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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless Network SSIDs in Technical; Hi everyone I have about 25 small Wifi APs around our college each with a unique SSID, would you recommend ...
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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    Wireless Network SSIDs

    Hi everyone

    I have about 25 small Wifi APs around our college each with a unique SSID, would you recommend or advice against giving each AP the same SSID & same PSK so people can roam from point to point?
    Second questions, can I still leave the WiFi channels to auto?

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'd recommend switching to a single SSID - multiple SSIDs make no sense in a school environment - well, unless you have higher density than you can handle, then you can do 2 SSIDs and split between them to force the devices to use different APs.

    I'd recommend not using auto channel choosing on unmanaged switches - as they'll spend all their time switching and clashing with each other. Instead, I'd manually assign them a channel according to a frequency analysis at each position, and in relation to neighbouring APs.

    What APs do you have there? Is there no chance of switching to a proper managed wireless solution, so all this is handled by it automatically?

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    Nick_Parker (13th March 2012)

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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    We have Cisco Linksys E2000 access points, look very fancy but don't seem that intelligent, they only allow for one SSID

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    januttall's Avatar
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    i would advise you set the ssid and encription the same and as long as you keep them all on difrent channels where nessasery it will work so leaveing it at auto will be fine. i would posibly consider regularly changeing the PSK key or even better going for WPA-ENTERPRISE security if your AP's will support it, how ever unlikly PSK keys can be broken if the right word list is used or bruteforced. also i have seen times where the keys have been given out to perfect strangers.

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    Nick_Parker (13th March 2012)

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    januttall's Avatar
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    Also it might be worth downloading inssider to see if any of your AP's Over lap in a given area if they do set them channels staticly.

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    Whilst having all of your SSID's the same with a common key will appear to make life easier I can assure you it won't in the longer term.
    Without wireless management you won't know what AP your connecting to, you can have performance issues due to a client being associated to a point yards away at 1mbps and you will not realise it the list is endless.

    The fact is with 25 APs you should have been looking at a managed solution 22 APs ago.....

    Switching to a single SSID now is only likely to give rise to new issues that you haven't experienced yet!

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