Wireless Access Points Roaming

Posted on 2006-04-22
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi...we need to setup an enterprise wireless (LAN) environment to connect to our wired LAN which requires multiple APs to support iPAQ, wireless laptop. My questions are:
1) Is the roaming handling at the AP end, or is the client (iPAQ and laptop)'s WiFi card  responsible for the roaming?

2) What brand or model is recommended?

3) is that OK to use signal expanders to eliminate multiple access points? any risk and downside?

4) what is the recommended SD WiFi card for Windows Mobile 2000/2003?

Question by:fshguo
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    1. The client will roam automatically, you just need to ensure the APs are on different channels but with the same SIDD and key.

    Adjacent APs need to be on different channels, channels can be re-used if required on distant APs
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Also keep in mind that clients will stay with a single access point until the signal gets very low. What that means is that you may be walking from one side of the building to another and pass other access points along the way but your laptop/device will not switch over to the closer access point because it still sees a signal from the original one.

    Answers to your questions:
    1) Client is responsible for roaming
    2) Brand or model of what? Card or AP? I like Cisco Aeronet but that might be too expensive.
    3) Sure. The only downside is that if the AP the signal booster/expander goes down, you have a larger area with no signal.
    4) Don't know. Mine has it built-in. I heard that SanDisk has one that's a WiFi card and also a memory stick but I haven't seen it in action.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    1. It will be the job of the client device, but should be completely transparent to the user if you follow snerkel's words on network settings.

    2. If you are going enterprise go with Cisco's Aironet line....the best of the best, and designed to work together in these very environments for whole office/building coverage.

    3. Signal boosters never quite work the same as multiple AP's but in the case where one little corner is just out of range, they can be just what the doctor ordered.

    4.SanDisk has a great WiFi card that still has 256 Meg of flash on the same card. This may not be the lowest price, but:

    A few Q's...
    How many wireless users are we talking.
    Approximate coverage area (in sq feet, linear feet, rooms, floors, whatever's clever)

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    That was not a copy post honestly...when I began typing victornegri's post had not populated on my screen.

    2 Experts can't be wrong...great minds think alike, right?

    Author Comment

    Based on our pilot test, the problem here is how can we have the device always connect to the AP with the strongest signal. The situation is that a device that have moved to an area with a better AP signal but it is still connect to orignal one even though it is very low. In our case of 1000 square feet, I start to doubt putting to more APs is not the best solution than boosters, as the boosters always talk to the same AP, while multi-AP doesn't help each other.

    BTW, any comments on Colubris 320 AP and Socket E300 SD WiFi card?


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