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EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

DaveIRE
Aspirant

EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

I know the EX8000 supports smart roaming using the 802.11k standard, however I need to know if this only works when using the unit in extender mode or if it also applies when you are using it in AP mode via a wired connection?

Anyone any experience with roaming in AP mode?
Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 1 of 11
ChrisL1971
Guide

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

In AP mode i've no problem then i walk around the house.. the IP number and MAC of the client remains te same(one subnet for all AP's + router) and that is sufficient.

 

Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 2 of 11
DaveIRE
Aspirant

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

Hey ChrisL1971,

What is the router you are roaming to and from with the EX8000? Does it also support 802.11k?

With any luck Netgear will implement 802.11v and r as well as 802.11k on the EX8000.
Message 3 of 11
ChrisL1971
Guide

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

My router is a R7800

Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 4 of 11
schumaku
Guru

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

Wireless STA can switch in a reasonable time from one AP STA to another AP/router STA usually. For this, the advanced modes are not required - no doubts that this does basically work - without 802.11k, 802.11v and 802.11r. 

 

However, for truly seamless roaming, especially with multiple AP STA in reach, there is no way around 802.11k Radio Resource Management (RRM) and 802.11r aka. fast BSS transition (FT) also called fast roaming. This will allow ongoing VoIP calls or video streams while changing BSS.

Message 5 of 11
schferenc
Aspirant

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

Hi, 

I have the same issue with EX8000 in AP mode. I have two EX8000 connected to my wired network as access points. The performance and the coverage is great, however my clients does not roam from one AP to the other one. I have several android clients and I'm using Wifi Analizer. It clearly shows the SSID name and the MAC addresses behind the ssid name. In my setup I can see 4 MAC addresses (2 times 2 5GHz radio). I can also see the mac for the AP where my client is connected. Even if there is very big signal strenght difference (ie 25-30dBm), my android still connects to the far end AP (instead of the closer one). In the EX8000's config page I could not see any options for smart roaming (maybe it is not available in AP mode) nor any settings related to minimum RSSI. Any idea, how can my clients roam smarter between the APs?

Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 6 of 11
ChrisL1971
Guide

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode


@schferenc wrote:

Hi, 

I have the same issue with EX8000 in AP mode. I have two EX8000 connected to my wired network as access points. The performance and the coverage is great, however my clients does not roam from one AP to the other one. I have several android clients and I'm using Wifi Analizer. It clearly shows the SSID name and the MAC addresses behind the ssid name. In my setup I can see 4 MAC addresses (2 times 2 5GHz radio). I can also see the mac for the AP where my client is connected. Even if there is very big signal strenght difference (ie 25-30dBm), my android still connects to the far end AP (instead of the closer one). In the EX8000's config page I could not see any options for smart roaming (maybe it is not available in AP mode) nor any settings related to minimum RSSI. Any idea, how can my clients roam smarter between the APs?


HI There is no way to push a client to pick a other AP. Turn of the fair away AP and it will connect the closer one or wait till it find it him self..(and that can take sometimes 15 min or more ).

Message 7 of 11
schferenc
Aspirant

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

Hi,

 

based on this article: https://kb.netgear.com/000059680/What-is-Smart-Roaming-and-how-does-it-work-with-my-Nighthawk-Pro-Ga...

I think the EX8000 supports 802.11k which means the client (if it supports too) will re-connect to the closer AP. The only question is (I'll evaluate this evening) whether it works in AP mode too (just enable the one wifi name feature and it will work in AP mode as wll), or the EX8000 should be configured as extender to allow smart roaming. I dont believe such expensive toys does not support such a great feature (smart roaming). I'll update this post later on...

Model: EX8000|AC3000 Nighthawk X6S Tri Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 8 of 11
schferenc
Aspirant

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode

Hi,

as I promised I've made some testing with my EX8000s configured as access points. One Wifi Name is enabled. So even tough that EX8000 officially supports 802.11r fast roaming feature and my tested client (Galaxy S7) also supports the fast roaming (see this article: https://support.samsungknox.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013403768-Enhanced-Roaming-Algorithm), the client does not want to roam to the closer AP. This is the signal strenght diagram, you can see, that even tough the closer AP has significantly higher signal strenght, my client still linked to the fare end AP.

 

Screenshot_20181120-075758_WiFiman.jpg

 

In some cases the client changed the AP correctly within 1-2 seconds, in other cases it sticked to the far AP for more than 15 mins. I'm still consider this AP as a great product, because the total througput is more than 550Mbit/s with single client. Even if my clients connects to the wrong (far) AP, I could get ~200Mbit/s from them, which is fine.

But still, Netgear, please correct this behavior in the coming fw updates, and enable 802.11r fast roaiming in AP mode as well!

Message 9 of 11
StephenB
Guru

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode


@schferenc wrote:

Hi,

as I promised I've made some testing with my EX8000s configured as access points. One Wifi Name is enabled. So even tough that EX8000 officially supports 802.11r fast roaming feature and my tested client (Galaxy S7) also supports the fast roaming (see this article: https://support.samsungknox.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013403768-Enhanced-Roaming-Algorithm), the client does not want to roam to the closer AP. This is the signal strenght diagram, you can see, that even tough the closer AP has significantly higher signal strenght, my client still linked to the fare end AP.

 


Of course that is up to the client, not the EX8000.  802.11k just gives the client information.  802.11r just provides a faster way to switch networks when the client chooses to switch.

 

Did you take a trace and see if 802.11k was in use?

Message 10 of 11
ChrisL1971
Guide

Re: EX8000 802.11k when in AP mode


@schferenc wrote:

 

 

In some cases the client changed the AP correctly within 1-2 seconds, in other cases it sticked to the far AP for more than 15 mins. I'm still consider this AP as a great product, because the total througput is more than 550Mbit/s with single client. Even if my clients connects to the wrong (far) AP, I could get ~200Mbit/s from them, which is fine.

But still, Netgear, please correct this behavior in the coming fw updates, and enable 802.11r fast roaiming in AP mode as well!


I think it's about load distribution between AP's as well.. So you should prevent any other device to connect to the near one as well otherwise it starts to distribute the load... even is there is little to no trafic..

Message 11 of 11
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