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Top Meraki Wi-Fi Best Practices: Optimise Your Network Today

Want to ensure your Wi-Fi is optimised? We’ve got you covered.

Imatik support hundreds of Wireless deployments each year and here are some of the best practices we recommend.

 

Implementing Single Band SSIDs


Single band SSIDs reduce interference and improve client performance. For example, separate SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands can help devices connect to the appropriate band based on their capabilities.

  1. Navigate to Wireless > Radio Settings > RF Profiles in the Meraki Dashboard.

  2. Configure Band Selection to Per SSID

  1. Expert Tip: The 2.4GHz band should only ever be used as best effort or for IoT. Any traffic you care about should be on 5GHz or 6GHz.

 

Choosing the Right 5GHz Channel Width


Using 20MHz channels will minimize interference, particularly in high-density environments. Wider channels (40MHz or 80MHz) offer higher throughput but can contribute to co-channel interference.

  1. Navigate to Wireless > Radio Settings > RF Profiles in the Meraki Dashboard.

  2. Configure Manual Channel Width

Expert Tip: If you have Wi-Fi 6E APs, use 40MHz channels on 6GHz - there are more non-overlapping channels so you can enjoy higher data rates without the fear of much co-channel interference.

 

Setting Appropriate Power Levels


This is a difficult one to suggest as this should largely be dictated by an Ekahau Wi-Fi design. However, what we see are APs set to the maximum transmit power. Please don’t do this. There are very few circumstances where this will improve your Wi-Fi.


Typically we look to set the transmit power between 11 – 17 dBm. This provides a good range for the RRM (the thing that selects the optimal power) to navigate within.


Found under Wireless > Radio Settings . RF Profiles, adjust the Radio Transmit Power Range.

Expert Tip: Monitor where the RRM sets the power levels after a couple of days for your APs. This can be a good indication that they either need to be turned up or down.


Leveraging Meraki's Auto RF for Dynamic Adjustments


Auto RF automatically adjusts channel assignments and power levels to optimize performance and mitigate interference. This feature is particularly useful in dynamic environments where the RF landscape changes frequently, especially those being hit by a significant amount of DFS events.

1. Navigate to Wireless > Radio Settings > Auto RF in the Meraki Dashboard.

Expert Tip: Regularly review Auto RF adjustments to ensure they align with your network’s performance goals and make manual tweaks if necessary.

 

Regular Firmware Updates and Maintenance


Keeping your firmware up to date ensures you have the latest performance improvements and security patches. Schedule regular maintenance windows to apply updates.

1. Navigate to Organization > Firmware Upgrades in the Meraki Dashboard.

Expert Tip: Check the release notes to see what new features and stability enchantments are part of the latest stable firmware upgrade. Meraki is always evolving.

 

Enabling 802.11r for RADIUS Enabled SSIDs


802.11r, or fast BSS transition, improves roaming performance on RADIUS-enabled SSIDs by reducing handoff times between access points.

1.  Wireless > Configure > Access Control, enable "802.11r" for the selected SSID.

Expert Tip: We would recommend starting with Enabled for 802.11r. However, some client devices may not support 802.11r. You can either set up two RADIUS enabled SSIDs, one being legacy. Or you can use the Adaptive policy where only Apple and Android devices will benefit from improved roaming.


Conclusion


Recap of Key Best Practices


  • Implement single band SSIDs.

  • Use 20MHz channels for optimal performance.

  • Adjust power levels appropriately.

  • Enable Auto RF.

  • Enable 802.11r for RADIUS-enabled SSIDs.


Final Tips for Maintaining a High-Performance Meraki Wi-Fi Network


By following these best practices, you can optimize your Meraki Wi-Fi network for superior performance and reliability.

However, bad Wi-Fi design cannot be fixed with good configuration. If you have persistent issues, you’ll need an on-site Ekahau Wi-Fi survey. Interestingly, Imatik do those! A lot. And we’re often recommended by Meraki to carry out Ekahau Surveys too!

We are all engineers, so you’ll never be pushed, cashed or sent a cold email! But we’ll tell you every detail about what’s wrong with your Wi-Fi and how to fix it!

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