than using the NetGear WN2000RPT that I had to reboot everyday.

njweb
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎02-23-2011

Re: 'RE1000' range extender - duplicate SSID behavior? Any feedback would be appreciated!

[ Edited ]

unklsckness wrote:

I have the RE1000 assigned with a static IP address and using the same SSID as my E4200 it is working flawlessly so far. I am not using a blu-ray player. My Android phone see one SSID rather than 2 and picks the stronger signal. However I have a Wifi app on the Android phone and it sees both probably because of the signal strength and mac address. All I can say this is better than using the NetGear WN2000RPT that I had to reboot everyday.


Excellent, thanks for the feedback on both counts (the WN2000RPT has external antennae and it seems to have better test results at smallnetbuilder.com (for speed at least, not sure about signal strength).

All i can say is my RE1000 gives a great signal throughout the house, unlike my E4200 alone and it has been very stable (it does suffer from the flashing logo light syndrome just like the the E4200 - may have to play around with MAC address control as suggested in a recent post).

 

The strange thing is that MAC address on my RE1000 (both on the box and one the back of the device itself under the plug do not match the actual MAC address listed in my E4200 DHCP client list for the RE1000 (I verfieed my wireless adapate utility and it concurs with the E4200 client list.

That is very weird and my unit was (sold as) brand new (by a major retailer).

Can you check yuor MAC address on the box / unit itself and compare it to the MAC address listed in the client list?

I am curious if I just got 'unlucky' or if this is perhaps common...