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Ask Me Anything – How to Enable Network Connectivity to Remote Workers
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Beginner

Best Wifi Solution

Hi Cisco Community,

I was hoping someone could point me in the best direction on this, im a total newbie when it comes to Cisco kit and my main background is in server based config/admin and not with switching and wifi so much. This is the requirement: I have a 3 storey house which has a Cisco 887W router located on the top floor (sadly this cannot be moved location due to physical cable restrictions). I am getting a really poor wifi signal for all clients unless they are almost in the same room. After doing some checks with some wifi tools I determined that this was possibly due to lots of interference from surrounding APs (on occasions 25 APs in range average 14). The router is only 2.4Ghz so I cant change the band and I read about all the different configuration options and tried testing accordingly. Im now thinking is there a way to place other points around the building to extend coverage in those areas. I looked at repeaters such as the Linksys RE1000 but am unsure as to wether this config will work and is supported and if not what is my best option to have wireless N coverage throughout the building without breaking the bank? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Hall of Fame Master

Best Wifi Solution

If you have a standalone AP' it will have to be configured, meaning you will have to configure the ssid like how your AP in the router is configured, and have it in a different channel.  So if your AP in your router is in channel 1, you would use channel 6 or 11 on the other AP.  If you get one or two 1142's, then you have also the 5ghz which you would also choose different channels.  If you went with a WLC2504, then the configuration is centralized and you actually have more features, but you may not need them.  I like the WLC's and actually run one in my house with mesh AP's in areas tha I also need coverage in.  Its also my job, so that is why I have one:)

Thanks,

Scott

Help out other by using the rating system and marking answered questions as "Answered"

-Scott
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View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10
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Hall of Fame Master

Re: Best Wifi Solution

That is a tough question. I'm thinking that its probably attenuation that is your issue with wireless. Since the router is on the 3rd floor, what is the signal when you are on the 2nd and when your on the 1st floor. Use something like NetStumbler or inSSIDer to check your RSSI.

If your signal is weak on the 2.4, going to 5ghz will be worse. Repeaters can help, but performance stinks. Your routers ap is not 802.11n so unless your purchase a new AP that is dual band and is 802.11n, you will not be able to utilize 802.11n.

If your looking for some Cisco APs, look at the 1142's they are dual band and support 802.11n. You can connect one to your router, disable the ap in the router and get another one and set that up as a repeater if you wish.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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Beginner

Re: Best Wifi Solution

Scott,

That is not true. The 880 seires routers are 802.11n capable. The 887W AP is an 802.11n device.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps380/data_sheet_c78_459542_ps380_Products_Data_Sheet.html

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Hall of Fame Master

Re: Best Wifi Solution

I didn't think they were but okay.

Still need to test signal.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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Beginner

Best Wifi Solution

Hi Scott,

thanks for the responce, turnera is correct in that it is wireless N already. So what would the solution be regarding repeating? would one of the models you recommended work as a repeater fine with this AP? I was also looking into WGB as well, is that an option or am i getting confused about its use. One thing to note is that there is a gigabit ethernet cable form the top floor (Cisco) to the bottom floor so an additional AP could be connected with this. I did already do the signal strength tests as you mentioned and you are correct signal is about half on the second floor and almost non existent on the ground and if G clients try to connect on the ground floor its just not possible. I was thinking that this attenuation could be so poor because of all the other APs in the area. I used another tool which told me that signal quality was poor on the middle floor... so although the signal strength was on half the quality was poor.

Thanks again

Highlighted
Hall of Fame Master

Re: Best Wifi Solution

I would put another AP preferably a 1142 (you can find those pretty cheap) and run that as an access point. Now if you find it cheap enough to buy two, disable the one I the router since its only a single band am connect another 1142 to the router. This way you have at least both bands. An ap on the 3rd and the 1st should work fine and provide adequate coverage in the 2nd floor. If you want to spend a little bit more money, you can look at the WLC2504. This will allow you to run mesh inside your house. Meaning, you can add another AP in the 2nd floor and not have to cable to it, just supply power through an ac adapter.

For now you should just add another AP to the first floor (attach to the ethernet) and see if that works for you.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
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Beginner

Best Wifi Solution

Hi again Scott,

Thats great thanks for the help. If I run it as an access point is it controlled centrally or does it need its own config ie need to be configured with the same SSID and channel etc as that on the top floor or are they both "aware" of each other and act as one? Thats my last question I promise ;-)

Thanks again for all the help.

Highlighted
Hall of Fame Master

Best Wifi Solution

If you have a standalone AP' it will have to be configured, meaning you will have to configure the ssid like how your AP in the router is configured, and have it in a different channel.  So if your AP in your router is in channel 1, you would use channel 6 or 11 on the other AP.  If you get one or two 1142's, then you have also the 5ghz which you would also choose different channels.  If you went with a WLC2504, then the configuration is centralized and you actually have more features, but you may not need them.  I like the WLC's and actually run one in my house with mesh AP's in areas tha I also need coverage in.  Its also my job, so that is why I have one:)

Thanks,

Scott

Help out other by using the rating system and marking answered questions as "Answered"

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Beginner

Best Wifi Solution

Thanks Scott,

that info is perfect thanks, you have really helped me in the right direction with that. I looked at the price of the WLC and its a little more than I wanted to pay just for home use but I can definitely see the benefit. I will take your advice on the 1142s I think and see how I get on with just the one. Its definitely a perk working in these fields as you get all the toys as do I in my house ;-). I know I said that previous question was my last but can I have one more :-P if the router AP and standalone AP are configured with the same SSID will the clients seamlessly roam between the 2 or will they need to reconnect etc when one AP drops out?

Thanks again and I have marked the prev post as answered :-)

Highlighted
Hall of Fame Master

Re: Best Wifi Solution

If your using pre shared key you will be fine. Thanks for supporting the rating system.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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Hall of Fame Master

Re: Best Wifi Solution

You might look at the WLC2106 which only supports up to 7.0.x code. They are pretty cheap now since it was replaced by the 2504.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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