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Question

How to know which access point to purchase

by foggysail / July 10, 2016 8:24 PM PDT

I keep my boat at a marina that provides free wifi but there are problems. There are areas where signal strength is strong but cannot log into the system. I believe the problem is related to the excessive use of repeaters on the system to cover all the docks.

Last year I used a Ubiquiti Bullet along with an antenna to gain access by doing a site survey and selecting various repeaters until I found one that worked. But I have bricked too many Bullets and now refuse to purchase another!

I need to find an access point that allows me to do a site survey and select individual repeaters until I find one that works. So far I came across only one... Netgear WNAP320 which is way above my capability to use. This thing is call an access point but seems to only allow setup in bridge mode.

I desperately need some suggestions--

Thanks
Foggysail (Joe)

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All Answers

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Answer
Here's what I use for a site survey.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2016 9:50 PM PDT

It's my tool of choice. It's an Android phone with WiFi Analyzer.

As to your question, I use routers as WAPs. I never deploy repeaters since they caused way too many callbacks.

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Reply
by foggysail / July 11, 2016 1:46 PM PDT

I should have make my original post clearer. I am not in need of a general site survey but a router/access point that can view all available links along with their signal strength and Mac addresses and select a particular one to logon.

My problem is whomever set up the marina's wifi has numerous repeaters, each of course with their own macs. So far so good! But the guy used the same SSID for all of the repeaters and there is no way for my laptop to screen a particular Mac that I know of. As a result, everybody on the dock sees strong wifi signal from the SSID but most of the time (99%) we go without Internet.

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The only gear that did that was
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 11, 2016 1:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply

Enterprise level gear from Cisco. But they built a software system to do what you asked and it's neatly in the 5 to 6 figure range. Such a deployment runs into 6 figures once you get into the engineering and the gear.

So for mere mortals, I have yet to see any consumer gear that does what you asked.

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Replying
by foggysail / July 11, 2016 2:12 PM PDT

Well no, there are other things that do this made by Ubiquiti. But I am tired of purchasing their junk Bullet. The problem with Ubiquiti is there is very little product support and it only takes one screw up to brick their Bullet. The Bullets are in the $75 range but as I stated, they'll easily brick plus there is little support.

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Which means
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 11, 2016 2:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Replying

You may have to do this the old fashioned way or build out your own network.

Yes, I've heard of Ubiquiti but it doesn't seem on par with Cisco enterprise networks.

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Ubiquiti not
by foggysail / July 11, 2016 4:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Which means

Certainly NOT on par with many networking companies. But Ubiquiti is a different topic. When I return to the dock in a week or so I am going to ask the guy that setup the network to change the SSIDs to allow users to be repeater selective. That is the true issue rather than me searching for a solution to a poor configuration.

I do enjoy the forum and thanks for taking time to respond.

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That's one of those things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 11, 2016 5:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Ubiquiti not

When I deploy I never use the SAMESSID method. I know folk that think if the SSID and passwords are all the same they could seamlessly roam but my experience is that it's a mess.

I let the users howl they need to enter the password as they roam the first time.


What I meant to write is some networkers insist on the same SSID system wide. My choice to be old fashioned about it.

Post was last edited on July 11, 2016 5:04 PM PDT

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