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WAP 561 - poor signal

Level 1
Level 1


I have to WAP561 in cluster. There are two SSIDs with the same name per AP. On in 2.4 the other in 5GHZ.

Even when I am standing next to one of the APs, Singe Point Setup Seasons Menu says, I have only a signal about 50-60.

If I stand about 10m away from the AP, MacBooks get a timeout and loose their connection.

What to do?

8 Replies 8

Eric Moyers
Level 7
Level 7

Hi, My name is Eric Moyers. I am a Network Support Engineer in the Cisco Small Business Support Center. Thank you for using the Cisco Community Post Forums.

Let me ask a couple of questions so I have a better understanding of your setup.

If both AP's are using the same SSID for 2.4 and 5 Ghz, how do you know which AP you are actually connecting to?

Have you tried connecting with any other type of wireless client?

As a test I would do:

1APName2_4     1APName5

2APName2_4     2APName5

Then try your same test, noting which APs your connecting to.

Please get back with results.

Also I would see about downloading a wireless scanner, like InSSIDer and do a scan of your area to see what is surrounding you. It is a free product located here.


Eric Moyers    .:|:.:|:.

Cisco Small Business US STAC Advanced Support Engineer

CCNA, CCNA-Wireless


Mon - Fri 09:00 - 18:00 (UTC - 05:00)

*Please rate the Post so other will know when an answer has been found.

Hi Eric,

I have just bought three of these APs for my company, to replace old/cheap ones which dropped off signal, occasionally. I did some research and these APs ticked all of the boxes and you guys are the goto company for networking kit, so I purchased them.

I have now been left a little red faced, as the signal strength on the previous ones is almost twice as powerful - I have not had them in long enough to comment on speed and network intense applications. But, we had a £30 TPlink installed which gave far better coverage, these cost us £185 plus £27 for a POE adapter.

This poses a massive problem for us, as we had offices previously covered by WIFI, which are no longer.

Can you please give me some advice on, if there is anything that can be done (settings, orientation of the AP, etc..) to improve signal?

Thanks in advance.



Hi Richard,

I am actually facing the exact same problem after migrating from customer APs (ASUS) to the Cisco WAP-561 (2 units) on my location. The signal strenght is significantly lower than with the previous APs (measured with WiFi Scanner). Hopefully this can and will be fixed via a firmware upgrade, otherwise this would be my first (but serious) mispurchase of a Cisco SMB device.



Hi Christoph,

Sorry to hear you are having issues as well! It's the first time I've purchased Cisco kit also. It's a bit dissapointing as I've always looked at Cisco to be the pinacle in networking hardware.


Richard and Christoph, Sorry to hear that your having some issues. If I could I would like to get a little more information:

Are the devices being put into the same location?

Was the replaced AP also 5 Ghz capable?

Are you using both the 2.4 and 5 GHz radio?

Also you can call into the Small Business Support Center and open a case and one of our answering engineers can assist in the troubleshooting. This may be quicker and if you do this let me know a case number and I can check in on it.


Eric Moyers    .:|:.:|:.

Cisco Small Business US STAC Advanced Support Engineer

Hi Eric,

thanks for chiming in. In regards to your requested information I can provide you with the following:

In my case the two Cisco WAP561 APs are located in different buildings (but same LAN). The replaced APs were ASUS RT-N66-U which I mainly had to replace because of the lack of VLAN support. And yes, these units did support 5 Ghz as well and are also based upon a Broadcom chipset. I am using 2.4 and 5 GHz simultaneously.

Problems after migration:

- Significantly reduced signal strenght and coverage (on the 2.4 as well as the 5 GHz band)

- No stable 450 mbit/sec.connection on the 5 GHz band (client MacBook Pro 2011 which never had that problem with the old APs), even right next to the AP

- Stuttering when streaming IPTV over multicast (also no problem with the old APs). Setting the Beacon Interval to 100, DTIM Period to 1 and Multicast Rate to 54 mbit/sec. helped a bit but still no satisfying result. The stream needs about 8 mbit/sec, a file transfer (unicast) will work with up to 17 MB/sec. (ASUS 28 MB/sec.).

This is too much for just one ticket, right?



Hi Eric,


Thanks for getting back.


The devices are in the same location.

The previous access points were not 5Ghz capable.

And yes we are using both the 2.4 and 5Ghz.

I will log a call at some point today and give you the case number.

We have had numerous problems with WIFI dropping off this morning from various locations in the building. Several users have experienced their laptops connecting to APs that aren't in their location, experiencing about 1-2 bars of signal strength when they are sat next to an AP.

Some people have had their internet almost grinding to a halt with full signal and others have had the Windows no internet connection yellow exclamation mark.

Are these APs supposed to work out of the box or is there any tailoring of settings that needs doing - I know this depends on the situation, but, in general?





Hi Richard,

did you open a up ticket meanwhile or do you have any kind of solution by now? I am still struggeling with unstable connections and reduced signal strenght and coverage.

At least I was able to track down the multicast issue. Seems my ASUS AP was not really using multicast when streaming IPTV. The device has a udpxy proxy built into it so UDP multicast was automatically converted into a HTTP unicast stream for the requesting client. UDP multicast over wi-fi stays a problem, but it's not limited to the WAP561.