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Connecting to weaker wireless connection

I recently setup a wireless network with multiple wireless access points.  I set them all up with the same ESSID and passphrase so we have a seamless connection from one end to the other.   It is currently working however some of the PCs are not connecting to the nearest access point.    

When I turn on one of the computers it connects to the network with 2-3 bars for signal strength.  This computer is located across the hall from one of the access points.  If I disconnect from the network and scan for networks it finds the access point with 5 bars and if I connect to the network again it connects with 5 bars.    Is there anyway to make sure each PC connects to the strongest signal.

Most of the PCs are running Windows 7 32 bit.
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qvfps
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qvfps
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Frosty555Commented:
This is called "roaming aggressiveness" - how aggressively should the network card hop from a weaker wireless network to a stronger one.

Every time the computer hops, there's a disruption of service, so the computer tries to do it as infrequently as possible. If the computer determines that the wireless connection it is currently on is providing sufficient service - even if it is only 2-3 bars - it won't roam to the stronger one.

You can change this behavior somewhat in the advanced options of your network card. This varies from card to card but the general steps are:

- Go to Start->View Network Connections
- Right click on your Wireless card->Properties
- Click "Configure"->Advanced tab
- Find the property labelled "roaming aggressiveness" and change the value.

Save everything and reboot the computer, and evaluate if it is any better.

In general, though, you shouldn't really need to touch this setting. If the signal gets weak enough that the network card is not communicating with the access point any more it will automatically roam to the stronger one. This isn't a process you should need to interfere with.
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Frosty555Commented:
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Darr247Commented:
What channels are you using, by the way?
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qvfpsAuthor Commented:
I am not having a problem while roaming.   The issue is some of the stationary computers pick a weaker/further away access point to connect to.   I would like them to connect to the nearest access point with the strongest signal by default.
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dallensworthCommented:
Depending on your access points another option would be to disable lower speed connections from those access points.  This effectively stops slower speed and lower single strength client connections from happening.
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qvfpsAuthor Commented:
Do you mean block the MAC address on the access point so it will only connect to the one I want?
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dallensworthCommented:
I was thinking of setting the minimum data rate allowed for connection to the access point in question to something like 6 meg but Mac filtering might be an option as well.  That is a good solution when you have clients which are not chatty enough to remain connected to the access point usually not an issue with computers but smaller devices like print severs.
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Frosty555Commented:
qvfps - even though it's called "roaming aggressiveness", the algorithm applies whether or not your computer is physically moving around. It is simply the term used for the network adapter's behavior of deciding which access point to connect when multiple access points are available, and at what point will the network adapter abandon the currently connected AP for a stronger one.

The adapter will usually try to re-associate with the first familiar and eligible (strong enough signal) AP that it did in the past. 2-3 bars is considered a strong enough signal. This is a behavior that is implemented at the hardware / driver level and is not normally something the user is given much control over, except for that setting I posted in my earlier comment.

Are you actually issue with network connectivity when your laptop is on the 2-3 bar access point?  If not, you don't actually have a problem and you can leave the behavior as it is.
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