M and MSM Series

want clients use the nearest AP

Occasional Contributor

want clients use the nearest AP



I have several APs in my organization and there is some overlap between them.  Sometimes, the clients will associate to an AP other than the nearest one, and that causes suboptimal performance.


After some time, it seems, the device sometimes switches over to the closer one.


The behaviour seems device specific and not very consistent.  Another poster suggested upgrading to the latest F/W.  This I did, though I am not sure this will change anything.


We have MSM430 APs and MSM720 controller. All APs are configured identically by the controller. The VSCs are currently WPA(2) PSK but we will be switching to 802.1x for one of the VSCs in the near future.  Sadly, it will not be the one used by phones, which are the devices that mostly have this problem.


My questions:


1. Is there anything I can configure in either the AP or the controller to get clients to work better?


2. Would the mobility license help with this? Should I switch the MSM720 for the premium?



Richard Litchfield
Respected Contributor

Re: want clients use the nearest AP

The AP that the clients connect to is mostly determined by the client. There is not a lot the AP can do but reject client association. Within the VSC, you could potentially remove some of the low speed connection rates (the assumption being that the greater the distance, the slwoer the connection rate). This is probably not generally recommended - other things may also be impacted, specifically broadcast/multicast use slower rates (eg 6Mbps).


On the client, there may be a setting similar to roaming aggressiveness. The client will try and find the AP with the strongest signal, and connect to that. If the roaming aggressiveness is low, the client may try and hang onto an AP even if there is one with a better signal. 


Unfortunately, wireless is a shared medium, and there are many variables that influence its functionality. You may want to investigate other issues such as hidden nodes, non wifi interference, channel overlap, etc.


The premium mobility licence will not change any of the RF type issues. It would provide opportunistic key caching (ie ultra speed roaming) which is a function of the 802.1x system you are going to implement in the future.