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Multiple APs with same SSIDs

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-10-21
I have a new client who is running three (3) BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N450 Gigabit Wireless Router - WZR-HP-G450H; one is configured as the router/firewall/AP and the other two are just configured as APs.  All three of the APs are hard wired into the network via CAT5, thus, using a wired backhaul.  The APs are not part of the WDS system.  Rather, all three APs are setup independently with the same SSID and pass phrase, but all three have different channels - 4, 6, and 11.  My clients uses a remote EHR system that they access via Citrix.  Numerous times a day the Citrix session freezes and forces the users log out of and back into Citrix.  Needless to say, this is both time consuming and frustrating for the client.  Any ideas on how to remedy this situation?
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Question by:Yort
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by:Ken Boone
ID: 40337579
Well it is okay and perfectly normal to have multiple AP in an org with the same SSID.  The problem that sticks out to me is the channel assignments.  In and 802.11b/g world there are only 3 non-overlapping channels that should ever be used - channels 1, 6 and 11.  Right now you have two radios that are overlapping one another - the one ones on channels 4 and 6.  The first thing I would do is change the radio currently on channel 4 to channel 1.  Right now if those radios can see each other they are probably causing interference with each other.  Have no idea if that is causing your problem or not, but that is a problem.
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by:Yort
ID: 40338052
@Ken Boone CCIE #4649,

Thank you for your quick response.  I will give this a try and report back.  It will be a few days as I am still obtaining access credentials from the prior IT shop (oh what fun)! :)
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by:Yort
ID: 40339966
@Ken Boone CCIE #4649,

We are going to implement your suggestion in the next few days, along with a few other recommendations we have received.  I will post back in a few days to provide an update.
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by:Ken Boone
ID: 40340052
No worries.
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by:Yort
ID: 40369329
@Ken Boone CCIE #4649,

Sorry for the delayed follow up. We implemented your recommendations and the problem persists. Any other suggestions?
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Ken Boone earned 500 total points
ID: 40369378
A few questions...
Do the clients lose connections to anything else?  i.e. Web browsing
Does DNS stop resolving when this happens?  
Is the only thing that quits Citrix?

If the answers are No, No and Yes then I would ASSUME the following:
#1) The problem is not related to your wired/wireless network.
#2) The problem could be bandwidth related
       Are you monitoring your internet bandwidth?  If so see if you are heavily utilizing your internet circuit when the problem occurs.
       It may not be a bandwidth on your end, but I suspect the remote location has other clients and will claim it is not them
#3) The problem could have something to do with the remote end.
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by:Yort
ID: 40369388
The clients lose connection to everything.
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by:Ken Boone
ID: 40369547
So have you determined if they are losing wireless connectivity versus internet connectivity?

If they are dropping wireless and then reconnecting, can you determine if when this happens, are they all on the same AP or are they on different APs?  Does this drop occur across all the APs?

If you suspect the APs, have you checked their firmware version to see if there is an updated version available?  If so I would update them.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Yort
ID: 40395421
@Ken Boone CCIE #4649,

Based on your questions above, we did a bit more digging into the buildings history and found a lead based walls in the room that used to house an xray machine. We relocated two of the APs to the best angle, and everything is firing as it should.  Thanks!
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