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Tech Tips: How wireless settings IEEE802.11r, IEEE802.11k and IEEE802.11v help ?

This article briefs about how 802.11k, 802.11v and 802.11r settings help with providing stable wireless connections available in the advanced settings of Virtual Access Point.

Why does roaming occur?

A Wi-Fi client will decide to roam to a new SonicPoint (AP) when it detects a better signal from the new AP than the one it is currently associated with. This behavior is normal, particularly when devices are moving around within an environment, such as laptops and mobile phones. 

 Why do clients face disconnectivity while roaming?

Let’s say we have two SonicPoints’ s in the network - SP1(SonicPoint) and SP2(SonicPoint)and a Client is connected to SP1. When a client roams from this currently connected SP1 to the new SP2 it needs to re-establish an association/authentication request to that SP2. In this situation the SPs are acting independently, this whole process must occur each time the client moves from one AP to another.

The client will disconnect from its existing associated AP before connecting to the new one if 802.11k and 802.11r standards are not included.So, Whenever a client roams it results in a period of time where the client has no network access. This can cause packet loss, dropped calls, or other negative performance.

How 802.11k, 802.11v and 802.11r help?

Both standards are equally capable of taking different measures to reduce the time required for a client to roam from one AP to another and reduce the roaming performance.

·       802.11k reduces the time required to roam by allowing the client to more quickly determine which AP it should roam to next and how. The SonicPoint to which the client is connected will provide information regarding neighboring APs and their channels. Using this mechanism when the client is ready to roam, it has a better idea of where it will be roaming.

·       802.11v allows client devices to exchange information about the network topology, including information about the RF environment, making each client network aware of the environment, this helps the overall improvement of the wireless network.

·       802.11r uses Fast Basic Service Set Transition (FT) to allow encryption keys (eg. PMK, PTK, GMK, GTK) to be stored on all of the APs in a network. Using this, a client does not need to perform the complete authentication process to the server every time it roams to a new AP within the network. This avoids a significant latency issue and packet loss.

I hope this information is useful.

Category: SonicWave

Nevyaditha P

Technical Support Advisor, Premier Services


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    SliderhomeSliderhome Enthusiast ✭✭


    The sonnicpoint don't have the "802.11k, 802.11v and 802.11r" only the sonicwave.

    It has seen it in a beta version a few versions ago, in the final version is was removed.

    Checked SonicOS Enhanced still only the sonicwave with the "SonicOS Enhanced"option.

    Can you tell why is it removed?

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    SliderhomeSliderhome Enthusiast ✭✭

    Checked SonicOS Enhanced still only the sonicwave with the "802.11k, 802.11v and 802.11r"option.

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    NevyadithaNevyaditha Moderator
    edited June 2020

    Hi @Sliderhome ,

    Thank you for the update.

    I am working on this to find out why these settings are not supported on sonicpoint models as shown below:

    I will update you with further information.

    Thank You!!

    Nevyaditha P

    Technical Support Advisor, Premier Services

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