Troubleshooting made easy – fixing your Wi-Fi

Your wireless channels are creaking and crackling. Data packets are transmitting at snail’s pace, or not at all. The 5-GHz band is unusable, and the customer is unhappy. So what’s going on? Interference in your wireless LAN! For an IT admin this can mean troubleshooting their Wi-Fi, a tedious job that eats up considerable amounts of working time.

But Wi-Fi troubleshooting by trial and error is now a thing of the past thanks to the new feature, WLAN anomaly detection. Using the LANCOM Management Cloud, IT admins have a full overview of any faults. Possible sources of error can be identified with just a few clicks.

WLAN anomaly detection: Troubleshooting made easy

There can be any number of reasons for poor quality Wi-Fi: Overcrowded channels, neighboring wireless networks, difficult structural conditions, or interference from Bluetooth or other radio devices. Quickly identifying the effects of these on the performance of a network is not always easy. The faster you can see where and why your Wi-Fi is under-performing, the sooner you can eliminate the anomaly.

How this cloud feature works is very simple but highly efficient. Wi-Fi devices managed in the LANCOM Management Cloud are not only managed; they are also monitored full-time. With WLAN anomaly detection enabled, metrics based on certain parameters are monitored at regular time intervals—completely automatically. If values are detected that lay outside the set parameters, the LMC will raise the alarm. And it’s an alarm call that’s unmissable: The dashboard displays a notice you can see at a glance, the location is marked on the map, and an e-mail is sent to the admin. Troubleshooting made easy. At any time the admin can customize the threshold values and reconfigure the intervals. But let’s take a look at what is monitored by WLAN anomaly detection and what the possible error sources may be:

A congested channel

When data is transmitted over the Wi-Fi, the various clients share a limited number of channels. Each client listens on their channel and can only transmit when it is free. With very high loads on the channel, a client has fewer opportunities to send any data. At the same time the risk of packet collision increases, which makes it necessary to send the data again. The consequence: Higher latency and less bandwidth for all of the clients. When the WLAN anomaly detection reports excessive load on a channel, the admin should act as soon as possible.

Noise and low transmission quality

WLAN anomaly detection also measures the amount of noise within the frequency ranges. Excessive noise can detriment the Wi-Fi  so seriously that a receiver is unable to process the data packets, which have to be transmitted again. The result of this is chopped-up speech, high latencies and low bandwidth.

Anomaly detection also monitors the Wi-Fi’s transmission quality. A drop in an AP’s performance leads to lower speeds, higher latencies, and more packet loss. Here too, you need to act quickly.

Sorry, no signal

The WLAN anomaly detection also monitors signal quality. The signal strength denotes the capacity of an AP to receive data at a particular point in time. Anomaly detection gains its overview by monitoring all of the data packets that an AP “sees” properly. If a large number of data packets are not received correctly, the anomaly detection feature issues an alert. What the admin has to do now is root-cause analysis.

Proactive action

As described here, the LANCOM Management Cloud offers admins all sorts of practical information about the possible cause of problems. For direct troubleshooting, potential solutions are also displayed as a way to effectively resolve the anomaly. A major benefit for any admin is transparency.  Detecting problems in a Wi-Fi is all well and good, but displaying potential causes of interference even before they impact the Wi-Fi and are noticed by users? Extremely practical target/actual comparisons help you here. This helps you to keep the overview at all times, even in complex and dynamically changing radio networks. Learn more about the many management options on the LANCOM website and how to use zero-touch deployment.

In a subsequent blog post we will go into the causes of high channel load, strong noise, low broadcast quality, etc. You will also find out what you can do to solve these problems.

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