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Wireless clients not connecting to closest Araknis WAPs

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As part of our upgrade, we got Araknis networking equipment, including 4 WAPs (3 500 series and 1 300 series).

What I've noticed monitoring our wireless clients within the OvrC app my dealer set up for me is that several of the stationary clients are not connecting to the physically closest WAP.  In fact, one of the clients is a Kasa wireless camera that is literally wall mounted next to a WAP in our family room, yet this morning it was connecting to our Study WAP which is in the far end of the house and, thus, had a poor connection.

Another example, our Chamberlain garage door wifi thingy was also connecting way back to the Study WAP and as a result had a 4% strength wifi connection according to the app.

Additionally, our Nest front doorbell camera went offline mid morning and, you guessed it, was connected to a far away WAP when another WAP is literally 10 feet away from it.

So, I'm wondering why this is happening and, also, if there's a way to assign "fixed" clients (ie, clients that are not going to move around the house like an iPhone or iPad will be moving around) to the particular WAP that it is closest to?

My dealer doesn't know what's going on and has opened a line of inquiry with Araknis tech support.

I thought I'd check here too.

Thanks

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You could setup specific SSIDs in specific WAPs to corral connections.

It's most likely due to interference or wave propagation based on structure and AP placement.

If a device sees the back or side of an AP that it's close to, that may not be the strongest signal. And dealing with devices that are outside, garages, etc gets more complicated. You've got neighbors WiFi, thermal glass, steel, concrete that have to be accounted for as well as the vendor, where did they put their antenna in relation to the mounting.

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Hopefully they didn't just mount the waps, setup the ssid, pw and call it a day. I don't know anything about araknis but proper multiple wap setup requires a bit of time. It's important to adjust the transmission power until an RSSI of -70db at the midpoint (best hand-off location) between waps is achieved.  Otherwise, you'll end up still connected to a wap far away as you're approaching a closer wap.

There are software tools out there that run on a PC and connect with the mobile app version to help with this tuning.  The installer should be walking around the house and determining/adjusting settings on the wap until a good hand-off is achieved while maintaining good throughput at all desired locations in the house.

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2 hours ago, RAV said:

You could setup specific SSIDs in specific WAPs to corral connections.

It's most likely due to interference or wave propagation based on structure and AP placement.

If a device sees the back or side of an AP that it's close to, that may not be the strongest signal. And dealing with devices that are outside, garages, etc gets more complicated. You've got neighbors WiFi, thermal glass, steel, concrete that have to be accounted for as well as the vendor, where did they put their antenna in relation to the mounting.

Multiple SSIDs should not be necessary in order for this to work properly.  It sounds like the dealer doesn't quite understand how to design and configure wireless networks; something that is unfortunately common for many dealers (but, not all - especially ones on this forum!). 

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1 hour ago, LollerAgent said:

Multiple SSIDs should not be necessary in order for this to work properly.  It sounds like the dealer doesn't quite understand how to design and configure wireless networks; something that is unfortunately common for many dealers (but, not all - especially ones on this forum!). 

Bingo!!

for what you probably paid for that network, you could have received Ruckus unleashed and it would have mitigated any of these issues. 

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I wish it was easy as an end user to dictate what hardware we want the dealer to use, but they like to use what they’re familiar with and what they’ll be able to trouble shoot when the need arises. 

I’m sure he would’ve caved and installled Ubiquiti like many here had recommended in a thread earlier this summer, but probably would have told me I was on my own after that. 

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Sorry but you are the customer. You should only buy what you want. If your dealer doesn't sell what you want he isn't the right person for you.

Would you buy a Kia cause that was all the car dealer sold? No. You would go somewhere else.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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I didn’t necessarily want the Ubiquiti either because it wasn’t on C4’s approved list. 

I’d rather go with the dealer’s recommendation so that I know I will get good support in the future. 

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Although Araknis wouldn't be my choice (I have never used it) - I'm not really suggesting it's the problem here.  It's more likely that your dealer doesn't know how to use it properly.  You might suggest that he calls SnapAV for support if he cannot figure it out.  They should be able to help him figure it out.  Good luck!

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Thanks, yeah, I've passed on the suggestions to him already - it's possible he had already configured the WAPs when he set them up, but doesn't hurt to just make sure.

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araknis performs very well, I install them all the time so I I would guess as an early poster stated, the installer didn't set them up properly. Wifi is not lick it and stick it, there are settings, and have your dealer call snap they will help him make the proper adjustments. if he cant send me a pm

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3 hours ago, tekki70 said:

araknis performs very well, I install them all the time so I I would guess as an early poster stated, the installer didn't set them up properly. Wifi is not lick it and stick it, there are settings, and have your dealer call snap they will help him make the proper adjustments. if he cant send me a pm

Thanks for the offer to help.  Let me see what my dealer says and/or does and go from there.

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We install 15K-20K+ APs (no, not a mistake, those are tens of thousands) per year and home grade wifi is far behind the commercial solutions. There are only three products on the market at the commercial level that have everything working at a nearly "fire and forget" level and they still require talented engineering to get it perfect. I am not aware of any at the home gamer level that have everything working perfectly. I seriously doubt that araknis has anywhere near the install base of even the small commercial players and I suspect it needs a lot of tuning to get right. I have vendors give me APs to test constantly at my house. I need at least 3 APs to have coverage consistently throughout the structure, at least with technology through the current generation of commercial 802.11AC Wave 2. I have even tested many models of dual radio 5Ghz APs that have absolutely no place in a home setting (not enough client density to make any use of that). 

My recommendation would be to focus on Ubiquiti, Ruckus, or Aruba Instant. Cisco Aeronet would probably work acceptably but would require additional parts (controllers/servers/VMs) not appropriate for a home installation. I would stay away from Meraki because you will be paying pretty heavy recurring cost to manage. Aerohive would have the same issue. Ruckus and Aruba Instant will automatically work the best. Ubiquiti does not have a true controller based architecture. The controller manages the APs but doesn't steer clients etc. Ubiquiti will require some moderate skill from the installer. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a neighbors house and they have a Ubiquiti AP with a 30 degree down tilt antenna laying upside down on top of a cabinet at 8' off the ground..... I don't know enough about packedge or araknis to make the same call but I would suspect similar problems and youre paying a lot more for the gear. Just think about the install base of those niche products vs netgear... there is no way they have enough exposure to knock all the bugs out of the product with all of the thousands of client hardware/firmware/driver/antenna combinations on the market.

Your problem with the garage door device is probably due to it being a 2.4G device and a poor client implementation. The AP its stuck to was probably the first one that responded to the device. Quality products like Aruba and Ruckus will use the RSSI of the incoming beacon from the client and then will typically lag the responses to that AP from the radios the wireless system deems less desirable for communications with that client. Note that you have to have some sort of central authority (like Ruckus and Aruba have with virtual controllers) for that to work because for example with three APs you would have up to six radios  across three physical locations to steer the client towards. Quality modern systems will also support band steering where you use that same mechanism to force clients to 5G radios. You then on top of that have problems with certain clients like Chromebooks that will always prefer 2.4 over 5G regardless of band steering on the wireless system and that are sticky and won't roam until the connection completely drops. We frequently petition Dell, HPI, Lenovo etc. for driver fixes to make their clients work properly.  We havent even talked about limiting base rates, multicast to unicast conversion, spectrum reuse, channel bandwidth, sideband cellular interference filters etc...  These are only a few of the thousands of variables to the equation and only a few manufacturers have it completely solved. Everyone else you have to supply the expertise and make up for the gaps in the product. Most of the AV installers I've seen are still using IR connections and not even educated on basic IP networking, much less going to have ekahau in their trunk to do proper wifi troubleshooting.

I would find a networking expert and have them use Ubiquiti/Ruckus/Aruba Instant based on your ability to afford the product.

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So my dealer called SnapAV and they actually recommended separate SSIDs or MAC address filtering, though they favored the separate SSID solution.  He said that Snap mentioned that the fine tuning of the APs is more for commercial installations rather than residential, FWIW.

Anyway, he was out today to troubleshoot our ongoing camera issues so he went ahead and setup a separate SSID for each AP and didn’t broadcast them. I’m going to continue to monitor the situation and see if the problem recurs before actually using the SSIDs for the stationary clients.

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I wont say your dealer is telling a fib, but I can tell you  highly and I mean highly doubt snap recommended separate SSiD for each wap, im sure they would definitely recommend different channels for each wap but definitely not separate SSID

 

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6 hours ago, tekki70 said:

I wont say your dealer is telling a fib, but I can tell you  highly and I mean highly doubt snap recommended separate SSiD for each wap, im sure they would definitely recommend different channels for each wap but definitely not separate SSID

 


What this guy is saying^^^^^

Individual SSIDs would be the sign of an idiot giving that advise. There is no reason to do that. Araknis specifically implemented 802.11r/k for roaming between APs, why would they do that if they're going to bozo roaming by having multiple SSIDs? There is no call for multiple. Also, saying that home requires less tweaking than commercial is also an idiodic statement. If they look up the RF absorption of the materials in a typical house VS a typical office environment it's not even close. I can get 3x the coverage from one AP in a commercial setting VS a home setting. I think he's just used to the installers not knowing enough to tweak so they recommend brain dead solutions like multiple SSIDs. 

Also, if you were thinking about doing a roaming SSID and AP specific SSIDs, know that every SSID you add eats air time because it's beacon has to be sent at the slowest base rate of any possible client. Just think about how many bits flip per unit time at 1.5mbit vs 600mbit....Lots of wasted bit times on beacons.  If you do the math 32 SSIDs equate to 100% channel utilization without any actual user traffic. You have the same problem with multicast which is why any decent system will do multicast to unicast conversion. Two SSID won't kill you but why waste the bandwidth. We often tune minimum base rate instead of power because it can be a better indication of connection quality than just DB of signal. Various systems also tune off of RSSI and xmit power but that gets product specific.

I would find someone qualified to help you with your Araknis or find someone that is qualified with another product and ebay it. I think tekki70 whom I quoted offered some level of assistance. I don't know him from adam's house cat but he seems like he has a better working knowledge than whomever you are talking to.

Good luck

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