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The proper Cisco AP configuration for roaming clients

Core Issue

Roaming is part of the IEEE 802.11b specification and is fully supported by default on Cisco APs.

Resolution

Additional configuration of the Cisco Aironet Access Point (AP) is not necessary to allow clients to roam. However, if the Cisco APs are connected to switches, multicast must be permitted between those switchports.

If there is more than one Cisco AP in the wireless LAN, wireless client devices can roam seamlessly from one AP to another. The roaming functionality is based on signal quality, not proximity. When the signal quality drops, it roams to another AP.

Wireless LAN users are sometimes concerned when a client device stays associated to a distant Cisco AP instead of roaming to a closer AP. However, if a client signal to a distant Cisco AP remains strong and the signal quality is high, the client does not roam to a closer AP. In fact, to check constantly for closer Cisco APs is inefficient. The extra radio traffic would slow throughput on the wireless LAN.

Note: To achieve seamless roaming, all of the Cisco APs must be configured considering the fact that they are on the same subnet.

For more information about roaming and how to extend the coverage area, refer to WLAN Radio Coverage Area Extension Methods.

Problem Type

Configure / Configuration issues

Products

Access point

IOS Errors, Warnings, Statistics and Log Messages

DOT11-6-ROAMED: Station [mac-address] Roamed to [mac-address]

VxWorks Errors, Warnings, Statistics and Log Messages

Station [hostname][MAC address] roamed

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎06-22-2009 04:36 PM
Updated by: