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Thread: Way Way Too Many Access Points

  1. #1

    Default Way Way Too Many Access Points

    So I did a test with inSSIDER before this wi-spy capture and in 60 seconds caught 53 access points (most -80 or lower).

    For reference all access points I have control over in this picture are marked and in the capture all begin with "Aerowire" and end with whatever is listed on map. The NEZ is a Tropos meshed to LH1 and FUND everything else is on wired connections back to 5Ghz canopy radios to a tower. Every building you see is an individually owned apartment building, not in a complex.

    Is there truly a way to fight though this many access points in one congested area? I've had complaints from someone in the apartment right in front of "Test Location" when he was trying to use the AP "Walker". At test location I could not connect to Walker or Walker1, could see them strong signal but failed to connect. These are Deliberant units and do not give me an SNR reading, but I assume the situation is what I usually see...The AP is strong enough with high output and good antenna for me to see it but my poor little laptop isn't strong enough to get signal back over the interference.

    I'm running into this with several complexes we service, mainly on this street/area where a simply inSSIDER scan will reveal 50-85 access points. All of our equipment (Colubris, Deliberant, Ubiquiti, Tropos) is mounted outside the buildings and the clients are getting strong signal but have connection drops and slow transfer speeds and packet lose. Those closer to the same access points don't have the problems.
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  2. #2

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    The best thing to do is contact the owners of the equipment and have them turn down the power of their APs and adjust channel settings accordingly. You can try to increase the power on the devices that are having trouble connecting but in this case I think the correct answer would be to communicate with the owners of the other APs

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris2 View Post
    The best thing to do is contact the owners of the equipment and have them turn down the power of their APs and adjust channel settings accordingly. You can try to increase the power on the devices that are having trouble connecting but in this case I think the correct answer would be to communicate with the owners of the other APs
    The majority of other access points are owned by individuals in their own apartments, in the complexes we service as well as adjacent complexes so chances of contacting people for that reason is not going to be possible. Also increasing output power of client devices is not reasonable either since these are laptops of tenants living in those apartment complexes we service and we have no control over their equipment.

    I've been tasked with attempting to make the tenants happy, without changing infrastructure, keeping the tenant wireless and not requiring them to purchase any upgrades. I think I've been given an impossible task, and I've been stating that for over 6 months but my concerns go unheard. My solution would be more access points more evenly distributed and/or directional antennas but I'm not allowed to add equipment locations or purchase upgrades

  4. #4

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    So you have to make it work without making any changes to the clients or the infrastructure? Good luck with that.

  5. #5

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    Yea, that's what I've been saying... I was told it used to work so it should still work, must be bad equipment on our end or client end... Not realizing that the density of wifi networks in this area has increased 4x+ since this was originally installed. This network used to share channels with 1 or 2 lower power 802.11g access points, now its trying to compete with 40Mhz wide high powered 802.11n devices.

    I've spent a few hours here today verifying back-haul, switched network, and other things to make sure it is defiantly an interference issue. I've got two new 10 minute each captures today, one at Walker1 and one at Walker on map in original post. Another thing to remember is these APs have 12dBi antennas installed so they are picking up these other access points at higher levels than I'm capturing.

    Also attached are some screenshots from inssider and a 2 minute average on the captures.

    Notes on captures, my wifi was off on laptop, and I powered down all my equipment at this location (Walker / Walker1)
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  6. #6

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    Images mentioned above
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  7. #7

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    One of the biggest problems is the CSMA/CA. If a wireless AP or client hears another station transmitting, it will not transmit. Likewise if two clients cannot hear each other and transmit at the same time you have collision. If you cant do anything about the other networks then you have to move yours to a clear frequency space.

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