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Optimizing client switching between Access Points

New Contributor III
I have a 7372 and R600 is there a way to set this up so that devices pick the AP providing the strongest signal?

I originally set them up with the same SSID but then all devices seemed to pickup on the 7372 instead of the R600, so right now I have two separate SSIDs

New Contributor III
I should have asked if the zone director 1000 supports ac, like the R600 AP?

New Contributor III
One more question - I noticed that Ruckus has released Xclaim...any thoughts on it for home use vs the setup I have?

Valued Contributor II
So just to clarify: For mobile devices and other cases where you really don't care about the difference between AC and N, you can keep a universal SSID that has both AP's. I'd just recommend one specific AC one and then a universal one with all of the AP's.

You can set this up and the "smart-roam" functionality without a ZD; a ZD buys you 802.11k/v/r with ZoneFlex 9.8 and 9.9, which makes roaming a bit smoother.

At this point, the ZD 1000 is EOL'ed supporting FW 9.4 at the latest. It won't support the R600, and FW 9.4 is really old for the 7372 as well.

So like you, I'm a home user as well. I've got a ZD1100 + R700 + R600. I used to do a combo R700 and used ZF7982 network, but the annoyance of clients roaming from AC to N eventually drove me to set up an AC-only network. It's a pricey setup, but at the same time, being able to reliably serve my 120mbit internet connection to all my clients at full speed has made working from home a ton more productive.

For your last question about Xclaim: The Xclaim line hits a great price point, and gives you central management without the need for a controller, which is cost effective for us small-timers. But you still won't get 802.11k/r roaming support (you'll get the equivalent effect of running all your AP's standalone), whether or not that matters. Also, there won't be any BeamFlex -- the Xclaims use traditional omnidirectional antennas, not an adaptive beamforming antenna array like the ZoneFlex series. For me, I live in a crowded apartment complex where my last omnidirectional AC access point basically had a 6 foot effective range, and even if I am just slightly out of sight of the access point, speeds plummeted due to interference. ZoneFlex has been a miracle in being able to combat this interference. My old 2 AP setup was lucky to deliver 10-15mbits to the far corners of my apartment. Now my R600+R700 delivers 200mbit or more of AC throughput everywhere, as well as 50mbit even outdoors around my building!

My recommendation is that it's most cost effective to stick to your setup, and investigate setting up smart-roam and bss-minrate to see if you can encourage better roaming. And in the long run, consider replacing the 7372 with a R500 or R600 to homogenize.

New Contributor III
I'm having no luck finding where to set smart-roam on the R600 or 7372...your guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you for your suggestions...Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and it sounds like my next purchase will be the R500 or another R600

Valued Contributor II
Sure thing -- it's a command line only option. SSH into your AP's IP address and log in.

the relevant commands are :

roam_enable : get roam_enable
-- Get SmartRoam status
roam_enable : set roam_enable {enable|disable}
-- Enable/disable SmartRoam (facilitating roaming for sticky clients)
roam_factor : get roam_factor
-- Get Roam Factor (on 1-10 scale)
roam_factor : set roam_factor
-- Set Roam Factor (on 1-10 scale, lower means stickier)

So first, figure out the names of your wlans with " get wlanlist"

You will likely have at least wlan0 and wlan8 for dual-band one SSID, and probably wlan1 and wlan9 too if you made a separate SSID.

do "set roam_factor wlan0 3", "set roam_factor wlan8 3", and then "set roam_enable wlan0 enable", set "roam_enable wlan8 enable"

The roam factor can be tweaked as you desire. If set too high or with uncooperative clients, it may cause them to be disconnected abruptly while they are using wifi. I've found that 3 is roughly the highest that's tolerable, but it depends on what your clients do. I use my wifi to stream or Airplay mirror all the time, which requires hour(s) of uninterrupted wireless connectivity. If your clients do more casual work, nobody may even notice when the wifi drops out for 1-2 seconds while smart-roam forces the client to connect to a better AP.

Another item that helps with roaming is increasing the "bss-minrate". When a client gets really far from an AP, it may try talking to it at an extremely low data rate, which drags down the whole performance of your network. You can force your network to not support these low rates with "bss-minrate". By disallowing lower data rates, a client finding itself in this situation has no choice but to either disconnect from the AP or roam to a better one. This setting is independent from smart-roam but I've found it to have an additive effect for smaller roam_factors (1 and 2) and be gentler to clients by convincing them they need to roam without the need to abruptly disconnect them. Setting it is very similar: "set bss-minrate wlan0 5500", repeat for all wlans.

Oh yeah, another point of advice: Keep a list somewhere of all of these command-line tweaks you've made. The AP doesn't remember these for you, and there's no way to undo them other than issuing the opposite of every command you issued, or factory-resetting and starting over from scratch.