Wireless Client Issues Abound!

New here

Wireless Client Issues Abound!

Hello. This past March I took over a network with Meraki wireless.There are a mix of Meraki, Cisco and TP-Link switches. My focus thus for has been standardizing the wired network. There were just a ton of STP topology changed going on constantly. I have these mostly cleared up at this point and my current main issue is reliability of the wireless network. This is my first time working with Meraki.


I have been really busy with some other things and have not been able to investigate the cause when several classrooms at once start having wireless issues. So the fix has been just to reboot the AP's and move on. That's not something I want to continue for long. 


When the problem appears clients seem to be hanging on distant AP's and in the Meraki switches I see a bunch of MAC-Flapping messages. They are always wireless clients. When I spoke to a Meraki engineer he explained I would get a MAC flap if two AP's saw the same client within 10 seconds. But it seems like when this is happening the client is stuck on the far AP and will not associate with the nearer AP. I have tried some tweaks. I set the minimum bitrate to 12 and dropped the range for transmit power since we do have AP's in almost every classroom. This did not seem to resolve the problem. So now I have turned on band-steering, set the minimum bitrate to 18 and dropped the transmit power a little more. 


Just curious of anyone out there has dealt with similar issues. Kids in a classroom will not be able to get internet access, I will see them hanging on to a far AP or just plain unable to associate until I reboot the AP in those classes. Any ideas or advice on other things to try would be greatly appreciated.

8 Replies 8
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

@Weasel87 are the wireless adapters Intel 8260/5 models?


What model APs are having issues, what firmware are you running?

I'm really not sure about the wlan nic models. It is a mix of chromebooks and windows machines that use the wireless here.


The APs are MR16, MR18, MR32 and MR42. All on the latest firmware.

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

@Weasel87 most of those are old APs that don't support any of the latest firmware versions, MR42 is the only one that support 27.x and only MR32 supports even the latest versions of 26.x  Are you on an old 25.x firmware?

Sorry, I mean that each is on the latest firmware available to it. The 16's 18's and 32's are on 26.8.1 and the 42's are on 27.5.

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Are you having the same issues across all APs?  The models you have are quite different and the firmware versions you are using tend to have different problems.

Its random where it happens. Can be any of the models. I have seen it on each. More on the MR32's though.

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

The first thing to note is it is the CLIENT that decides which AP to connect to.


> 16's 18's and 32's


I suspect the issue you are having is because of the mix of technology you have deployed.  You have both WiFi4 and WiFi5 deployed.


I suspect your WiFi5 clients are thinking I can see a WiFi5 AP, even though it is a long way away, so I'm going to use that rather than a much closer WiFi4 AP.



I think the issue will be next to impossible to resolve while using technologies from major generations apart at the same time.

Getting noticed


When clients are sticking to distant APs, is it 2.4GHz or 5GHz that they connect to?


With AP in almost every classroom, have you considered deploying a 5GHz only SSID?


Band steering is great in theory but does not work as well in production. As stated before, clients decide when and where to roam and if 2.4GHz has a better SNR than 5GHz, some clients will keep retrying to connect to a band with stronger SNR. 

Get notified when there are additional replies to this discussion.
Welcome to the Meraki Community!
To start contributing, simply sign in with your Cisco account. If you don't yet have a Cisco account, you can sign up.