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Wireless LAN Management Traffic

Posted on 2008-06-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
Hi all
My WLAN shows about 90% management traffic in the form of beacons. I am using AirMagnet to analyze the network. My plan is to reduce the number of AP's in that location and disable broadcast of SSID.

Is there anything else I need to do to reduce the management traffic overhead?

Thank you
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Question by:dylanites
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8 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:JapyDooge
ID: 21760180
Maybe it's an idea to get a few high end long range AP's?

Also WEP2+TKIP has way more management traffic than WEP for example but its less secure
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Author Comment

by:dylanites
ID: 21760220
Do you think broadcasting SSID adds to management traffic? Also does operating both 802.11b/g contribute to the management overhead?

Thank you

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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:shroomduck
shroomduck earned 300 total points
ID: 21760244
Yes! Broadcasting the SSID not only consumes power, creates a visible network,  but also creates network traffic, turn off broadcast and just manually configure the point on your users PC's
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mabutterfield
ID: 21760249
Disabling the broadcasting of the SSID will not reduce the number of beacons.  Disabling SSID broadcast only removes the ssid from the beacon.  

On most APs, you can change the beacon interval if you wish to reduce the amount of traffic.  

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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:JapyDooge
JapyDooge earned 300 total points
ID: 21760399
Both b and g will indeed have more management traffic becouse the beacon has to be send at both frequencies.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Ironnica
Ironnica earned 600 total points
ID: 21768414
If your WLAN shows 90% of management traffic as becon frames, then I am very sure that there is some problem in the settings. I hope your data packet size is not set to too small, coz sometimes for better performance small packetsize produces high throughput, also when number of nodes are high and that to if they are roaming. Because wireless devices like AP have intelligence and so you can increase the minimum threshhold time for a becon to be sent so as to reduce traffic, rather than stopping it, especially if the nodes are not static.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
mabutterfield earned 800 total points
ID: 21773198
When you were looking at the network with Air magnet, was there any wireless activity?  I'm wondering if perhaps this may be a false positive, and it's showing 90% of traffic is management, but that's because there is little to no data at the time.  

Also, you could fire up a linux box and run wireshark on a wireless interface (not associated, in prom mode)

Try the following filters in wireshark, you'll see exactly what is happening.

Association request frame       wlan.fc.type_subtype == 0
Association response frame wlan.fc.type_subtype == 1
Probe request frame       wlan.fc.type_subtype == 4
Probe response frame      wlan.fc.type_subtype == 5
Beacon frame             wlan.fc.type_subtype == 8
Disassociation frame       wlan.fc.type_subtype == 10
Authentication frame       wlan.fc.type_subtype == 11
DeAuthentication frame       wlan.fc.type_subtype == 12

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Author Closing Comment

by:dylanites
ID: 31466161
Thanks all - I am still troubleshooting this issue. I shall close out for now. Thank you
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