How do I setup a wireless mesh/repeater mode?

Mesh links are formed between two radios at a time:

  • a radio configured with a mesh-base WLANwill operate like a normal AP right after it comes up. Ie. Its radio will beacon on startup so its SSID can be seen by radios configured as mesh clients.
  • a radio configured with a mesh-client WLAN will scan all available channels on startup, looking for a mesh-base AP to connect with.

The base and client APs identify each other by a common SSID configured on both the devices. When a base is detected, the client will associate with the base just as a regular wireless client would. Once the association and any security handshake (for instance with WPA2) completes, the APs start bridging packets across that link.

Mesh configuration is done under the first Wireless LAN on the radio, and has to be done independently on the two APs by logging into their GUI (There is no auto-connect in the current release, APs have to be configured individually over the wired connection)

To enable mesh, select the mode (base or client) on the wireless LAN:

Then configure the SSID and security parameters (WPA2-Preshared-Key):

Ensure that the SSID and security parameters are identical on both the mesh base and mesh client access points.

Any band can be selected for mesh, given typically cleaner and wider channels and 11ac data rates use of the 5GHz radio for mesh backhaul is recommended.

Other WLANs can still be configured on the radio, it is not dedicated away to mesh-backhaul alone.

Mesh is supported on the ePMP1000 Hotspot as well as cnPilot E400 starting from SW version 2.0 onwards.

The status of the mesh link can be monitored from the device dashboard in the mesh links table, under the client information table: