WAP4410N - Will these ever work properly?

Unanswered Question
Aug 31st, 2011

I have owned one of these for about 2 years now, and have sold many of these to clients.  Luckily, none of them get used too much as they require constant rebooting, and it would appear as though all versions of the firmware are unreliable.  Some simply don't work, other work for a day or two at a time between reboots.

Does anyone have a solution to getting these to work properly?  When I say properly, I mean, you turn it on, configure it and then use it.  That's it.  No rebooting, not even once a year.

Anyone?

I have this problem too.
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Peter_Spencer Thu, 09/01/2011 - 03:40

I have 3 x WAP4410N and had lots of issues. Now they are stable. I think it's the settings below in BOLD that count.

But I did first reset the unit to factory settings; upgrade firmware; restart; and then enter all settings MANUALLY. All as per Cisco instructions. Do not just install the fw over the old fw; and do not import your settings. But I don't think any of this made any difference, but do it anyway for sure.

Here is my config. Anything not mentioned has not been enabled. Settings in BOLD are important I think - and are settings folks have mentioned that have solved issues for them. YMMV.

Static IP address

Force LAN Port Speed to 100M: Enabled

Discovery (By Bonjour): Enabled

Wireless Network Mode: B/G/N Mixed

Wireless Channel: 2

Wireless Isolation: (between SSID: Enabled)

Security Mode: WPA2-Personal

Wireless Isolation: (within SSID: Disabled)

WPA: AES

Pre-shared Key: All lowercase 11 a-z characters. No funny characters or numerals.

Key Renewal: 36000

Wireless Connection Control: Disabled

VLAN: Disabled

Country: UK

Worldwide Mode: Disabled

Channel Bandwidth: 20MHz

Load Balancing: Disabled

b.wakefield Thu, 09/01/2011 - 16:42

Hi Brendan,

I purchased 2 of the WAP4410N's about a month ago, to replace an old Linksys that was needing to be power cycled a couple of times a month.

I installed the WAP4410N and found myself rebooting it a couple of times a day. Not impressed at all. Then I sat and read an entire thead on this site about a ton of other people having similar issues.

I didn't want to even try and solve the problem. I just wanted something that was stable and worked.

To actually return the products to my supplier, I had to get some ID off Cisco (I assume this was a support case ID). So I called Cisco spoke to two overly helpful guys.

I still felt like I was getting the run around. Their suggestion was to download the firmware again off the Support site and do reset using the hardware reset button on the back on the device.

I have done what was asked by Cisco...

To my suprise, after 3 days, it's still running and no-one has had any issue losing their connection... yet. I probably shouldn't say anything... but so far, so good.

At the moment, it's replaced a very basic setup: 1 SSID with 64-bit WEP. After it's run for a week with no problems I'll be adding an additional SSID with WPA2-Enterprise.

So, they might have fixed it with the latest firmware... 2.0.4.2

;-)

Ben

brendan@private... Thu, 09/01/2011 - 17:19

Thanks for the feedback & advice, Peter & Ben.

A few more comments, to fill in the blanks, respond to your specific comments etc.

  • Peter, I did notice your post on a different thread, with the bold text, and thought it was worth a try.  I tried most of the settings, except the 100Mbps.  I didn't want to set the ethernet i/f to 100Mbps.  Only because it seems silly to me that you would connect wireless devices at 130+Mbps and then throttle them down to 100Mbps.  Needless to say, that new SSID, password etc. makes no difference to the reliability.  Now, I do remember reading a long time ago that the problem is actually to do with the ethernet i/f crapping itself; the person posting back then said that all they needed to do was disconnect/reconnect (which is fine if you don't use PoE), and then everything started to work again.  So you didn't actually need to reboot to repair/recover.  I use PoE and have the AP up in the roof soemwhere in the middle of the office.  So, I reset at the Patch Panel.  I'll give the 100Mbps a go....
  • I have recently done the whole reset to factory via the Web UI, not the pinhole - does it make a difference though?  Factory reset == factory reset in my mind.  Trying to avoid having to bring a ladder to work (ever tried to climb on a swivel chair  ), so I used the Web UI.
  • I am running the 2.0.4.2 release.  Every time I found new firmware over the last couple of years, I'd hope that Cisco finally got around to making this device work properly - my old WAP54G at home has been rock solid for about 6-7 years now.
  • Ben, note that if you setup multiple SSIDs in the one AP, you actually split the available bandwidth to the wireless devices; I suppose the 100Mbps setting is not a big deal in this case....

Cheers

brendan@private... Thu, 09/01/2011 - 17:33

Now, for fear of going off early, I made the change to 100Mbps when I started typing the previous reply.  Given the usual interruptions etc. it probably took me about 30 minutes to get the reply typed, and during this time, my laptop has not disconnected once.  Since I performed the 2.0.4.2 upgrade recently, I had been lucky to get any more than 5 minutes continuous connectivity at any given time.

I even started a 3GB file copy from one of our servers to the Desktop, and it is chugging away, one third done and reporting 6 minutes remaining.  Pre the 100Mbps setting, this copy wouldn't even start.

So, I will say with a modicum of confidence, that the 100Mbps setting is the golden setting.

Cheers

-Brendan

Peter_Spencer Thu, 09/01/2011 - 17:41

Hi Brendan,

I would try the 100Mbps for sure. If folks are transferring large files on the LAN, than not having Gigabit is a bit of a pain. But in most situations, folks are just surfing the web (in my case anyway). You will then have to have an internet pipe greater than 100Mbps for that to make any difference! And enough users on the AP to utilise that throughput - and that would be too many for the AP to handle!

I reset one AP (via Web UI and as per Cisco instructions) and not the other. It seemed to make no difference. I'm not sure if the physical pinhole reset makes any difference - but if you are going to do it, you might as well do it that way to be sure.

The WAP4410N is a pile of rebadged Linksys junk that Cisco inherited when they purchased Linksys. I too have had simple home WiFi router working for years in the house and office with no issues! I was thinking of RMA the WAP4410N's that I have, and getting the Cisco AP541N. But I checked the forums here, and they are just as bad!!! Again, Linksys I think.

I don't think that multiple SSIDs split the bandwidth, I think they just share it combined. The Web UI seems to imply that you can assign eg: 75% to one and 25% to another. But if you read the admin guide and online help, what this actually is is the utilisation percentage at which point the SSID will not allow any more connections to stop the AP becoming overwhelmed with connections and slowing down all users.

Good luck! Let us know how you get on.

Peter_Spencer Thu, 09/01/2011 - 18:02

It sort of makes sense that it's the forced 100Mbps setting, as it would mean that it could well depend on the type of switch it's being connected to as to whether a user has issues or not. Thus the AP would work for some folks in Auto Negotiation mode and not for others.

brendan@private... Thu, 09/01/2011 - 23:20

FWIW, it's still working, I'm going home & as far as I'm concerned, this is an acceptable workaround....

Cisco - you still need to fix this so it works at 1Gbps at some stage; sooner than later I would suggest.

b.wakefield Sun, 09/04/2011 - 18:30

Hello,

Almost a full 7 days, and no problems. I've been plugged in to a 100Mbps port since I installed the WAP. None of the settings are locked down -- it's just on Auto.

After the factory reset, the only thing I did was set the IP, SSID and WEP -- I didn't touch anything else.

On Wednesday I'll start moving everyone off WEP, so I'll add an additional SSID and see what happens...

;-)

Ben

brendan@private... Sun, 09/04/2011 - 20:06

Same here Ben.  Mine is still working fine too....longest it has ever run in over 2 years.  I now believe that the 100Mbps setting, or in your case forced/auto 100Mbps due to the physical switch connection, is the setting that makes these units work reliably at present.

Cheers

Peter_Spencer Mon, 10/03/2011 - 17:10

Alas, I have finally RMA'd my 3 WAP4410N Access Points. I tried everything, and followed the Cisco technical instructions to the letter; but still got clients dropping-off and the units needing restarting.

I have purchased Cisco AIR-AP1142N-E-K9 to replace them - and these have been faultless. Same old story - to get good, professional quality, you need to pay.

I think that the bottom line is that the 4410N are just old Linksys boxes designed (badly) for a very small number of users - 2 or 3 in a small office for instance, with no other WiFi units around. Anything more than that and they can't hack it.

I'd like to thank the Cisco folks who have tried to help; and I hope all the problems are a lesson to Cisco on taking over NG kit when they buy another manufacturer out. You can end up just badly damaging your brand.

tremmel21 Fri, 03/02/2012 - 15:06

I just received beta firmware 2.0.5.2 which has corrected my issue. I have about 15 of these units some of them almost daily will drop all wireless clients until it is rebooted. This Beta seems to have fixed my issue. If anyone would like to contact me you can send and email to mikesitservices@atlanticbb.net to discuss.

Well I spoke too soon all wireless clients Just dropped off from one of the problomatic units. I GIVE UP. I rebooted the unit and all came right back online.

tremmel21 Thu, 03/08/2012 - 06:04

I do have an open case the number is 620900101 that is how I obtained the beta firmware 2.0.5.2 it has not corrected my issue at all. I should also point out that I have all of my AP's auto rebooting at 6:00am everyday Via SSH to try to eliminate all of my support calls. Today one of my AP's dropped all of the clients at 11:30 which is only 5 1/2 hours after it was rebooted a 6am. So it would appear that this dropping of clients is a random event. This unit was RMA'd last week and I received a brand new V02 sealed in a box and it does the same thing. This unit is plugged directly into port 2 of a cisco SA520. I am at my breaking point with these darn things.

tremmel21 Thu, 03/08/2012 - 06:14

I changed 2 settings the dhcp lease time on my routers to 7 days (168 hrs). This is the lease time for clients. The AP is set to a static IP address I also changed all of my SSID’s which were in all uppercase letters to all lowercase letters. So far they have not dropped out. But as soon as I hit reply on this  I’m sure something will happen

brendan@private... Thu, 03/08/2012 - 15:59

Don't worry about Beta firmware, just set the Ethernet interface to run at 100Mbps.  I haven't had to restart any WAP4410Ns since I did this on ours & our clients' networks (about 10 units across various sites) since September last year.

Seriously, all up I spent days getting to this solution over many, many months.  Don't waste your time with changing SSIDs or any other setting.  The money setting is the 100Mbps.

Cheers

tremmel21 Thu, 03/08/2012 - 16:04

Unfortunately this setting had no effect whatsoever on my 10 units they all still drop wireless clients. I tested that setting about a week ago.

tremmel21 Thu, 03/08/2012 - 16:05

I do have one question did you set the interface on the switch to 100Mbps or force the AP to operate at 100Mbps from within the AP’s Web Interface?

tremmel21 Thu, 03/08/2012 - 16:18

That is mind blowing. I have tested that setting a week ago and it had no effect I factory reset the test unit and set that setting only and within 5 hours the AP dropped all clients until I rebooted. Now I have implemented all of the settings that was outlined by peter spencer earlier in this forum with the exception of the 100Mbps setting and the APs have been up longer than ever. I am keeping my fingers crossed

rodney0 Tue, 03/13/2012 - 05:46

Guess I am off to support to see if the beta software will solve the channel jumpping problem.

I have about 20 of these things and around 25% of them will channel hop.  I set them to channel 6 and every few minutes they will jump to channel 2.  They will stay there for about 45 seconds and then jump back to channel 6.  By then I have 20 or 30 users that have lost there connections.

I have one question.   How many users will the WAP4410a support at one time?

twooceans Wed, 04/11/2012 - 15:25

I have recently purchased 3 of these units for our offices after chatting with a Cisco Sales Rep online and then having one of them contact me to make the sale.

I installed the units on the 14th of March and have had nothing but problems with them dropping clients until rebooted. I have installed the latest firmware, done factory resets, followed all the different ideas and advise that is posted to try overcome this problem and nothing. The APs have to be rebooted at least twice ever single day.

I have not been able to identify a trigger that causes them to drop the connected clients, it is just random.

Any other ideas or suggestions welcome as my el cheapo Linksys (Cisco) router is out performing these expensive units on every front.

rmanthey Thu, 04/12/2012 - 06:25

Mike,

 

They are still trying to resolve the lockups, or knock off symptoms some clients are getting. They believe they have found the problem but need more sampling to make sure they have pin pointed the root cause of the problem. Anyone with client drops that can do a man-in the middle capture of the wireless communication would help speed up the resolution time.

To do this you can use NetMon in Windows 7 machines.

https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-16398

Please if you have a current case open with this issue please contact your support engineer and supply this information into the case. If you don't have a case please call 1-866-606-1866 and open a case.

Other information that will be requested for this problem is:

Network topology

Physical topology

Wireless scan of wireless interference

config file

and potentially pictures of the location of the device and surrounding equipment.

Cisco Small Business Support Center

Randy Manthey

CCNA, CCNA - Security

twooceans Thu, 04/12/2012 - 08:07

Thanks Randy.

Can you give me a number for a "qualified" support engineer in Panama, Central America?

Regards,

Mike

twooceans Thu, 04/12/2012 - 08:57

Thanks Cindy.... hmm, no Panama on the list.

Am I able to call the US to talk with a Support Engineer or will I get the run around saying I have to deal with someone within my country?

Regards,

Mike

rmanthey Thu, 04/12/2012 - 09:56

Mike,

you can call us, if you have a language preference just choose it within the IVR if available or we can get a translator on the line.

Cisco Small Business Support Center

Randy Manthey

CCNA, CCNA - Security

tremmel21 Thu, 04/12/2012 - 10:20

I’m sorry but I could not afford to have these units in production any longer. They have been removed and replaced about a month ago.

twooceans Wed, 04/18/2012 - 08:29

Maybe if we are all very lucky Cisco will replace their "Lemon" with the new WAP321s

tremmel21 Wed, 04/18/2012 - 08:38

They will only replace then with wap121 the 321 is dual band

Sent from Mikes iPhone

calberts73 Wed, 04/18/2012 - 06:57

So Michael you have no issues with this AP at all? are you using it as a standalone AP or do you have more in your network?

rockry0619 Wed, 04/18/2012 - 18:58

I also had some Internet access problem with WAP4410N.

I've got an answer from Cisco Service team(00308132371), there was a problem with old firmware version(2.0.1.0).

After upgrade to 2.0.4.2, It's working properly.

As I heard from Service team, old firmware have internet access issue with more than 2 WAP4410N.

Is it true?

How can I get some details of old firmware's problem?(ex. sometimes AP cannot handle a data. / There were some communication error with more than 2AP, etc..)

twooceans Thu, 04/19/2012 - 07:42

Hi Sanghyuk,

It is definitely not working properly with 2.0.4.2, I have upgraded both my units and have exactly the same issues as with the older firmware.

Mike

markus_stoneeh Sun, 07/01/2012 - 02:53

I've had this access point for a year or so now. Never upgraded firmware on it, the current version is:

PID VID:  WAP4410N-E V02
Software Version:  2.0.2.1

I've had it running for a couple of months as an access point in my private environment. Simply put, its performance was stunning. I had installed it in an attic with a simple roof with standard roof tiles above it. I would still have a connection both IN my house (through walls/windows) and about in a radius of an average of 100 meters around the house - and all of that with a simple and rather cheap Acer notebook with a MIMO capable 802.11n adapter.

The highlight was that we have a 100, 200 m high hill at approximately 1km distance to our house where there is a nice place with some benches where you'd often walk up to and sit there and look over the valley. It has pretty much line of sight to our house, and distance is approximately 1km, and I still have a connection up there! Only at 1-5 mbit, but my notebook will join our house WLAN from up there. And that is mind you still with the WAP4410N behind a roof, and with standard antennas.

Since then I switched to a Cisco 1250 as my main access point, only because it has way more configuration options, better logging, and is simply put more flexible and professional. It doesn't completely match the performance of the WAP4410N however. I now mostly have E2000s around the house with dd-wrt firmware installed as wireless clients, as that will offer more performance than internal notebook adapters or internal PCI adapters for the PC. On my main computer I wanted a little more performance though, so recently I switched the WAP4410N as a client. What can I say - the E2000 gave me 3-4 mb/s speeds, the 4410N now gives me at least 5 mb/s, sometimes up to 8mb/s. And perhaps most importantly, doing things over the network has become much more responsive.

That through a window and a roof and about 30 meters distance to the AP, with no direct line of sight. If you use cheap hardware you might not even get a connection in that scenario! Let alone a stable connection and adequate speeds. Anyone who has practical experience with WLAN knows that such speeds through obstacles are very rarely ever reached.

On stability: When I had the 4410N in AP mode, I remember it freezing on me probably once a month or so. The Cisco 1250 does exactly the same. There obviously is no AP at any cost that will not hang up from time to time and need to be restarted. In client mode I have no issues with the 4410N either, hasn't frozen on me so far.

I read these went out of production. I have still seen them selling though at some online vendors. I suggest you pick one up while you still can - the newer Linksys APs with the "Exxxx" names with internal antennas can't hold a candle to this impressive piece of kit!

Brian Bergin Tue, 07/03/2012 - 12:49

I can tell you that we have lots of WAP4410N's out there and the key to stablity is forcing them to 100Mb/sec.  We use WPA2 AES with special characters (e.g. #, etc...), but the stability comes by forcing it to 100Mb/sec.  It's not perfect, but it does seem to solve the stability issues, at least for us.  Your mileage may vary...

Brian Bergin

thabet.bakheet Fri, 07/06/2012 - 06:04

Did anyone find the solution for this issue ? forcing it to 100Mbps is not working

i updated the firmware and now i have downgraded the firmware to 2.0.4.2 and test it.

twooceans Fri, 07/06/2012 - 07:59

There are no fixes for this AP and it appears as though Cisco has ZERO interest in fixing it. I have tried flashing it, every different combination possible for configuration and it is still useless. I have tried all the suggestions out there and it is still unstable. We actually have retired them completely after wasting a fortune on purchasing them for all our different businesses.

I have one left sitting on a desk which we are trying to hack and get dd-wrt running on it to try not to lose our entire investment in these APs

Good luck but research anything other than Cisco if you can. And remember that Cisco is now tracking your usage etc with their new firmware upgrades for routers which is another really good case against using their products anymore.

Mike

Brian Bergin Fri, 07/06/2012 - 22:07

Mike,

What exactly do you mean by tracking with new firmware upgrades?  If you're implying Cisco is tracking your day-to-day Internet activity I'd love to see your proof.  If you're talking about the availability of new firmware updates you can easily disable the automatic checking for new firmware in these newer Cisco devices, but other vendors have offered auto checking for upgrades for years and it's a good thing that Cisco has joined them.  This keeps the world safer by ensuring as many as possible are on the current firmware.  People who don't update to the latest patch levels are a huge cause of security breaches. 

You'll also have a very difficult time finding a mainstream vendor who doesn't track their customers' usage of new firmware.  Just be happy Cisco doesn't charge for small business firmware.  Go to any mid-sized or enterprise product like a Cisco ASA (5505 would be an SMB product while 5510 and higher move into enterprise levels) or Juniper NetScreen and try to upgrade the firmware without having a contract. 

I hate you have had such problems with your WAP4410Ns, but I have a good number of them out there, and while they're not the most reliable devices out there, they do work, but like every electronic device out there, they occasionally need rebooted.  It's why I recommend customers run theirs off a PoE switch so they can reboot it from a switch if necessary without having to walk to the other end of a building to do it.

One thing.  Have you confirmed with suppor you have v2 hardware?  If memory serves there were problems with v1 hardware and they swapped a lot of them for v2 hardware for similar reports, though that was a good while ago and these are not even made any more if I'm not mistaken.  Also, have you set both ends to 100/Full (e.g. the WAP4410N and your switch)?  I forgot to mention that you really need both ends forced to 100/Full for that to be effective.

Brian

twooceans Mon, 07/09/2012 - 11:35

Hi Brian,

Here is just one of the articles talking about the tracking of user usage:

http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/07/03/e2700.e3500.e4500.cloud.routers.affected.rollback.possible/

I agree that "occasionally" an AP or Router has to be rebooted but I do not call 3 - 10 times a day, occassionally. Why not just come out with the possibility of a "CRON" job then in the firmware that we can set the APs to reboot themselves every 60 minutes or more often during office hours?

Both ends are forced to to 100/Full but it does not change anything. I have NOT confirmed if my hardware is V1 or V2 but will do so during the course of today and let you know.

Regards,

Mike

Brian Bergin Mon, 07/09/2012 - 14:01

Mike,

We don't use Cisco Home products so I hadn't seen this, but a quick Google search on cisco cloud services eula found a more recent posting:

http://blogs.cisco.com/home/update-answering-our-customers-questions-about-cisco-connect-cloud-2/

Honestly though, anyone who thinks their on-line habits are not tracked regardless of one's Cookie and other "privacy" settings should have much less concern about Cisco keeping firmware updated than what some of the other companies who track online habits.

Anyway, you are correct that you should not have to reboot an AP daily let alone 3-10 times/day. I'm betting you have v1 hardware. I'd call support and see if they'll exchange them with v2 hardware (assuming you're still on Cisco's firmware, no vendor will swap hardware that's had its factory authorized firmware swapped out). They did that a while back, a couple years ago or more I think, so I'm not sure if they'll do it this far into the product's live (it's EOL'd if I'm not mistaken).

Good luck...

Brian

ultramagnes23 Thu, 12/13/2012 - 09:50

I'm in the same boat with these things. we have one at our office and have configured them at many different clients. Each one we've had to "massage" the settings to make them as stable as possible similar to the settings mentioned above. Most of our clients are aware of the wifi issues and have no problem power cycling the devices when they can't connect. Others, tho, want it fixed. This is what i've found will fix them, for good GUARANTEED:

THE "EXPENSIVE" WAY:

  • Call up your reseller, complain and get it RMA'd
  • If your reseller wont take it and its less than a year old, call up CISCO Tech Support or RMA line and get it replaced (but NOT with another WAP4410n)
  • Pay the difference for a CISCO WAP321. The difference is about $60, WAP321 doesn't have external antena's, it has all the same features, and it works.

THE CHEAP WAY:

  • Take the divice OFF of PoE and use a power brick (or wire the AP's to a dedicated PoE switch)
  • "Massage" the settings to get the AP working for at least a whole day
  • Drive down to your local Dollar General and buy a 99 cent christmas light timer
  • Set the timer to "reboot" the AP (or PoE switch) every night at bar time

Both of these have fixed our problems.

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