Wireless Review

We are currently working on increasing AP density at work in order to keep up with the increasing amount of wireless client devices. It’s always nice to revisit what other product vendors have available, so I was able to get my hands on a few test AP’s.

Aerohive networks AP meraki AP

I will be unboxing and testing these at home. They are lower end AP’s, but this will give me an opportunity at looking into the config user interface, performing some wireless site surveys, and playing with wireless channel planning tools. Stay tuned!

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3 comments

  • What are you finding between these two APs? I work as a Network Administrator at a school district and we recently rolled out over 250 Meraki MR16s. We are experiencing low bandwidth speeds and dropped clients in a dense environment.

  • Well, I tested the MR12, which is only a single band AP. The AP worked well with 5 users connected to it. I didn’t have enough devices to test the maximum capacity limit.

    However, there is only so much free air space that can be utilized at one point in time. According to the MR16 spec, you’re working with a dual radio 2×2 spatial stream AP, which is pretty good, given that most mobile devices such as smart phones typically do 802.11n 1×1. I would suggest that you turn off the legacy data rate features such as protection mode. You will also want to make sure that you’re running purely WPA2 with AES in order to get your full 802.11n modulation rates. The faster you clients can talk, the faster they will be able to move data between the AP. You also want to try and keep how many SSID’s you broadcast to a minimum. You can also try to throttle certain applications such as Netflix. We throttle our multimedia to 1.5Mbps per client on our wireless network. We also throttle P2P as well. This will stop one user from hogging up all the bandwidth or airtime on the AP. If you have a pretty dense deployment, you will also want to look into the band steering option.

    Here are a few resources you can look at:
    http://meraki.cisco.com/blog/2011/04/using-spectrum-wisely-with-band-steering/
    https://docs.meraki.com/display/MR/Traffic+Shaping
    Here’s a great video on how we are limited by available spectrum air time.
    http://techfieldday.com/appearance/wi-fi-stress-tests-with-keith-parsons/

    Now, you could be having an issue somewhere else in your pipe which could be causing an issue. I’m assuming that you have ruled this out already.

  • Here’s another great resource on how to configure your wireless network for high density environments.

    http://www.aerohive.com/330000/docs/help/english/5.1r2/ref/Aerohive_High-Density_Wi-Fi-Design-Config-Guide_330073-01.pdf

    Its an aerohive doc, but the principles in this guide can be applied to almost any wireless vendor equipment. The author, Andrew von Nagy has a great blog site with tons more information. You can find him at http://www.revolutionwifi.net/

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