How to Check and Improve Signal Strength (Range)

Unanswered Question
Apr 3rd, 2010


I have a Cisco Aironet 801 access point running IOS 124-10b.JDA3.  I have a client that successfully connects, but only at about 30% signal strength.  The host is using a dual band N card.  The access point is about 60 feet away with a few household walls in the way.  Neither the access point nor the host can change positions.

I'd appreciate any help or insight as to how I can go about attacking this problem with configuration changes.   Attached is a copy of my AP config.

As well, I'd appreciate any commands that I can run to check signal strength to that host (or any host for that matter) on the access point.  All of my data about signal strength information up to this point has been from the host's network card.  I'd like to see that information from the AP's perspective.

I will highly rate helpful responses.  Thank you!

James E

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jaesposito Sat, 04/03/2010 - 14:45

If it helps, the Aironet web interface tells me the following about the host in question:

Station Information                                  and Status

Signal Strength (dBm)
Connected For (sec)
Signal to Noise (dBm)
Activity TimeOut (sec)

Key Mgmt type
Last Activity (sec)

Receive/Transmit  Statistics
Total Packets Input
Total Packets Output
Total Bytes Input
Total Bytes Output
Duplicates Received
Maximum Data Retries
Decrypt Errors
Maximum RTS Retries

I dont know how to pull this info up at the command line.

James E

Leo Laohoo Sat, 04/03/2010 - 16:47
The access point is about 60 feet away with a few household walls in the way.

"n" is well known to be able to bounce around walls, like hallways, but it's not known to be able to go through solid brick and concrete/cinder block walls.

801 AP would mean that you have either the newer 860W/880W/890W ISRs.  Try downloading Netstumbler.  There's a number of reasons why RSSI and SNR is that low.  You could either have channel interference from neighboring Wi-Fi, house walls built like a bunker or simply the range.   I mean 60 feet may be a straight line but add a few corners here and there ...

Although I'd prefer to be -65dBm and lower but -70dBm is acceptable.

jaesposito Sun, 04/04/2010 - 13:32

I have a Cisco 881W, which has a AP201 built-in.

So here are the neighboring networks:

My network is "FrankRizzo" and is the only one on Channel 1.  I put it on Channel 1 to avoid any contention with the others.  If you have any other suggestions on how I can increase the Signal strength better than 28%, I'd be interested to know.


James E

jaesposito Tue, 04/06/2010 - 17:07

Any other thoughts on how I can improve my signal?

Maybe some config tweaks?

Also, do you know if Cisco makes a high gain antenna for the 881W?



Leo Laohoo Tue, 04/06/2010 - 17:13

How about getting another AP and configuring it to be a repeater or get a 3rd party signal booster?

gabrielsagredo Mon, 04/12/2010 - 13:39

Make sure your AP is configured for MAX power

config t

interface dot11[Enter your Radio Interface]

power local ofdm max


write mem

Double check that your clients driver is also set to the max output power it supports.

You may also have other devices that are wireless that are using the 2.4ghz such as a cordless phone or microwave that is above 1000watts.

jaesposito Mon, 04/12/2010 - 13:48

Thanks.  Is there a 'show' command that I can run to check out the current power settings for my radio interface?

Also, is there a 'show' command that will show me the wireless connection stats for a client?  I know that you should be able to see this on the client end.  However, the Linksys wmp600n does not have any software that provides detailed connection stats to my surprise and disappointment.

Thanks again,

James E

gabrielsagredo Mon, 04/12/2010 - 14:01



show dot11 association [Client mac address - xxxx.xxxx.xxxx]

that will show you all connection information for the specified client

you can also do a

show dot11 association all

this will show you all of your clients connected and thier connection information

jaesposito Mon, 04/12/2010 - 14:03

Thank you!

Is there a 'show' command that I can run to check out the current power  settings for my dot11 radio interface?

James E

gabrielsagredo Mon, 04/12/2010 - 14:08

sho run interface dot11Radio[Your Radio interface]

If it doesn't say what power lever you are transmitting at its at the default mW.

You can do a

show controller dot11

and that will give you a ton of info on your radios settings.

jaesposito Mon, 04/12/2010 - 18:47

Interesting enough, that command has a small syntax issue.  Here are the results:


ap(config-if)#power local ofdm max
% Invalid input detected at '^' marker.


Here are my options after "local":

ap(config-if)#power local ?
  <8 - 17>  One of: 8 11 14 15 17
  maximum   Set power to allowed maximum

Should I just go with "power local max" or something more specific?


James E

anderson_araujo1 Thu, 07/21/2016 - 10:41

Hi Mohanak

Sorry about the delay, I had personal problems
Sorry about the delay, I had personal problems

I have two access point and both are with the weak signal and I do not
the option to configure the channels 11, 12, 13, 14

It is currently showing an error

Aironet Extensions Enabled
Carrier Set Americas
Configured Radio Channel 2452 MHz Channel 9
Transmitter Power error
Active Radio Channel 2452 MHz Channel 9
Channel Width 20 MHz

what I need to do to improve the signal strength?


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