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Apartment wifi network

By crazytonyi ·
I mange the network for a community of roughly 40 people, spanning 3 buildings and several floors. I currently have each major part of the site set up with a wireless access point, each with the same SSID.

I knew that it wasn't as simple as setting all the SSIDs to match to get roaming coverage, so when I started getting complaints about the wifi being jerky in some areas, I wasn't shocked.

So then my network guru told me I needed to set each point to a different channel. Problem solved! I thought.

Well the same people are still reporting the same issue, namely that they are on the wifi, the machine is stationary, and after some time (let's say an hour) they either lose the connection or get no actual bandwidth. After turning their wireless off and then on (not sure how many are mac users and how many are simply disconnecting and reconnecting), they are back on.

Is the multi-channel trick not a solution for machines in overlap areas? Can anyone suggest what else I should be investigating? (Since it's not happening to everyone on the same WAP, but it is happening to people on separate WAPs, I'm hoping it's safe to guess that the source isn't hardware failure).

Thanks for any advice you can give.

A

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More Details, if interested

by crazytonyi In reply to Apartment wifi network

[Cable Modem][Wireless Router (DIR 625)]
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---------------------
| | | |
switch switch switch switch
| | | | |
WAP WAP WAP WAP WAP

Also on the above switches are wired connections. there are two waps on one switch, as one handles the upstairs residents, and the other handles the commons areas (kitchen, dining room, living room, etc.)

Any other details needed I'll do my best to supply.

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Reasons for dropped WIFI connections

by mjd420nova In reply to Apartment wifi network

There are a large number of reasons that a WIFI connection would be dropped. They range from people moving about within an office and creating tempoary blocking. Another would be the same movement but throw in the person moving through an area while using a cell phone. Too many variables will affect the signal strength and cause dropped connections. Using the same SSID is a quick cure but in overlapping coverage, but on different channels is a quick and simple way to provide coverage but still require a re-acquisition of the connection but on a different channel. Using the same channel could create some strange cross talk and confusion by the server over which router would be providing the connection.

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Are the APs all on the same subnet?

by NickNielsen In reply to Apartment wifi network

If the APs are on different subnets, users will no longer be able to connect when they channel-hop because their IP address is not compatible with their new network segment.

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Subnet setup

by crazytonyi In reply to Are the APs all on the sa ...

Hopefully this isn't too embarrasing of a question...

I have to set up subnets manually, right? Through each device's settings? Because right now the only thing I have set differently between each access point is the IP address (each one outside of the DHCP range, like I said). Do I have to manually set the subnets to be the same, or is that by default?

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It depends

by NickNielsen In reply to Subnet setup

The default subnet mask for those APs is probably 255.255.255.0. If your DHCP range is 10.2.1.1 through 10.2.1.254, setting the IP addresses for the APs outside that range would place them on a different subnet. If you haven't already done so, you can configure your DHCP service so certain addresses are fixed. Assign those addresses to the APs.

For example:

10.2.1.1 - Gateway (router)
10.2.1.2 - Server (DHCP, etc.)
10.2.1.3 through 10.2.1.9 - APs, fixed
10.2.1.10 through 10.2.1.254 - available for DHCP assignment. All addresses are on the same subnet with mask 255.255.255.0.

There could also be an open access point somewhere in range with the DHCP service running on it. When devices re-sync to that, they lose connectivity with your network.

As mjd420nova said, there can be a multitude of reasons for your problems.

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