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SonicWall Wireless Best Practices Setup

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Here is my setup.
A sonicwall TZ200 Wireless with Total Secure
A sonicpoint Ne Wireless AP

My issues are two fold. I seem to have signal issues with my wireless even though i'm in an open warehouse and the tz and ap are mounted in open areas that are a minimum of 15 feet up for the tz and mounted on the ceiling for the AP. I am using the stock antennas. Any recommendations for high gain antennas?

Second, what is the best practice setup for integrating a SonicPoint into my SonicWall? Originally, I had the SonicWall TZ with the default setup that puts the wireless on a separate subnet from the LAN. For this example the lan is 192.168.1.x and the wireless is 172.33.18.x.

When I installed the new AP I wanted to utilize the SonicPoint feature in the firewall to manage the device. I also only wanted one wireless network. I couldn't get the AP on the same subnet with the wireless from the firewall. So with firmware 5.6 I was able to bridge the wireless to the LAN on the firewall. I then setup the AP in stand a-lone mode. I setup the SSID and security to match on the firewall and AP but put them on different channels.

Is there a better way to handle the setup?

FYI...the SonicPoint has firmware 6.0.
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Question by:mthsupport
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by:digitap
ID: 34934965
did configure an interface on your sonicwall with the wlan zone and connect your sonicpoints to that interface?  whichever interface has the wlan interface configured on it, will get the sonicpoint provisioning protocol.  when the sonicwall comes online, it will be provisioned by the sonicwall.  this may be an additional source to your challenges with signal, but not sure.  i don't have a recommendation in the antennae area.  sonicwall doesn't support anything but what comes with their hardware, so i've never pursued that vein.
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by:mthsupport
ID: 34940218
I will have another go at the setup and let you know what I end up with.
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by:digitap
ID: 34940298
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by:theonlyallan
ID: 34953092
If you are in an open warehouse, majority of the Signal energy will be absorbed by the Steel Trusts in the warehouse, Try relocating your AP away from steel objects or move the antenna..  YMMV

the Sonicpoints will always be on a separate subnet. By default, it doesn't communicate with the office LAN, Its up to you to create an access rule that will allow LAN and WLAN communication.

Suggestion to use maybe:
 192.168.1.0/24 for LAN
 192.168.2.0/24 for WLAN

Also, you can not link the internal WLAN and a Sonicpoint together. They will always be manage separately, and on a different subnet.  If you want more coverage, you will need more Sonicpoints.
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by:mthsupport
ID: 34960762
Do you have a recommendation for a high gain antenna for the SonicWall?

So in the future I should put the SonicPoint on a different subnet and put the firewall access rule to allow communication between the subnets?
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by:digitap
ID: 34961246
correct, based on the link i provided, when you add the wlan zone to an interface, you create a new subnet. this will allow you to setup firewall rules between them.
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by:mthsupport
ID: 34970533
Digitap,
What if I wanted to use both the Internal wireless and SonicPoint on the same wireless network. Currently to acheive this I bridged the internal wireless to the LAN on the SonicWALL. I then setup the SonicPoint in stand-alone mode. I configured both the internal wireless and sonicpoint with the same settings (SSID, security, etc.) but put them on different channels.

My goal is to have my handheld scanners use the wireless access point with the strongest available signal based. So if they are in the back of the warehouse they would use the SonicPoint and if they are in the front of the warehouse they would use the internal wireless.

Is this possible?
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by:digitap
ID: 34970584
that's sounds quite plausible.  i've never used the older sonicpoints in stand alone mode and the new sonicpoint N devices cannot be put in stand alone mode.  they intend for you to use them with the sonicwall.

i would think that if you could get them to pass traffic on the LAN subnet and stay on separate channels, then it might work.  what you are doing through fancy configurations is what the sonicwall does with the sonicpoint provisions automatically.

your theory sounds solid...only one way to find out.
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Author Comment

by:mthsupport
ID: 34972960
Digitap, you say you can't setup a new SonicPoint in Stand-Alone mode but this is a new SonicPoint Ne with SonicOS 6.0. I think I'd like to get it working through the SonicWall. the one Access Point should easily serve this warehouse. I could then simple disable the internal wireless.

I have the setup I mentioned in my previous post running now. I'm having signal issues with my handheld scanners. I think the issue is they are not switching from the access point to the internal wireless and vice versa. This is probably because both can cover the entire warehouse.

I'll let you know what I ultimately do.
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by:digitap
ID: 34975014
sure...just so you know that i'm not full of poo and support my claims, the KB below states that the sonicpoint N devices cannot be in standalone mode.


https://www.fuzeqna.com/sonicwallkb/consumer/kbdetail.asp?kbid=7777


i think one will do and following theonlyallen's suggestion of changing the location a little to get better signal strength and coverage my be in order.  although, you may need to get an additional sonicpoint.

yeah...i'm not sure why they are not switching between the two, but i don't know the square foot area of your warehouse, so can't comment on that.
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by:mthsupport
ID: 35020579
The current warehouse is 22000 square feet while the new one we'll be moving to will be approximately 45000 square feet. Should I get a second SonicPoint?
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digitap earned 500 total points
ID: 35021983
sorry for the delay. i think a second sonicpoint would do you well in the current area. however, in the new area, you might need three. i checked some more and found this sonicwall PDF for best practice. what surprises me is in the warehouse scenario the High Gain antennae on the sonicpoint Ni, where "i" means internal. perhaps the Ni has a high gain internal antenna but i don't see that distinction anywhere else. perhaps the document will help you answer your warehouse-how-many-sonicpoints-do-i-need question.
DS-Clean-Wireless-US.pdf
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by:mthsupport
ID: 35027080
No worries. I've emailed My SonicWALL Channel Rep on the High Gain Antennas. I'm hoping I can get away with two SonicPoint's. I have a larger warehouse with a single Cisco AP with HGA serving the warehouse just fine.
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by:digitap
ID: 35027774
let me know what you find out on the HGAs. i've always added more sonicpoints than may be necessary in some circumstances, but i feel it's warranted with my experience using their AP hardware. currently, i have a building that's shaped like an 'H'. it's not really that big, but i have four access points placed NW, NE, SW, and SE. i have trouble in one area, NW, as no matter what sonicpoint i put there, clients drop connectivity. we've found there is a high concentration of APs coming from an apartment nearby. we believe they are interfering, but it doesn't appear to affect the NE AP. however, the NW AP is right outside a conference room so it gets a lot of use.

i've had better luck with cisco APs.
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by:mthsupport
ID: 35138150
Sorry for the delay. Here is what my channel rep sent me for High Gain Antennas. Though they say  SonicWALL doesn't support them since their equipment is FCC certified with their antennas.

http://www.streakwave.com/items.asp?Cc=ANT2.4IN&iTpStatus=0&Tp=&Bc

I too have had better luck with Cisco AP.
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by:digitap
ID: 35140779
yes...not surprised. thanks for the link.
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