[NEBULA] AP Client Steering

Draegan Posts: 3  Freshman Member
First Anniversary First Comment Zyxel Certified Network Administrator - Nebula
edited April 2021 in Nebula

I would like to find out more about client hand-off between APs, how is that currently handled?

For instance, I am busy designing a network for a client that has a Mansion of a house and he would like continuous connectivity while walking through the property. If he were to place a call via Wi-Fi (Skype, WhatsApp), how would the APs behave while he is roaming? Would the call drop when he moves from cell to cell or would the APs hand off the client once he is closer to a new AP?

Is the steering handled by the NSG, is it Cloud Controlled or is the decision to roam solely at the discretion of the client device?

Thanks in advance!


  • WebberIT
    WebberIT Posts: 53  Ally Member
    First Anniversary Friend Collector First Comment Ideas master
    Basically the client device decides when to roam , the APs only acts as a medium to assist your client to make the decision.
    We have a guy in our office with a laptop that we eventually gave up trying to letting it roam smoothly while other people have no problem at all.
    And the other thing is we use skype for our daily jobs and my experience is that if your coverage is spread out correctly, it's needless to worry about dropping calls with skype or wifi disconnection. 

  • CrazyTacos
    CrazyTacos Posts: 53  Ally Member
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    You definitely need to be careful of older devices with those out-of-date drivers! But if we're talking about a customer who lives in a "mansion of a house", I'm guessing that wouldn't be a problem.

    Coverage area is definitely a key factor in roaming. You need to juggle that with the number of AP you plan to deploy, their distances apart, and the radio's output power. Just mindlessly increasing the output power to maximum does not guarantee the best coverage area. 

    But don't expect a seamless hand-off between APs! A short delay in audio/video is unavoidable during this transition. I wouldn't worry much as apps like Skype or WhatsApp were developed with lags and delays in mind.

    Hope this project works out @Draegan !
  • Carlos4311
    Carlos4311 Posts: 11  Freshman Member
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    Hi , I think you can look at this post. It is quite detailed telling the aspects of roaming.

  • RUnglaube
    RUnglaube Posts: 135  Ally Member
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    This has been widely discussed.
    It's indeed the client device that has the main role to determine when to perform roaming, as it's also true that we can tweak access points to force the disconnection of the client earlier but this might not apply to every deployment as mentioned already.

    I recall there was a test made by the nebula staff somewhere in the forum
    "You will never walk along"
  • Zyxel_Dean
    Zyxel_Dean Posts: 237  Zyxel Employee
    First Anniversary Friend Collector First Answer First Comment
    edited April 2018
    Hello @Draegan ,
    Welcome to the forum!

    I believe the above replies are very well useful and had already answered your question. 

    In general, the client is decisive in roaming, there are topics with the client's roaming capabilites and lots of other factors involving protocols and mechanism which the client or AP supports and also the software you're using to make call etc.

    It is sophisticated work to get all variables correct but as to planning wireless deployments without experience, I think you can start off by deploying with the right coverage. You can use ZWO (Zyxel Wireless Optimizer) to plan the layout then fine tune the coverage through some trial and errors measuring the received signal strength with a phone or laptop APP.  

    Nebula, or other Zyxel APs should perform well under default settings if the coverage is correctly  established.

    As mentioned by @RUnglaube , here's the link of a roaming test we performed before.
    Skype and Whatsapp should be less effected against roaming, as far as we have tested and gotten feedback, these applications have some sort of buffers to ensure the quality of the voice. Other applications such as SIP phones will probably have some voice breaking while roaming due to the nature of it's protocols.

    Overall, goodluck with the project and let us know if you have other questions.  ;)

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