Recently, Rowell joined NetAlly on a webinar to discuss common Wi-Fi issues caused by wired problems.
Often times, Wi-Fi gets blamed for nearly every networking problem. But after doing some troubleshooting the issue comes from the wired infrastructure.
We take a look at four common issues that look like Wi-Fi issues but are really wired problems.
You can also catch the webinar on YouTube.
Common problems occur during switch provisioning. Your installer connects the AP to the switch but it’s not working properly. The main IT contact is not there on-site and users are beginning to get frustrated.
It’s possible the AP was plugged into the wrong port but sometimes it’s not easy to trace the cable. You want to know if the switch port is configured properly. Maybe it’s an access port when it should be a trunk port.
We’ve used the NetAlly EtherScope nXG to leverage CDP or LLDP to find out which switch and port it’s connected to. It’s part of the Auto Test feature and there are various settings you can enable for a Quick Test.
Here, we have a Wi-Fi test showing DHCP was not successful. As part of troubleshooting, you might not know if the wireless device is able to see the SSID, associate, pass authentication, get DHCP, etc.
Which step in getting connected are we having issues? In this scenario, our EtherScope associates to an AP on channel 48 but the test fails at DHCP.
Based on that information, we now know how we should troubleshoot further. Is there a missing VLAN somewhere? Is the AP using the right native VLAN? Or maybe we have the incorrect VLAN.
In the field, techs can leverage tools like the EtherScope nXG to troubleshoot quickly and upload the results to Link-Live. That’s when a network engineer or administrator can look at the details remotely without having to be onsite.
Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of getting on a plane to travel onsite to troubleshoot an issue. It takes too long and it can be costly.
When we plug the EtherScope nXG into the port where the access point is plugged in, we cannot see any traffic on VLAN 120, the VLAN the SSID is configured to use.
Could that be the problem, the SSID configuration or the switch port configuration? Now we’re getting somewhere.
You may have received a ticket about the LED on an AP not being on. Or maybe the AP is in a reboot cycle. It could be connected but not serving any clients.
This could possibly be a PoE problem. Either the AP is not receiving PoE because the switch doesn’t support it or PoE is disabled at the switch port.
A quick test can verify PoE.
You may be getting ready to upgrade APs but did you consider the PoE requirements at the switch level? We’ve ran into situations where the PoE budget on the switch has been depleted.
On the EtherScope nXG, we can set a test for a specific powered device class. The EtherScope will try and negotiate the power requirement.
If you’ve worked with a Cisco 1562E then you may know that you’re going to need a lot of power coming from the switch port.
Here’s how to use a quick test to verify if a Class 4 powered device will work on a switch and on the right I’m testing UPOE. You can see the switch port gave me 25.50 watts. You may be able see if you’re reaching the max PoE budget of the switch.
We’ve had users experience slow Wi-Fi and after troubleshooting everything, including the RF, but wasn’t able to identify a problem. If we had started at the physical layer first, we may have seen the issue right away.
We can’t how many times we’ve come across bad cables where the APs negotiate at poor speeds. Sometimes even at half duplex!
That’s when you need to test the cable and re-terminate or run a new cable. Troubleshoot at the physical layer first. It may save you some time.
While the NetAlly EtherScope nXG was used as the primary tool in this post, it is possible to identify these problems using alternate methods. Our primary goal is to identify and resolve these issues quickly. Most of the time, the easiest and most reliable tool you can acquire can help save the day.
To find out more about the NetAlly EtherScope nXG, please contact us today.