I have an existing simple network with internet connectivity.

We have four access points that do not offer true guest access.

We would like to have four access points that offer wireless for the whole network and wireless for guest internet only. It would be best that the wireless user or guest would be able to connect to one of them and stay connected as they walk in and out of range of the ap/repeater

Is there a router or ap or repeater that would work in this scenario?

how do large hotels and such handle this?

Sorry for the noob question.

  • 2
    Yes, this is possible, as you have alluded to in the hotel example. Typically, a large Wi-Fi network will use LWAPs and a WLC to manage them.
    – Ron Maupin
    Mar 24, 2016 at 1:17
  • Also I would add you for better control and creating guest portals, you can add Network Access Control solution to network. You can fine tune policies on specific devices, even on level of which OS (Win / OS X / Android / iOS ) they use. Or based by mac address, specify time of allowence on network maybe some billing...
    – phandox
    Apr 23, 2016 at 9:27
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 13, 2017 at 20:18

3 Answers 3


As long as the APs are connected to a distribution system (Ethernet or WDS) and have the same set of SSIDs, client roaming (when a client change its association from one AP to another) will be transparent (for the client and the system administrator). That being said, offering guest access requires access points that support multiple SSIDs mapped to different VLANs (one of theses SSIDs will be reserved for guests). It will be preferable to configure the guest SSID as Open (no authentication at all) and redirect guest traffic to a captive portal where all the magic happens:

  • Authentication via username/password, voucher, ssl certificate, ...etc
  • Traffic Shaping/Throttling
  • Authorization policies (Time based, Quota, ...etc)
  • ...(and many other features)
  1. AP can handle multiple SSID and bridge it to different VLANs to separate traffic of SSIDs. And router handle different VLANs with correct rules.
  2. AP can make some kind of L2 tunnel to central device (wireless controller or roouter).

Logicaly, this make same result.

Wireles controller usually configure APs for desired SSIDs, frequency, VLANs etc.


Roaming is the term used to describe a wireless client moving from one AP's coverage area to another. In WiFi there is layer2 roaming and less commonly layer3 roaming; the roaming decision is left to the client. It is known that radio resource management plays a huge role in the roaming process. For example, an AP can be forced to not accept low quality connections which results in forcing the client to look for another.

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