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Wireless Networks Thread, Mulitple or single SSIDs in Technical; Following on from other wireless thread. Who uses a single SSID for their multiple school wide AP setup and who ...
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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Mulitple or single SSIDs

    Following on from other wireless thread.

    Who uses a single SSID for their multiple school wide AP setup and who uses different ones?

    And why?

    Reason ask is that I had a 3 AP setup Ch1, Ch11 and Ch1 (with Ch11 one physically in middle of school and Ch1 ones at end) and a teacher laptop point blank refused to connect to CH11 one even though in same room. (Assuming this because it was getting very weak signal)

    In despair, I changed the SSID of it and low and behold - connected 1st time after reset.

    But is it right to leave it like that?

    regards

    Simon

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    steve's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We have all 30 of our AP's with the same SSID.

    Makes setup and config of AP and laptop so much easier.

    I have noticed occasionally laptops don't roam to the nearest / strongest signal if they still have a connection to another AP no matter how weak the signal.

    A reset would make the laptop search again and would pick the strongest signal.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    Makes setup and config of AP and laptop so much easier.
    In what respect?

    regards

    Simon

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    steve's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We have a default config for our AP's we can load onto them (cisco APs).

    On the clients, we only have to setup 1 default profile for all staff, no matter where onsite they plan to use the laptop.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We have one SSID for the whole site. Like steve says, it makes life easier.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    One SSID is the way forward... Si, you don't think that the reset of the AP was what fixed the problem, rather than the change of SSID?

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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We have one SSID on about 14 access points as our schools have metal walls. All the access points have the same channel too and things work fine, as soon as the laptop loses connection from one access point it automatically conencts to the nearest one, otherwise i feel that having multiple SSIDs it gives you more work to do.

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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We use 1 SSID for the majority of the school, but in Art we have 2 different ones - one for the Macs and one for their laptops. As they are surrounded by other buildings all with wireless I though it was sensible to make theirs seperate.
    To be honest the laptops there are the most reliable in the school.

    Changing all the other areas though would be a nightmare, as staff laptops move all over the place and even departmental laptops get loaned out to other departments sometimes

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    @Ric
    I'd tried everything first - nothing would make the laptop connect to the AP.

    In the end it did it after the SSID change and then a reset on the laptop - resetting anything (switches/AP/laptop) did nothing. (But thats IT for you )

    @all
    You seem to be saying you have a SSID for easy of setup - isn't is easier to just let the laptops connect to any AP than to restrict them to one?

    Just trying to find a real, technical reason to have 1 or many SSID's.

    Anyone using many SSIDs?

    @sidewinder
    Why did you feel the need to have differnent ones for MAC computers (Or were they on differenet network?)

    regards

    Simon

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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    Only because they use Apple Airports and predated the main wireless network. We could have replaced them with the same APs and same SSID as the rest of the school but it would have been a hassle as they use RADIUS which authenticates on AD group membership, and the macs or their users are not part of the windows domain.

    All in all easier to leave it

    And in your comment to all - "You seem to be saying you have a SSID for easy of setup - isn't is easier to just let the laptops connect to any AP than to restrict them to one?"

    yes thats the point, with one SSID, the same on every AP, they can connect anywhere, to any AP. With multiple SSID's. you'd have to configure each of them on each laptop to achieve that, and that defeats the point a bit

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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    If you have more than 1 SSID, then presumably when a client which was configured to connect to multiple networks finds itself in range of multiple networks it will connect to multiple networks. I suppose this would place an extra load on one of the APs that is not necessary. If all APs have the same SSID, then I presume the client will just associate with the AP with the strongest signal.

    I'm no WiFi expert though, so don't take this as gospel...

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    correct.

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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    We have one SSID for all 25 WAPs. Generally simple and reliable, though it's the case that a laptop will sometimes hang on to a weak signal, rather than hooking up to the nearest one when a laptop is moved. Trying to train users to check signal strength & reconnect if necessary-with some success!!

    RoyG

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    Trying to train users to check signal strength & reconnect if necessary-with some success!
    This is what caused me to switch SSID on the nearest AP.

    The laptop just kept reconnecting to a distant AP no matter what I did in the reset/power cycling dept.

    I can see everyone is voting for single SSID because of ease in configuration (which I can see makes sense if laptops are pre-configured and locked and loaded and there are many APs in the school)

    I'll see if my twin SSID gives any problems in my simple world because at least I can see if the AP is actually broadcasting a signal or not.

    I'm beginning to think that it wasn;t and it wasn't responding to power cycling either but the SSID change brought it back to life

    Thanks for all the replies

    Regards

    Simon

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Re: Mulitple or single SSIDs

    I have two SSIDs, one for legacy APs that only support WEP, the other that support WPA.

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