Inter(net)nship project (lots of issues to fix)

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Chazzwazz92

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Hello guys,

For to explain what is my problem I think its best to explain the whole situation.
Im currently in a internship in a small-medium company and they assigned me to fix some issues with their internet, they told to do what i can, but I should not worry if I say i cant do it. I consider the task really challenging but I like the idea of finally putting into practice what i've studied from the books. Here is what they wish to fix:

-They want to have 2 vlans, one for employees and the other for customers and interns.
*What they have currently is something i've never seen before. They have one ISP that gives them 20 Mb, the cable from the ISP is connected to some sort of splitter, from this splitter 2 cables come out ,later connect to a router each(one cable before connecting to a router its connected to another splitter for a telephone), one of the router provides for employess and the other for customers. After accessing both routers i've noticed that the data stream is not divided equally, from those 20 Mb, one gets 14 and the other gets 6.
(I can post photos of the cabling if needed)

-They want to upgrade the signal strength.
*The office is around 300 square meters (3200 square feet), one level , and the routers are located both in one end of the office, leaving the opposite side signal strength a little bit weak.

-They want to fix the "no internet" issue that happens when there is a lot of activity in the office
*When this happens, almost always with the customer/interns connection, all devices connect but only some can use internet

list of devices they are using :

-NetiaSpot -1 router
-NetiaSpot -1b router
Both routers are from the isp

Number of devices:
-avg 30 laptops (40 max)
-avg 30 cell phones (40 max)
-2 printers

Use of internet:
-There is no excessive use of internet such as downloads or big file uploads.(Images are the biggest)

Personel:
-14 employees
-avg 16 interns+clients

All devices are connected via wireless except for 2 printers, and all the cell phones use the client/intern network.


What i current have in mind is maybe getting rid of both routers, since i believe the routers cant handle so much traffic and thats why sometimes there is this blockade to the internet for some devices, and purchasing a heavier duty router will prevent that data traffic.

Sorry for my english and thank you for your time!
 

zx10guy

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The number of wireless devices being discussed here is a lot for any run of the mill wireless router to handle (especially one that an ISP gives away as part of your service). This is above and beyond the wireless coverage issue.

Are they giving you an actual budget to implement changes?
 

zx10guy

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I wouldn't focus on getting an all in one wireless router for your situation. What I would recommend is turning off the wireless functionality of the current wireless router combo and get a better wireless system to connect into that router. Some good wireless systems are Aerohive, Aruba Networks (their Instant AP system), Meraki, and Ubiquiti. You can set up two APs in this office situation and have them operate as one unified wireless system. These wireless systems also have the ability to set up a guest wireless network which can be totally managed with the office wireless network. These systems also offer a captive portal option to require guests to accept a terms of use to protect your company against possible misuse of your guest access from a legality stand point.
 

Chazzwazz92

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I wouldn't focus on getting an all in one wireless router for your situation. What I would recommend is turning off the wireless functionality of the current wireless router combo and get a better wireless system to connect into that router. Some good wireless systems are Aerohive, Aruba Networks (their Instant AP system), Meraki, and Ubiquiti. You can set up two APs in this office situation and have them operate as one unified wireless system. These wireless systems also have the ability to set up a guest wireless network which can be totally managed with the office wireless network. These systems also offer a captive portal option to require guests to accept a terms of use to protect your company against possible misuse of your guest access from a legality stand point.
Here is an update, there isnt a lack of signal strength(that was what they told me), I've checked with the cell phone and laptop and signal "meters" show that they have mid reception. I think the readon why they have no internet its because the number of devices connected is too high.
This changes my problem, righ?
 

zx10guy

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Here is an update, there isnt a lack of signal strength(that was what they told me), I've checked with the cell phone and laptop and signal "meters" show that they have mid reception. I think the readon why they have no internet its because the number of devices connected is too high.
This changes my problem, righ?
I never said anything about the equipment I'm recommending were to solve a signal strength/coverage issue. As you said, the number of wireless devices you have on your network is definitely too much for basic SOHO wireless routers. Depending on the enterprise AP, these devices can also have a limitation on how many devices they can support being associated with them. Some of the enterprise level APs I've worked with have been said to have been tested to support 50 wireless devices with light weight network traffic profiles.

When you plan out a business level wireless network, you no longer work under the paradigm of trying to blast out the strongest signal you can. It's about understanding the devices and applications the wireless network must support and then do CAPACITY planning and not COVERAGE planning. If you see a proper wireless network in an office setting, you'll see multiple APs spread across the office. These APs are not being deployed so the company can have the claim to fame for being able to "shout" out the loudest RF signature. The multiple APs is to allow for proper load balancing and capacity on the network. Because there are a few of them over a specific spacing, the need to have APs crank out their RF output is negated. This allows APs to support fewer clients as the load can be spread across multiple APs. This is where a unified wireless system's features of steering client associations to specific APs based on load of a specific AP and the signal quality comes in to play. You won't get any of these features with a cheap wireless router; even ones hacked with custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT. Because there are more APs in the system operating as a single logical one, you can now have fault tolerance in the system if one AP goes down, the others will pick up the slack from that one dead AP. It will also allow your wireless network to support really intensive applications/protocols such as multicast traffic, VoIP, streaming, or any application which requires extensive air time.

One thing you need to keep in mind, wireless operates like a half duplex network. When a wireless device is talking (whether it be the AP or the wireless client), no other wireless device can begin talking until the one currently talking finishes. Some manufacturers call this air time fairness. There is a new feature being rolled out called multi user MIMO which helps address some of the problems with this half duplex nature of wireless. Also, the faster wireless speeds isn't about raw speed in moving data between the client and the AP. While it's great you can move data faster between devices, the main effect it has on the overall wireless network is to have devices get on and off the RF space faster so it opens up the communication channel for another device to communicate.
 

Chazzwazz92

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When you plan out a business level wireless network, you no longer work under the paradigm of trying to blast out the strongest signal you can. It's about understanding the devices and applications the wireless network must support and then do CAPACITY planning and not COVERAGE planning. If you see a proper wireless network in an office setting, you'll see multiple APs spread across the office. These APs are not being deployed so the company can have the claim to fame for being able to "shout" out the loudest RF signature. The multiple APs is to allow for proper load balancing and capacity on the network. Because there are a few of them over a specific spacing, the need to have APs crank out their RF output is negated. This allows APs to support fewer clients as the load can be spread across multiple APs. This is where a unified wireless system's features of steering client associations to specific APs based on load of a specific AP and the signal quality comes in to play. You won't get any of these features with a cheap wireless router; even ones hacked with custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT. Because there are more APs in the system operating as a single logical one, you can now have fault tolerance in the system if one AP goes down, the others will pick up the slack from that one dead AP. It will also allow your wireless network to support really intensive applications/protocols such as multicast traffic, VoIP, streaming, or any application which requires extensive air time.
I think I finally understand.

So when we say there is a limit to connected devices to a router, its not because of the working lmit capacity of the router handling each device, its because of wifi capacity?

So if I add APs to my network,my problem should be solved?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, and thank you for taking your time for answering my questions
 

zx10guy

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In general, even lowly SOHO wireless routers can keep up with the actual packet forwarding of the majority of networks out there. The bottleneck is typically the WAN circuit.

What I would do to double check to see if your router isn't contributing to the issues is to perform a few tests.

First, from the wireless clients when you start seeing Internet connectivity issues, is to do a Ping test to the router to see if you have communication there. If you don't get ICMP replies back and the wireless connection is good, then chances are you're dealing with a wireless congestion issue and what I talked about above should help.

Second, while there are issues with Internet connectivity, I would try to see if you have access via a device plugged via a LAN port to the router and see if you have access or at a minimum be able to ping the router.

Doing those two tests should yield some good answers to your problem.
 

Chazzwazz92

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Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
10
In general, even lowly SOHO wireless routers can keep up with the actual packet forwarding of the majority of networks out there. The bottleneck is typically the WAN circuit.

What I would do to double check to see if your router isn't contributing to the issues is to perform a few tests.

First, from the wireless clients when you start seeing Internet connectivity issues, is to do a Ping test to the router to see if you have communication there. If you don't get ICMP replies back and the wireless connection is good, then chances are you're dealing with a wireless congestion issue and what I talked about above should help.

Second, while there are issues with Internet connectivity, I would try to see if you have access via a device plugged via a LAN port to the router and see if you have access or at a minimum be able to ping the router.

Doing those two tests should yield some good answers to your problem.
Will do this today, Thank you so much!

EDIT: Ok, they just informed me that during these days (10) there is going to be less people due to vacation, which means, that the issues are very unlikely to happen, is there a way to check what you've mentioned by creating "virtual devices" for to simulate a normal work day and try to trigger connections problems?
 
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