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TP Link query

Hi all.
I've just moved house and the wifi is struggling to get through the thicker walls. I have a TP Link av500 wifi extender which I tried to use in the middle of the house to get more coverage.
My problem is our iPhones and iPads will not recognise the TP Link unless you manually connect to it.
Does anyone know how I get the phone (or Link) to connect automatically as it's needed?

Thanks in advance,


Distinguished Member
My problem is our iPhones and iPads will not recognise the TP Link unless you manually connect to it.

Could you expand on what you mean by that; what happens, what are the symptoms..?

Does you router and homeplug have the same SSID/passphrase etc. or are they different..?

How is the TPLink establishing it's "backhaul" link to your router - over the (Wi-Fi) airwaves or over the mains...?
The main wifi is via Sky. I need the Link to automatically kick in when the Sky signal fades throughout the house. Currently, the signal drops and then I need to go into the device and choose TPLink as the wifi. I'm hoping it will connect as it's needed without having to choose the best signal

The router and homeplug both work on different passwords

I have the Link plugged into the router via Ethernet

I hope the above makes sense!


Distinguished Member
To stand any chance of automatically "roaming" between Wi-Fi hotspots, you need to ensure that the SSID and passphrase are the same in all AP's/router/HomePlugs/etc. Even then, there's a few other things that can trip your up (for example some clients prefer not to change protocols e.g. swap from an AC to N service.)

If the SSID/passphrase differ, the client devices regards the hotspots as belonging to "different" networks and will never roam between them until the incumbent connection has been completely lost and the client "starts from scratch" as if you'd just turned it on. You might be surprised how far away you need to get for service to drop below 1mbps (lowest rate) with high enough error rates for the client to "give up."

With SSID/passphrase the same, clients regard the hotspots as belonging to "the same" network and may switch between them automatically.

However, note that it is Big Wi-Fi Myth Number 2 that clients are always "hunting for the best signal." They do not, for reasons I shall omit describing for brevity (unless you want to know.)

If/when to initiative a "roaming assessment" is not prescribed in standards and some clients need the incumbent connection to get pretty grotty before they initiate a roaming assessment. I've seen data published by Apple that shows they need the signal level to get below (IIRC) -70dbm before they consider roaming.
Last edited:

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
The above post explains it thoroughly, but to add devices will cling on to the current Wi-Fi signal with dear life even when the signal gets so low that it's essentially useless.

Unfortunately you won't find an Apple device changing to a stronger network until the other one has completely disappeared.

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