CTS 108: Useful Wi-Fi Metrics To Track

Which Wi-Fi metrics are worth tracking and what can you do with those metrics?

This episode was sponsored by Metageek

Sponsored by Metageek

Useful Wi-Fi Metrics To Track

Today’s Wi-Fi networks are the main point of access to network resources and have become mission critical service to employees. To monitor the Wi-Fi network, which metrics should you track to show the Wi-Fi network is performing optimally? We list our six useful Wi-Fi metrics worth tracking.

RSSI

  • Most looked at metric
  • Determines the strength of the signal
  • Good to get both from AP and client perspective. Client may hear AP loudly but not the other way around

SNR

  • Indication of signal quality
  • Difference between the signal and noise
  • Example: concert, kids talking over parents

Channel Utilization

  • How busy the channel is
  • Both 802.11 and non-802.11 traffic
  • Congestion and capacity
  • If youre seeing high channel utilization you may need to add more capacity
  • Tells us if CCI is an issue

Data rate

  • Especially useful on the client side
  • Tells us how well the client is able to decode the Rx signal
  • Tells us how the driver is handling data rates

Retry Rate

  • Does it correlate with high channel utilization
  • Are basic data rates too high
  • If you’re seeing too high (10-15%) retry rate look into lowering data rates, look at potential interference, maybe even hidden nodes or devices with bad drivers

Association Time

  • Why would it take a long time to associate
  • Bandsteering could cause long association times because of delayed probe responses
  • Are devices scanning DFS channels
  • Can client and AP hear each other

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About the Author
Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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