Router and Access Point Configuration

Hello,

I am helping a friend of mine who owns a hotel with wireless setup.  Here is what is done so far.

Modem is setup.  Modem is then connected to Linksys wireless router.  Linksys wireless router is connected to a switch.  I have 5 EnGenius AP with different channels setup.  These are connected through switch mentioned above.  All of these configuration is working almost perfectly.  Good signal and all is good.

I have one 150' CAT6 Ethernet off of a port from the switch extending to other end of the hotel (by reception area) to setup a wireless as the signal with EnGenius does not reach this part of hotel.

My question is:  Should I be attaching a router or just a access point at the other end?  Obviously the Linksys mentioned above is already acting as a DHCP server giving out IP's to customers.

I did try to attach a linksys router on the other end, and I get very unusual behaviour.  Wireless drops randomly and besides it puts out 10.x.x.x IP address when my linksys (mentioned earlier) is 192.x.x.x.  I have tried both, enabling and disabling DHCP on this router but the behaviour is very unusual and erratic.

So before I spend any money on AP, I wanted to know what are my options?

Also, I would like something where I could have couple wireless options, one for guest and other for employees.  Which unit works the best?

Thanks in advance
kaushalkAsked:
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Newer routers have the guest feature (like the Netgear N600).  Just have to read the features for the most part.

It is recommended to have an AP attached vs another router.  An AP extends the broadcast and passes DHCP through vs issuing out its own which is what is happening in your case.

So if you wanted the 2nd router to work you would basically just leave it the way it is.  Your going to have a different IP address because that router is setup with a 10. IP schema and your primary is setup with a 192 schema.  They should not be on the same schema anyways but you can do the following for the IP addressing.  Make the primary 192.168.1.1 and the 2nd router 192.168.2.1 so they are different etc. If you turn off DHCP anyone that connects wont get an IP address so they wont get internet etc.

As for the wireless signal dropping thats probably something with the router either physically or it needs a firmware upgrade in a sense.  

To summarize, an AP is the better solution but another router is possible if configured properly.
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Craig BeckCommented:
Yep, just use an AP.  You already have a router so this is just another wireless area to cover.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Superb help.   But here is one other issue. When I use my mobile device or sometimes my laptop on existing wireless setup, it sometimes takes forever to transmit or receive data. But if I use 3G, things move pretty fast. Is there configuration issue somewhere?  I want to fix this before I attach an AP to the other end.

This behavior does not happen often but about 20% of the time. Also, I am assuming that any ports that I have to open, should be done on my old Linksys router with DHCP enabled. Correct?
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Craig BeckCommented:
Yep the issue is probably because your Wireless connection is taking a while to get an IP address.  Does it feel quite slow when browsing too?
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Yes. Sometimes it does feel slow. And I have upset customers that Internet is very slow. Browsing is sometimes slow but I have to admit, it has been working in stable condition for over a year now. Wish I knew what causes the browsing to be slow?

In your opinion, should I be using the same SSID as the EnGenius AP on new AP or assign a new SSID?
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Craig BeckCommented:
Yes you should be using the same SSID and authentication/encryption settings.  I would look at changing the channel on any affected AP though as it sounds like you're sufferering from interference.

If there is interference it takes longer to receive data as retransmissions occur far more frequently.  That gives the effect of a slow connection.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Excellent. I may have to revisit the 5 EnGenius AP and look at the channels on them. I was pretty confident that the channels set on each were quite apart from each other. Should I be using different channels on each AP or cycle through the standard channels making sure each AP is far apart from exec other?  What is the rule of thumb on channel assignment on AP's?  How apart should they be?  Or can I use different channels on each?

Thanks for your continued help
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Craig BeckCommented:
You will always use different channels on the APs.  If you don't and they all use the same you'll suffer from something called co-channel interference.

Even though the channels may be apart from each other per AP, RF from other 2.4GHz sources will cause interference too.  Microwaves, bluetooth and some 2.4GHz portable phones will interfere with a Wifi setup and this is actually very common.

As a rule of thumb you have 3 non-overlapping channels at 2.4GHz.  These are 1, 6 and 11.  If you're in Europe (ETSI region) or Japan you can give yourself a little extra and use 1, 7 and 13.

In high-density deployments where there are tens or hundreds of APs in close proximity it is allowable to overlap channels slightly as it actually reduces co-channel interference if deployed properly, so for example you might have 4 APs in a large room such as a conference.  You could set these APs to use 1, 4, 8, 11.  It's even better in ETSI or Japan regions as you could use 1, 5, 9 and 13.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Here is a snapshot of one of my EnGenius AP with Advanced Wireless Setup screen.
EnGenius-Wireless-Advanced-Setti.pdf
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Snapshot of SSID Profile screen
EnGenius-Wireless-Network---SSID.pdf
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Craig BeckCommented:
Ok, set those all to defaults.  The transmit power is probably way too high for your antennas although if that's default just leave it.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Here is the network map of the hotel with AP's and their respective channels.  Room 216 (Channel 1) is the Linksys Wireless Router with DHCP server enabled.
abvi-network-2.pdf
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Craig BeckCommented:
The AP in the middle - on Channel 1 - change it to 6 and set the one to the left of that (already on Channel 6) to Channel 1.  Basically swap them over.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Will do. Anything else I need to change on AP as far as config is concerned? Security settings or other details?  And what channel do you suggest I setup for new AP to be placed in reception area? Maybe channel 6?

Thanks so much for helping
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Craig BeckCommented:
6 looks ok, I'd probably try 11 first though.

Config is fine though if you default the advanced settings.
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kaushalkAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much craigbeck.  I will make the following changes and setup the new AP and definitely let you know how things work out.  I won't be on the property for at least next 10 days but I will definitely follow up and let you know.

Thanks so much
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