Showing posts from December, 2010

Setting Data Rates - Just (Don't) Do It.

A common conundrum for enterprise WLAN administrators is guest access. You often want or need to provide it, but you want to make sure the guest WiFi has a minimal effect on the internal network. One way that people try to limit guest access is by specifying low speeds, but that is a bad idea that usually causes the internal WiFi to be worse off than it should be.

I was doing some work at a hotel in the Chicagoland area recently when I came upon another example of bad guest WiFi. Bad guest WiFi is quite common, but this one was avoidable. I've seen bad guest WiFi because of under-covered areas and because of over-covered areas. I've seen some guest WLANs with  over-saturation of stations and others with under-saturation of broadband.

As with any WiFi design, there is a little bit of art in the science. You have to look at numbers like signal-to-noise ratio and users-per-channel but in the spaces where desired numbers collide, the owner of the WLAN has to make good choices in a…

If It Ain't Broke, Fix It

In life, the opposite side of intellectualism is sometimes a good place to be. Analyzing a WLAN is not one of those times.
When someone tells you that a boring movie is great because it was shot well or that a nil-nil draw in football (world, not American) was thrilling because of all the close chances, the best idea is often to sit back, draw a creamy bowl of vanilla ice cream and tell that nerd that you don't need a P.H.D. to know what makes you happy. This type of anti-intellectualism is almost certainly born as a rebellion against deep analysis (perhaps making the rest of this blog post intrinsically ironic). Sometimes, though, deep analysis is needed to prevent festering problems from bubbling over at bad times.
It takes no great insight to point out that there is a penalty to eschewing analysis. The man who  avoids Oscar-bait movies may miss a work of great emotional power. Disregarding scoreless football matches would have caused fans to miss the most thrilling match of the 2…