Does range translate to better client connectivity ??
Last Post: August 21, 2009:
I have seen people use outdoor Access-points in indoor networks.An accesspoint with a better range is good thing but is it good for both enterprise and soho users is the question??
Down below is what i understand .May be iam partially right or completely wrong.The goal of the post is to get more clarity on things.
client connectivity :
An AP transmiiting at at 1W ouput power will definitely give better range but the clients are the one that suffer.A Client with an oupout power of 100mw can associate to the AP from a distance of 500m but the traffic from the client may not reach the AP.The problem is that " The Client can hear the AP talking ,but the AP can hear the client talking ". This is beacause the ouput power of the
AP is very high compared to the client .
Its always recommended that the clients match the ouput power of the Access-points. Many VOWlan vendors recomend to use Clients and AP at the same output power levels. This doesnt mean that Access-point with higher output power cannot be used anywhere :) .APs with higher output power needs to used only in outdoor networks in point to point or point-to-multipoint links since the ouput power and receive semsitivity at both ends will match.
Outdoor Hotspot is another good usecase for an AP with higher ouput power ,where user connects to the Base Station[AP] from home using a Customer Premisis Equipment(CPE) with better recieve sensitivity and ouput power levels.
Client density :
Client density is another factor that plays a major role in AP selection .Installing an AP with better range in Enteprise with densly populated users will just increase co-channel-interference and downgrade network throughput .
Lets take an example of an educational building with 3 class rooms with a strength of 40 users each and 2.4ghz is supposed to be used.
We can put up one Access point with a excellent range and cover all three classrooms,but there is a limit on the number of users that can connect to an AP .So all the 180 users cannot associate and browse without problems .To fix the problem if we add few more APs with outstanding range this would bring up another problem of co-channel-inteference and the network throughput will go bad.
In this type of network we need to select Access-points with better proccessing power and RAM which will help handling clients better.We need to tune-down the APs ouput power in such way that there is a minimal overlap in coverage area between Access-points.
What are the other factors to consider while evaluating an Accesss-point ??
Down below is my list
1) Proccessing power and RAM
2) RogueAP-detection and mitigation.
3) I would always suggest to use mdk3 as a tool to evaluate an AP .
mdk3 is a tool by which we can create authentication flood,beacon flood and de-auth attacks.
Put the AP to test and simply find out which one stands up to the bate or handles things better.
If iam given a oppurtunity to evaluate APS .This is the first this that i would use and it would help
me understand how good the APs behavior is .
4) Range ---A decent range is good enough instead of outstanding range
5) Throughput and mixed mode behaviour
6) How well roaming is handled .
7) L3 mobility support Avaialable.
8.) Power over ethernet options.
9) Mesh protocol support (Not bridging) .How long does it take for a Mesh Failover .
10)Is there a centralized management soultion vailable for the Access-points
An AP with better range is a good for SOHO networks or an Enterprise with lesser client density but doesnt fit in everywhere.
The point i want to convey from this post is "Range is not the only thing to look in while evaluting an Access-point"
I would like to see members add key points to the AP selection list :)
You have compiled a good list, Senthil.
Yes, capacity (throughput, # of clients) is as important or probably, more imp than range.
Couple of additional points for eval:
- Standards conformance
- Some level of QoS
My 2 cents!
Nice post, Senthil.
Point #3 can be summarized as reliability & load behavior of the AP.
And yes, standards conformance and any QoS features are important points too imo.