A WLAN controller’s auto-channel capability can be used to manage the wireless channels used by all the Access Points (APs) in a network. This can be a great way to ensure all APs select optimum channels based on usage and interference levels, but it does require some monitoring. Some APs don’t recognize RF interference and so won’t be aware of channels crowded with Bluetooth, microwave ovens, and IoT other non WiFi devices. Other times simplified parameters lead the controller to select the channel with the least number of APs, which might not necessarily offer the best throughput or least channel interference. Finally, auto-channel may completely exclude certain channels, such as the DFS channels (5GHz frequencies generally reserved for radars).
It’s not always easy to see how well the auto-channel is operating. The WLAN controller will display a view of the network, but of the entire network based on the auto channel algorithms, which can make it difficult to isolate channel performance in certain areas. We recommend a solution that provides a detailed look of what the WiFi looks like in a given space, something we achieve with our Wireless Intelligence Platform ™ (WIP). Each WIP sensor is installed in a specific location and provides in-depth information on network performance in that area. WIP automatically reports on channel overlap, channel interference and on whether the selected channel widths are optimal for network behavior. Use the platform today to discover if your controller is making the best decisions.