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Best Practices For Using Multiple Access Points in a WLAN

Posted on 2007-11-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi

I need to setup a WLAN (only for internet access) in a large house with lots of thick walls & doors, and the range of a single access point is poor.  Phone points for the dsl router are at either end of the house, one in a bedroom and another in a small alcove with very thick walls.  

I'm going to use 3 Devolo wireless adapters in plug sockets along the length of the building to ensure their laptops work in the rooms they need them to (house is single storey barn conversion).

My question is in setting up the ssid and channels for each access point.  Is it better to give each ap a different ssid and channel, or to give them all the same ssid and channel?  I would like the laptops to just connect to the strongest signal , but am not sure whether multiple ap's should be configured alike or different.

Appreciate your comments.  Already have the access points so not looking for an appraisal of best hardware to use, I know these will do the job.  It's only for setting up a home wireless internet system, nothing critical or requiring high bandwith.

Thanks
eMicros
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Question by:eMicros
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20347465
Here is a link to a blog I participated in here at EE. It may answer all of your questions.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_22963288.html

John
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Author Comment

by:eMicros
ID: 20347888
Thanks for the link.

So are you saying it is better to use same channels and SSIDs for each AP, as in your first test?
I'm not using repeaters, just multiple access points within the house hooked up on a home plug network, connected to a netgear dg834n router.  The routers inbuilt wireless does not significantly help signal range, and the APs are g based.

eMicros
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Johnjces earned 500 total points
ID: 20347903
Best practices and other experts feel that different channels with same SSID are best.

In my tests, with my APs all on the same channel, they worked well, but I cannot determine what interference or range problems might have been there.

I have kept them on separate channels for the time being and most likely will keep them on separate channels. My APs are b/g.

I would recommend the best practices until you can test you network and see what works best for you.

John
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Author Comment

by:eMicros
ID: 20347929
Thanks John

I'll try your recommendations and get back to you.
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20347934
Please, let me know!

JJ
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Author Comment

by:eMicros
ID: 20440681
Hi

I found that setting all the APs on the same SSID and setting the channels 1 , 5, 11, 5, 1 etc was the best solution.  When mobile and moving a laptop around the building, it can take up to 20 seconds or so to switch over to the next AP and be slow for that duration, but it does then latch onto the nearest best signal and speed up again.  In my tests, it didn't drop the connection once.  The configuration of a netgear router and multiple devolo wireless extenders works well.

Thanks for sharing your own findings.

Jase
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20441393
No problem. Enjoyed it.

John
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