Ask The Experts: 5 Wi-Fi Tips About Post-Deployment

For anyone deploying or managing a Wi-Fi network, questions come up all the time. Good news – this series of posts aims to help answer a few of those questions! We set out to ask the Wi-Fi experts what kind of advice they can offer, and then we pulled it all together in a collection of handy tips. In our first post, the expert tips are Aerohive-specific. Next we answered general pre-deployment questions about WLANs. Today we tackle post-deployment scenarios.

The “Wi-Fi Tips” series is a project in motion, so if you you have anything to add, please tweet @Aerohive and let us know! 

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1) Hidden Node

Q: What’s the best way to fix the hidden node problem? 

  1. Increase power on all client stations  
  2. Decrease power on the hidden node station 
  3. Increase the power on the access point 
  4. Redesign and add another AP 
  5. Remove the obstacle 
  6. Move the hidden node station

Addendum: Redesign and add another AP. Why? The hidden node problem arises when client stations cannot hear the RF transmissions of another client station. Increasing the transmission power of client stations will increase the transmission range of each station, resulting in increased likelihood of all the stations hearing each other. Increasing client power is not a recommended fix because best practice dictates that client stations use the same transmit power used by all other radios in the BSS, including the AP. Moving the hidden node station within transmission range of the other stations also results in stations hearing each other. Removing an obstacle that prevents stations from hearing each other also fixes the problem. The best fix to the hidden node problem is to add another access point in the area that the hidden node resides.

2) Post Install Monitoring

You should continuously monitor your WLAN. Many problems are intermittent and hard to catch. Wi-Fi monitoring includes testing the connection quality, data rates, signal strength, and other usage metrics. If problems occur, continuous monitoring can help you find the cause, like a Wi-Fi stress peak, weak signal, or insufficient coverage.

3) Upgrade Older Clients

Upgrade your client devices. Old devices using 802.11b/g standard are a problem. They slow down modern Wi-Fi networks just by operating on the same channel nearby. Even your neighbors’ 802.1 b/g devices may be slowing down your Wi-Fi.

Reduce power on 2.4 GHz radios to reduce co-channel interference.
Metka adds: 2.4 GHz is lower frequency and it attenuates slower. With only three non-overlaping channels that are available, full power creates too much channel overlap.

4) Reduce power on 2.4GHz radios to reduce co-channel interference.

2.4GHz is lower frequency and it attenuates slower. With only three non-overlaping channels that are available, full power creates too much channel overlap (co-channel interference). Reducing power will help reduce CCI.

5) Printer SSID
Always put projectors and printers on the Wireless SSID rather than have them broadcast their own SSID. Projectors and printers are the major sources of interference and can be a security threat as well. Make sure that you either turn the Wi-Fi off or connect the devices to the corporate SSID to have the visibilty and control over these devices.

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All Posts in this series

1) Ask The Experts: Wi-Fi Tips About Aerohive Deployments

2) Ask The Experts: Wi-Fi Tips About Pre-Deployment

3) Ask The Experts: Wi-Fi Tips About Post-Deployment

4) Ask The Experts: 13 Hot Wi-Fi Tips From Aerohive Customers

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At Aerohive, we help IT radically simplify wireless and wired access with Cloud Networking. Our technology is sophisticated yet straightforward, offers unrivaled choice and flexibility, and continually solves real world problems with continuous innovations.

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