At my wits end - iPad roaming Issues

lsmith Posts: 2  Freshman Member
edited August 2022 in WirelessLAN
I am at my wits end. I have my NCA5123-NI access points, and one NCA5123-AC-HD, setup with a security profile to use 802.11r. According to Apple, all new iPads support this. I understand that the iPads themselves drop a connection a -70. I have setup my APs, to require a minimum -70 and to drop connections at -75. My Wi-Fi was never a problem w/laptops, but since adding iPads, it has been a nightmare. I have done testing, and my signal strength seems to be fine. The issue seems to be that as my users roam, they iPads are not smoothly transitioning APs. Sometimes, I have seen them completely lost connectivity, and even know they are right next to a strong AP, I have to toggle the Wi-Fi on the iPad to get it to transition. Other times, it seems to work fine transitioning as expected. I am starting to think that Zxyel is just not a good fit for use with the iPads. I have seen this article below and I am wondering if it isn't because with the the default Over-the-DS the the client is not able to always "communicate with the target AP through the current AP". I am thinking about switch over to Cisco devices, but up until now, have been happy with the ZyXel solution. Does anyone have any suggestions. Thanks.

For a client to move from its current AP to a target AP by using the FT (Fast Transition) protocol, the message exchanges are performed by using one of the following two methods:

• Over-the-Air FT Roaming

The client communicates directly with the target AP by using the IEEE 802.11 authentication with the FT authentication algorithm.


• Over-the-DS (Distribution System) FT Roaming (by default)

The client communicates with the target AP through the current AP.

The communication between the client and the target AP is carried in a FT action frame between the client and the current AP. Then it is sent through the Ethernet.


  • Zyxel_Freda
    Zyxel_Freda Posts: 397  Zyxel Employee
    First Anniversary Friend Collector First Answer First Comment
    Hi Ismith,

    For the 802.11r roaming issue, Zyxel AP sets the over-the-DS as default setting, and expect that if the stations are going to change to over-the-air, if failed to use over-the-DS.
    However, we found the iPhone did not change to over-the-air after it failed transmission via over-the-DS. We suppose that it's the same behavior of iPads, so the iPads are usually failed to raoming.
    In previous experience, the issue will be solved after disable over-the-DS via SSH to the controller and execute the following command.
    Router> configure terminal
    Router(config)# wlan-security-profile <security-profile name>
    Router(config-wlan-security default)# no dot11r over-the-ds activate
    Router(config-wlan-security default)# exit
    Router(config)# write

    We will disable the over-the-DS as default setting in our next official release to avoid this kind of interoperability issue.