I was recently hired in the IT department of a small company (~180 users) and one of the issues that people have been complaining about is having their wi-fi connections drop during meetings. The company is using an HP ProCurve Wireless LAN with 10 APs and a controller unit located in the server room. I don't have any experience troubleshooting WLAN in a multi-AP environment, so I'm trying to at least gather information using free or cheap tools.
I did a basic site survey using the free version of Ekahau HeatMapper and discovered the following in one of the conference rooms that has been a problem. The program picked up three access points (plus a bunch of others with much lower signals that were out of range):
AP 1: SSID: "Unknown SSID" - Signal strength: -48 dBm - -40 dBm. Channel: 2
AP 2: SSID "CompanyMain" - Signal strength: -35 dBm or greater. Channel: 2. Security: WEP (This is the main SSID for the company's WLAN.)
AP 3: SSID: "CompanyGuest" - Signal strength: -40 dBm - -35 dBm. Channel: 2. Security: WPA2 (This SSID is the company's "guest" WLAN, which was setup to allow Internet access, but prevent network access.)
Is there anything that you see that is clearly a problem from the above? I'm assuming that the unknown SSID might be a big problem, and that it is an AP from a neighboring office that is causing interference. Does that seem likely?
Also, regarding channel, should we try changing the channels of our APs to avoid interference with that unknown SSID? (Since everything seems to be on Channel 2?)
Should our APs be on different channels? In other words, should the CompanyMain and CompanyGuest APs be on different channels?
Finally, any recommendations for free/cheap tools to help me figure this out, and/or a good methodology to follow?
Thanks in advance for any help. Jack