Wireless-N configuration, performance and testing

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I'm an Advisor
Posts: 842

Wireless-N configuration, performance and testing

@All:

 

recently I had reason to delve into DD-WRT firmware because I was setting up a Linksys router as an Access Point.  One of the items I encountered on the DD-WRT web site was a tutorial on Wireless-N configuration.  The link to this tutorial is:

 

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless-N_Configuration

 

Aside from the DD-WRT specific information, I found there a number of items of interest on Wireless-N, including information on configuration and testing.

 

My reason for posting this is that over the last year we have seen numerous complaints posted about the newer Wireless-N capable modem/router combinations.   This tutorial may give some insight as to the possible reasons for why a supposedly newer and "better" technology could in fact have issues.

 

Agreed that we will likely not be able to get most of our audience to perform wireless site surveys.  Nor will they necessarily understand the technical subtleties of much of this.  But I found that I could better appreciate the potential problems that could be caused in otherwise normal, domestic WiFi deployment using Wireless-N.

 

Additionally, there are many other tutorials available here, many of value to some of our participants:

 

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Tutorials

 

skinorth

 

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,942

Re: Wireless-N configuration, performance and testing

Good link Skinorth 🙂

Brings up some good points... things that may make SENSE to us.. but not necessarily the next person.

Helping someone in the internet forum right now.. using the SMC (poor wireless to begin with).. they are saying wired it FINE, but wireless very poor and consistant drops.  Yes, alot of this could be from the SMC itself... but they also state, they are in an apartment.
They say they havent changed anything.. but thats not to say, their neibour hasnt?  Put in a higher gain router, using the SAME channel, etc.

 

One can do a BASIC site survey, without having dd-wrt, even using something like inSSIDer.  Simple, free.. and easy way to fine.. oh.. there are 4 people right here, using the SAME channel as me. 😛

One thing it brings up in there.. which i never realized before, until we were doing some tweeks here on our higher end Cisco APs...
With the encryption type... you want to have it set, normally, to WPA2+AES.
We had it, WPA2+AES+TKIP... having tkip on, will help with LEGACY G devices connecting to it, if you have it set for G+N... but, having TKIP enabled, will MAX your wireless speed to 54mbps, you'll never get higher, where with just AES you potentialy can.



I'm an Advisor
Posts: 842

Re: Wireless-N configuration, performance and testing

@Gdkitty:

 

so often when I read a posting from someone having WiFi problems, I am tempted to direct them to do their own WiFi site survey using the free tools readily available for download off the internet.  But then I am held back by the fact that for many, the process may simply be incomprehensible, and would result in an overload of data.

 

That being said, here is one URL which lists some options:

 

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/121211-wifi-tools-253789.html

 

It should be noted that NetStumbler, the top-rated tool here also gives signal to noise ratios for the WiFi signals it detects.  That alone, in a densely populated area, or in an electrically noisy environment could be worth the price of admission Smiley Wink

 

Oh, I forgot, these packages are free.

 

In any event, for us to mention the use of site survey tools like Netstumbler is definitely a double-edged sword: we would likely find ourselves in deep technical discussions both on the site survey process, on the intrepretation of the results and on developing subsequent actions to remedy the specific site issues uncovered.

 

Perhaps this is an area for further discussion using a dedicated thread to assist those in WiFi technical need.

 

Any comments on how this could most effectively be addresses for the more general Forum audience?

 

skinorth