Wireless Performance : Too many APs!
Our network engineer advises too many Access Points can actually slow you down! There is a limit to how fast you can make a Wireless network work and simply adding more Access Points can be one of the worst things you do. Recently I went to site and could see over 40 Access Points from one spot, 11 of them on the same channel. The net effect of this was that the wireless controllers de-powered all the APs as the cross channel interference was too high. The knock on effect was the network could now only operate at an average of 5.5Mbs instead of the 54Mbs that was expected, even when only a few meters from the AP. Our advice is not to just add more APs but get some visibility and control instead:
- Get some real time stats on the wireless network – using a product such as AirCheck
- Live survey the current wireless coverage and produce heat maps – with a tool like AirMagnet Survey with Planner
- View detailed Wireless Performance by AP, Channel and device – try AirMagnet WiFi Analyser
- Consider bringing Professional Services in, they'll have their own kit and expert knowledge of the technology to report on what's going on and make recommendations for improved performance