What is WiFi Roaming?

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What is WiFi Roaming:

WiFi Roaming occurs when a smartphone , tablet or other wireless client device moves outside the usable range of a WiFi router and connects to another WiFi router. Roaming can also happen when the quality or strength of the client’s received signal drops. The client device automatically roams from one router to another as needed to provide seamless connectivity.

How Does Roaming Work:

First thing first , roaming is a client decision. The wireless client itself is responsible for detecting the need for roaming. In short, when the quality and strength of the received signal of the wireless client falls below a certain limit, it looks for a stronger router for connection. WiFi standards bodies (IEEE802.11/WiFi Alliance) do not specify when and how a client should roam.

 it is totally decided by your wireless client’s roaming algorithm. Different wireless client vendors’ use their own algorithm for roaming process but they are not generally published. 

Read More: How to Access Your Router’s Settings

What’s the problem ?

You may have experienced when you are walking between your WiFi Routers (they have the same wireless name and password), the wireless client (smart phone, tablet) is still sticking to the further router and will not roam to the nearest device.

Roaming happens when a user moves from one router’s coverage area to another router’s coverage area in a WiFi network. When the user leaves the area covered by one router, the WiFi connection is interrupted for a moment, and when he enters the area covered by another router, the WiFi connection is Re-established again by that router.

Read More : Where to Place WiFi Router?

How can you fix the problem?

As I mentioned, the roaming is a client decision and There is no role played by routers. But you can control the roaming method to some extent.  In the following, we introduce a practical way to control the roaming process for android smart phones / tablets and Windows computers.

For Windows Clients :

Go to control panel -> network and internet -> network connection and choose the wireless connection from the network connections page. Right click the wireless connection and choose properties.

What is WiFi Roaming

Click configure and you will see the following picture on the bottom. Choose Advanced and choose Roaming aggressiveness or Roaming sensitivity (based on your wireless network adapter brand).

What is WiFi Roaming - Wireless Network Connection Configuration

Now , you can control the Wireless client device roaming behavior by choosing the proper item from right menu. As you can see below, there are items from lowest to highest sensitivity ,

  • Lowest: Your wireless client will roam when link quality degrade significantly.

  • Medium-Low/Medium-High: these are normal roaming sensitivities, when your signal quality degrades around 50% the clients tries to roam to another route or AP. 

  • Medium: Balanced setting between not roaming and performance. 

  • Highest: Your Wi-Fi client continuously tracks the link quality. If any degradation occurs, it tries to find and roam to a better router or AP. 

For Android Clients:

Unfortunately, there is no any specified configuration to control the smart phone roaming behavior, but you can use  third party App’s for this purpose. for example, wifi roaming fix. you can simply set roaming sensitivity by changing the “Signal level” , -45 is a high , -65 is medium and -75 is low sensitivity levels.

Download Here: Google Play

What is WiFi Roaming - Roaming Fix App


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