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Multiple WiFi Points

Posted on 2014-01-17
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Last Modified: 2014-01-18
I'm helping out at my grandson's junior school with their networking. They are using 6 Netgear WAG102 Prosafe Dualband Wireless Access Points. These authenticate using Radius on their Windows 2008 Domain Controller. They are trying to improve connectivity performance.

I don't have any experience on working with multiple APs.

Specifically:-

Currently some are set to auto for channel and the rest are on different channels. Is this OK or should they all be set to the same channel?

More Generally:-

Does anyone have any tips on helping get the best out of their configuration?
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Question by:cescentman
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Miftaul
ID: 39787907
Channels are set taking into account the neighboring ap. If many ap are using same channel, there will be performance degradation. If you did a site survey, then manually set the channels else i would rather say to leave them as auto, that way ap decides which non overlapping channel to use amoung 1, 6 and 11.

Please advice which wireless standard are you configuring the ap, 802.11 a, b, g or n.
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39787946
Thanks for the speedy reply.

I will arrange to change them all to auto, thanks.

I'm not sure which standard they are set to. I can check this when I go back next Wednesday. Do you have any recommendation?
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 39788386
I''m not sure which standard they are set to. I can check this when I go back next Wednesday. Do you have any recommendation?

It depends on whether there are old wifi devices which are of the old 802.11g or 802.11b standards.

If there are no such wifi devices in use, you can set the AP to be using the 802.11n only standard.
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39788447
Looks like the WAG only supports 802.11a/b/g

http://www.netgear.co.uk/business/products/access-points-wireless-controllers/access-points/WAG102.aspx#

Is there any benefit to restricting these or just using 2.4Ghz?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Craig Beck earned 500 total points
ID: 39789661
There's not much point in just restricting to 2.4GHz if the AP can do both at the same time.  It's usually better to make/let 5GHz-capable clients use 5GHz if they can, as 2.4GHz is more prone to interference, and let the 2.4GHz-only devices use that.

If you're going to set all the APs to auto, do it one at a time.  Turn them all off, then turn them on one-by-one, waiting a couple of minutes in-between.  The reason for this is to let each AP start up and choose a channel.  If you do it all at the same time the chances are a few of them will pick the same channel even if they're able to see each-other.

It really depends on where they are though.  If they can 'see' each-other you should investigate setting the channels either automatically or manually, but an AP is miles away from another one don't worry about what channel it's on unless there are other wifi devices which you don't manage in the vicinity.

If you have the APs in classrooms where you only want the devices in that classroom to connect, and you don't want the signal to spill over to far into other rooms, disable the slower data-rates.  So, if you can, only enable say 36, 48 and 54Mbps on each frequency.  This will mean that clients spend less time sending broadcasts and other non-specific traffic which could slow users down.
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39790405
Thanks I will try all of this.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39790406
Great help thanks.

I will close and score this now so you get your points. Is it OK if I come back to you on any of these points when I go back next Wednesday?
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Author Comment

by:cescentman
ID: 39790408
I'm sorry I'm half asleep and have just realised that there were more that one person answering. Had I had my wits about me I would have shared out the points. Sorry.
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