Knowledge Base Getting To Know Fast Roaming (aka Seamless Roaming) of Omada EAP Products.
This Article Applies to:
All Omada EAP products that support Fast Roaming (aka Seamless Roaming).
Including EAP615-Wall, EAP660HD, EAP620HD, EAP610, EAP650, EAP670, EAP610-Outdoor,
EAP225-Outdoor, EAP225 V3, EAP245 V3, EAP265HD.
>> Search the product from Download Center to check the product Datasheet for the support of Seamless Roaming.
What Is Wi-Fi Roaming?
A wireless client will decide to shift to another available AP when its received signal gets weaker than the threshold & it detects a better Wi-Fi signal from that AP than the one it's currently associated with. This behavior is Wi-Fi Roaming, usually occurs when the wireless clients, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets, are moving around within the wireless coverage of the APs.
The following picture illustrates the process of Basic Wi-Fi Roaming:
During Basic Wi-Fi Roaming, the wireless client will disconnect from it's existing AP before connecting to another, which may result in that the wireless client has no Internet access for a period of time. If it takes too much time to roam, you may suffer from some bad Wi-Fi experience like network delay or call drops, especially on the real-time application such as online meeting, Wi-Fi call.
How does Omada EAPs’ Fast Roaming Help?
TP-Link Omada EAP products combine IEEE 802.11k and 802.11v to help shorten the time required for a wireless client to roam between APs, and thus reduce the impact of roaming on performance.
Here is the 802.11k/v Fast Roaming process of Omada EAP:
1. Omada EAPs collect and evaluate the Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) of the clients and nearby EAPs, and send all the information to the Omada Controller.
2. The Omada Controller maintains a list of the available EAPs as roaming targets for each client.
3. With the information from the Omada Controller, an 802.11k capable client can shorten the time to scan for the available APs. Also, it can decide the best time to initiate the roaming process when there is a possible connection with better quality than the present quality.
As the information is maintained by the Omada Controller, Fast Roaming function takes effect only when the Omada Controller is running.
How to Configure The Fast Roaming Function?
Fast Roaming requires to be configured on the Omada Controller. It can be enabled from Settings -> Site page under Services -> Advanced Features (enable it first and then enable Fast Roaming).
(1) Fast Roaming is disabled by default, and it's supported on some certain EAP devices.
(2) AI Roaming is a TP-Link self-developed AI algorithm based on 802.11k/v Fast Roaming, newly added on Omada Controller v4.3.5 and later version, which takes effect only when the managed EAP device firmware is adapted to Controller v4.3.5 and later version.
(3) To benefit from the 802.11k/v Fast Roaming feature, please ensure
Both the EAP devices and the wireless clients support 802.11k and 802.11v protocols.
Omada Controller is managing the EAPs properly and keep running.
All the EAP devices are having the same SSID (wireless name) and security settings.
The wireless coverage between adjacent EAP is overlapped for 20%-30%.
It's better to choose different wireless channels to reduce wireless interference between APs.
How to Troubleshoot and Optimize Wi-Fi Network?
Doubt that Fast Roaming doesn’t work? Try the troubleshooting suggestions below.
1. Perform ping tests to estimate the roaming time.
Try continuously ping* the gateway IP on the wireless client (such as laptop), in the meanwhile, have the wireless client move between EAP1 and EAP2 to make roaming happen, and repeat the tests for several times.
*you can add "-t" in the end of the gateway IP to do continuously ping, for example, gateway IP is 192.168.0.1, then ping command is "ping 192.168.0.1 -t"
When the Fast Roaming takes effect, the time required for a wireless client to roam between EAP devices (5GHz->5GHz, 2.4GHz->2.4GHz, 2.4GHz->5GHz) should be less than one second. The actual roaming time can be approximately estimated based on the number of packets loss with ping test since each ping result takes 1s by default.
Ideally, no packets will be lost. Considering the complex of real wireless environment, it should be normal if one packet is lost occasionally. But if there are always three or more packets lost during one time roaming, you may have some issues with Fast Roaming function, then try the suggestion below.
2. Optimize the Wi-Fi Network.
To achieve the best effect of Fast Roaming, make sure that the RSSI1 of wireless client (associated to the target EAP) minus the RSSI2 of wireless client (associated to the source EAP) is larger than 10 dBm.
You may check the two RSSI value on the wireless client at the roaming point first. The roaming point is where the packet loss starts to occur during the above ping tests.
If the two RSSI difference is closer to 10 dBm, it’s suggested to adjust the location of the EAP (neither too close nor too far), or adjust the Tx Power by 1-2 dBm each time to optimize it.
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