update: 2021-08

can NOT recommend TL-WA901ND <-bridge-with-ap-mode-> TL-WA901ND, get frequent disconnects/reconnects (every ~20min for 30sec? it also might be to bad signal-receipten or something disturbing the signal at that rate) to extend StarLink WIFI and older tp-link + external antenna has performed better (2.4Ghz (b+g) only = slower but better range/stable signal).

(tthe WA901ND can do 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz but do not reach the 450MBit/s anyway, also hint: when TL-WA901ND v5 wifi channel is set to “auto” it will (randomly?) select a new channel on every reboot/restart)

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(it worked fine and very reliable between TL-WR841N v11 as Bridge-with-AP connect to Fritzbox 7490 WIFI & AVM Wifi Extender)

Difference between TL-WA901N and TL-WA901ND

the D probably stands for D-etachable (Antennas)

the Antennas of the TL-WA901ND are detachable

those of the TL-WA901N not

really like it if it is possible to upgrade wifi antennas for better signal over long distances with obstructions

there seem to be even more differences as ONLY the WA901ND supports WDS bridging: so if user wants that:

only buy TL-WA901ND!

what this does:

create a new WifiAccessPoint (with different SSID) while uplink-wifi-connecting to an already existing accesspoint (Starlink)

so when user connects to “NewWifiAccessPoint” all traffic will be WDS-Bridge-forwarded to whatever is connected to StarlinkWifiAccessPoint

different supported Operation Modes?

this is a screenshot of a TL-WA901ND, and realized that those 3 Wireless Operation Modes are missing from the TL-WA901N

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does it work, fast & reliably?

what worked pretty well was: TP-Link TL-WR841N v11 as Bridge-with-AP connect to Fritzbox 7490 & repeater (no problem whatsoever, very robust & reliable but limited to 54MBit/s max)

please checkout this post:

How to (tp-link) extend Wifi coverage of Starlink (Wifi) Accesspoint – what works good what not

right now testing TL-WA901ND (theoretically much faster, rated at ~450MBit/s) Bridge-with-AP connecting to another TL-WA901ND

but right now DATE: 2021-08-29 TIME: 22:13:28 experiencing frequent outages… like every 20min, it has to reconnect for some reason, which results in several seconds of “offline”, which is, of course, inacceptable.

actually an older tp-link router, the former “workhorse” wr841n v10 (!!! WARNING ONLY THE v10 has DETACHABLE ANTENNAS!!!) + outdoor yagi antenna (2.4Ghz only) performs better than the newer TL-WA901ND v5!

hostnamectl; # tested on
   Static hostname: giada
         Icon name: computer-desktop
  Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
            Kernel: Linux 4.19.0-17-amd64
      Architecture: x86-64

# one-liner to setup a temporary ip in the subnet of the wifi ap and test the connection with 3x pings
SUBNET=5;while true; do ifconfig enp2s0:0 192.168.$SUBNET.122 up; ip addr show; ping -c 3 192.168.$SUBNET.1; sleep 3; clear; done

wds-repeater mode:

if TL-WA901ND is in wds-repeater mode, it does not matter if it repeats signal of TL-WA901ND or Starlink-Original-WIFI

  • it is WAY TOO SLOW (x < 3MByte/sec, instead of x>10MBytes/sec that Starlink can beam down & transfer to WIFI connected Lenovo t440 notebook)
  • reliability is A BIT better, but still not great (still some outages now and then)

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is it “relevant” if it drops connection every now and then for 5 to 10 sec?

YES IT IS!

  • video conferences will stutter
  • players will be thrown out of games
  • and wordpress users will see this error
  • so reliability is important and yes WIFI and Satellite internet, still have to improof here
  • battles between Starlink & Amazon hopefully do not interfere here (would be catastrophic)
  • Starlink does a great job so far, giving pretty fast bandwidth in areas where companies just can not be bothered to lay fibre optic cables (a lot of areas all over the globe also in GERMANY!)
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