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Can I use more than 1 Access Point without problem?

Posted on 2004-09-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Would this setup cause any problem for the user? particular if the PC/Laptop is in between 2 access points and receives signals from more than 1 access point? Any potential problem if user is Laptop and moves from area in AP1 to AP4? Is there any configuration pointer which I should be aware of?
Thanks

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                 AP1                                 AP2                        AP3                                 AP4
   
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Question by:spoowiz
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6 Comments
 
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by:shreekar
shreekar earned 400 total points
ID: 12052338
Configure AP in such a way that all have mac addresses of machine which you wanna give access.
Add reserve that IP Address to Mac in DHCP.otherwise when machine switch over between  one AP to next you will need to reboot it or IPCONFIG   /release /renew.

By adding MAC address to AP it will be secure ..

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freakyuno earned 400 total points
ID: 12056273
Generally its a question of what mode your going to put your AP's in.  Alot of them have a repeater mode, in this sceneario when there is possible overlap, the repeater mode may help.  You'd Set AP1 up as your single access point, then set AP2 through AP4 up as repeaters of the first, this way you dont end up with mixed signals.  

In standard mode, it depends on which operating system your roaming laptops would be using and / or which software accompanies their wireless cards.  Alot of them have profile managment, which would allow you to configure your wireless hotspot a few different ways, you could keep the SSID the same throughout all four AP's and keep the channel the same through all four AP's to have the mose seamless network.  With profiles enabled on the wireless cards of the laptops that would roam, the software would automatically connect to which ever AP was sending the strongest signal.  Remember, 802.11a/b/g is just an encapsulation for your standard network protocols, so each machine, broadcasting back and forth to an access point is using a "tunnel" per say, so that mixing of AP signals on the same network isnt really a problem to often.

The second way would be to mix the channels between the 4 AP's.  You can prevent all overlap with this method, but you need to rely on profiles to do auto connecting each time you move from one AP to another, to your wireless cards, they will show up as seperate devices in this configuration.

The third way would be to use a unique AP name for each AP, for the ssid.  For example AP1 would be companynameAP1, companynameAP2..etc.  You would also want  to mix the channels in this configuration also, so that you didnt interfere with broadcasts to another AP or "wireless network".   This is the least seamless, but probably the easiest to manage in the long run, because you see each device in your wireless network scan, and once you create a profile for each of them in your software, or your wirelesszeroconfig that windows xp offers, it will autoconnect to the AP's in your list each time it's not connected to a network.  

If this is going to be a secure network, and you are going to be using some type of WEP, I would recomend that you use the radius option offered in lots of wireless packages now, and have it authenitcate computers and users to your NT box.

If any of this was unclear, or you need further help, just drop a line, and I'll post again.
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Assisted Solution

by:public
public earned 400 total points
ID: 12058982
Possible problems:
1. only three nonoverlapping channels are possible, 4 devices will have some interference
2. the roam mode does not usually work seamlessly. You will get some disconnects and reconnects.
3. devices associated with different AP's may not be able to share resources
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by:freakyuno
ID: 12059361
>Possible problems:
>1. only three nonoverlapping channels are possible, 4 devices will have some interference
>2. the roam mode does not usually work seamlessly. You will get some disconnects and reconnects.
>3. devices associated with different AP's may not be able to share resources

Correct in all three cases.
As far as Number 1, normally I set up the two furthest AP's geographically from each other on the same channel, and normally channel 11 since it has the shortest wave length, and is the least likely to degrade to the point where a signal might be hard to recognize by the card and misinterpreted to the wrong AP.

For number 2  I was working under the assumption that you wouldnt be carrying a laptop in the middle of a file or network operation between one access point to another, you'd move your laptop or wireless device to another station for a specific task where you'd need internet, then you'd move back.

For number 3, I've never had a problem with devices not being able to share resources across different AP's, but have read there are specific circumstances where it would be a problem.  To reduce your chances of this, make sure all AP's and devices are associated on the same Subnet, Class C preferably.  The chance lessens even more if you are connecting to a domain of some sort.

Good catches Public
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Assisted Solution

by:jason1214
jason1214 earned 400 total points
ID: 12059606
Easiest is give them all the same SSID, and put them on different channels, go close to all of the AP's and set them up individually so you can access them roaming.

For security purposes, do not broadcast SSID, associate machine by MAC address and use encryption.
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Author Comment

by:spoowiz
ID: 12267095
sorry. forgot this open question.
thanks. raising points so i can award 100 to each.
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