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Windows Thread, Wireless setup check in Technical; Hi, I help to manage a wireless setup in a school. Despite several new wireless routers and new laptops, the ...
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    rocknrollstar's Avatar
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    Wireless setup check

    Hi, I help to manage a wireless setup in a school. Despite several new wireless routers and new laptops, the staff are getting slow connections. The setup is as follows:

    - school building layout is rectangular, single story
    - there are 6 netgear access points (54mbps), spread out like the pockets on a snooker table.
    - all APs have same SSID (wirelesss network name)
    - I am using a channels 1, 5, 9, 13, with the APs closest to each other having different channels.
    - Power of transmission is on full
    - uses WEP 128
    - no mac filtering
    - laptops are xp pro, with correct wireless settings.
    - 2003 server

    The laptops will connect to the network and internet, just get can get a slow transmission despite a strong signal. This is just with 1 or 2 laptops connecting, not a whole suite of them.

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your time.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Don't know how much practical difference it will make, but you have overlapping channels. If you want three APs in close proximity, you need channels 1, 6 and 11. This is the only combination that allows for three channels.

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    rocknrollstar (6th November 2008)

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    wagnerk's Avatar
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    Is the setup a centrally managed solution or are each one configured separately?

    We had a few Netgear WAP's and I don't recall them having a load balance feature (I could be wrong). On the centrally managed solution, there is an option to load balance between switches (on the 3Com ones anyway, I'm assuming that the centrally managed solution from Netgear does the same).

    I say this as we trialed several laptops with the netgear access points and found that they connected to the first wap they found and alot of them connected to the weakess signal and didn't hop to any stronger ones that were available. That may not be your problem, but it was one of ours.

    Apart from that, it's like powdarrmonkey already said about the overlapping signals...

    The three non-overlapping channels for 802.11b and 802.11g are 1, 7 and 13 in Europe. However, due the widespread use of North American specification equipment (which only supports up to channel 11) the recommended channels are 1, 6 and 11.
    See here.

    If there are more than 3 channels overlapping, then you may have to turn down the transmission power of the WAP's to 75% or 50% - depending on the local environment (eg. metal framework, other electrical devices that can interfer, etc)

    -Ken

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    rocknrollstar (6th November 2008)

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    rocknrollstar's Avatar
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    Great, thanks for your help. I was using channels 1,5,9 and 13 based on a paper I read about these channels being non-overlapping in European countries, as the frequencies were far enough apart.

    Anyway, I'll change the channels to be 1,6 and 11 as suggested, as well as reducing the transmission power. Distance isn't a great factor.

    Thanks again!

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