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Windows 7: Random Performance Degradation w/ Office WiFi on AirPort Express APs

01 Aug 2013   #1
MrPsiko

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise
 
 
Random Performance Degradation w/ Office WiFi on AirPort Express APs

Greetings all, I've been a longtime lurker and finally bit the membership bullet in order to ask this question.

I work in an office of ~40 people where almost every user has a laptop connected to one of two wireless APs. We have an Apple AirPort Express 2nd Generation AP in each wing of the divided office, both feeding into our Cisco RV220 router/vpn station and broadcasting the same SSID name. We have a business-class broadband package with a static IP. The APs are broadcasting with the 802.11n standard on the 2.4GHz spectrum. Both are running firmware version 7.6.2 (not the latest).



Every few weeks, users in one half of the office (connected to one of dispersed APs) suddenly experience dramatic connection problems. They maintain a connection and IP address, but the link speeds drop to between 11 and 18 Mbps. Our laptops normally connect at 48 or 54 Mbps, so the drastic change impacts remote RDP sessions, Join.Me conferences and general productivity. I've gotten in the habit of rebooting each AP when any connectivity issues arise.


Several weeks ago I changed the broadcast channel on one AP to channel 1; previously, both had been broadcasting on channel 6. The fact that we have several neighbor wireless networks on channels 6 and 11 prompted the change in hopes of reducing crosstalk. Both APs are transmitting at 100% power, so I've considered dropping the power to 50% for the AP located in the largest open space. The other one serves users through multiple walls.

Aside from our obvious need to upgrade our overburdened access points, do you have any other troubleshooting steps for me to try? I'd be happy to provide additional information; I'm not sure if I've supplied too much or not enough. Thanks for any assistance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Aug 2013   #2
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums,

Are you or someone keeping track of the employees web activities? Do you have policy restrictions on unwanted sites (P2P, Video streaming, gaming, etc.)? Might want to look into this and find out if some of your employees are hogging bandwidth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #3
MrPsiko

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise
 
 

Thanks for the response, I appreciate your time. We currently don't have any monitoring system in place. At various times of the day we have many of the developers remotely connecting to off-site computers, though at times user-to-user screen sharing (via GoToMeeting, Skype, etc.) becomes untenable. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the addition of YouTube and audio streaming services further degrades our network speed. I personally use Songza heavily and many others use similar services; as in many offices, lunch sees a variety of internet videos displayed.

All in all, I think we're pushing the limits of what our consumer-grade APs can handle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2013   #4
2xg

Win7 & Win8 64bit
 
 

There's your answer there..... Songza utilize bandwidth heavily along with other music/video/movie streaming and internet radios. This should be NOT allowed in your company.

I'd recommend a security/firewall device, top notch in my list is Sonicwall, you may block unwanted sites, ports and the device has advance content filtering (see specs for complete detail). I wouldn't let any employees do any personal stuff during business hours, that's a lot of loss in $$$ your company.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Random Performance Degradation w/ Office WiFi on AirPort Express APs




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