Extending Coverage with Aironet 1130AGs

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Sep 9th, 2010
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We have two Aironet 1130AGs in the same office, which are connected to the same router (connected to our ADSL solution). These are currently configured as standalone wireless access points so WifiOne and WifiTwo. We want to have just one wifi hotspot with a single name, say "WIFIAccess" which users can move around in the office between both APs seemlessly without losing access to the internet.

From reading the Aironet FAQs, the suggested approach would be to just set up each AP in AP mode with a different channel (eg. 1 and 6), but with identical SSID and security settings.

Can anyone confirm what is the best way to do this and if this is as simple as it seems. Can this be done solely using the GUI interface?

Many thanks


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dennischolmes Thu, 09/09/2010 - 05:14
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Although this would allow for basic connectivity it would not allow for fast roaming between the access points. To achieve this you would need to configure Wireless Domain Services or WDS. Pleas refer to this Cisco guide on configuring WDS.


This can be somewhat confusing and difficult for the new WLAN user but can be easily configured using this document.

sanman1978 Thu, 09/09/2010 - 05:38
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Thanks for your reply Dennis. When you say it wouldn't allow for fast roaming, what do you mean? I mean would it work as one big hotspot? Would users be able to pass between the two access points without losing network access? We were looking for a quick solution really so just trying to explore if the setup you mentioned was the only solution.


dennischolmes Thu, 09/09/2010 - 05:45
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Without WDS they could roam between access points as long as no security or encryption is used. If you enable encryption, the time to reauthenticate would cause a interruption of service. As just a hotspot you should be ok as long as the SSID is configured exactly the same.

sanman1978 Thu, 09/09/2010 - 17:52
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Thanks again Dennis. Would using one AP as a repeater be a viable alternative solution? The Cisco documentation talks about loss in throughput but would this be a massive issue for just hotspot usage?

dennischolmes Thu, 09/09/2010 - 18:45
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You could use the 1130 as a repeater or meshed via the 5ghz radio but you would lose 1/2 half of the avialable bandwidth. If you repeated through 2 hops your bandwidth would be 1/4th roughly of the original. This would require use of enterprise MESH configuration on a WLC. I'll let the guys who use enterprise MESH sound in on this one as we don't deploy it. We don't consider it very reliable.

sanman1978 Thu, 09/09/2010 - 19:13
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We want to keep it at simple as possible so just using a repeater is probably fine. It's a very simple solution which just allows visitors to the office to connect to a 10mb ADSL line. The only thing that concerns me is that Cisco state that this should only really be used when Cisco aironet clients are connecting to the network as there can be communication issues when connecting to repeaters for non Cisco clients. I expect most of the laptops and mobile devices connecting to the hotspot would not be Cisco. Do you know if this is actually a big issue?


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