Use AP for B/G/N or separate AP

not openwrt specific however, if I sometimes have users using G on 2.4 how is the best way to accommodate them? Sometimes a user will come into the meeting room and say they cannot connect to the WiFi. After 10 mins of faffing about suddenly realize that their system is still running G only adapters. All our APs are currently configured for N only.

  1. turn on B/G/N at the meeting room AP or...
  2. install a second AP in the meeting room for B/G only connections leaving the existing AP as N only.

If you can, disable at least 802.11b (22 MHz channels and DSSS do hurt the whole spectrum severely). 802.11g already implies >12 year old devices - is that really a problem in a business environment? I can understand anyone sticking to their devices at home, but at work?

What kind of devices are you dealing with?

  • notebooks, you really need to go back to ~2006 vintage to find <802.11n
  • netbooks might have sported 802.11g until ~2009, but the venerable Atom N270 would be more of a deterrence for actual usage than 802.11g.
  • smartphones, anything with android >=5 should come with (at least bad-) 802.11n
  • tablets, often worse than smartphones, but still, devices shipping with android >=5 are likely to sport at least bad/ SDIO based 1x1 802.11n
  • IoT devices are hopefully not needed in a conference room (and only started to take off within the last ~5 years)
  • any specialty devices (these tend to be the worst in terms if hard- and software updates)

Co-existence with 802.11g wouldn't be that bad, a dedicated AP with txpower tuned down (just don't go below WPA2PSK/ CCMP) might be sensible, but I'm still curious about what kinds of devices really need this.

Disclaimer: yes, I still own (a handful of) 802.11b devices (although those aren't being used anymore) and use some 802.11g ones (but those are 12 years old and older, some would even qualify to vote...), but -at home-, not in a professional environment. They're just still there and may sometimes still be useful (at least for a pre-WPA3 world), but they aren't being used to earn money.

some very expensive but old full frame cameras using a SDHC with WIFI

What cameras, specifically? And what is the application space/usage?

Ah, o.k. - are those at least 802.11g? What about WPA2PSK/ CCMP?

802.11g coexistance is one thing, 802.11b another - and anything below WPA2 and CCMP/ AES (only) shouldn't be up for discussion (for the most basic security reasons), if that isn't possible, I'd mandate that photos need to be uploaded to their notebooks/ tablets/ phones in advance.

I think they are G capable.

Based on your comments I might be confused about the difference between B/G and N. I thought N was distinguished separately from B/G based on the menu options in most routers including OpenWRT. I don't believe I could ever select G by itself, it was always B/G, B/G/N, or "N only". I always understood that you should always go with "N only" unless forced by factors out of you control to choose either B/G or the mixed mode of B/G/N.

I would like to accommodate his needs but maybe best like you said he should stick with connecting to his notebook using direct wifi and not go through the infrastructure. I'll try and and connect a second wifi adapter to his notebook and see if windows can run double wifi connections one to the camera and one to the internet and see if that solves his problem.

sorry but don't want to turn this thread into a camera discussion. I am sure if you search some of the camera enthusiast forums you might pick him up discussing this and you can ask him directly. Look for something like "useless IT guy can't connect camera to WIFI infrastructure".

So @papdee - did you raise this thread as a bit of a hypothetical based on some other threads/experiences you have had, or is this something you are directly dealing with (sounds like you aren't the user of the camera in question).

I appreciate that you are trying to keep the thread on-topic and not veer into other areas such as specific cameras and such. In most cases, this is a good principle. There are some (limited) cases where the semi-off-topic bits may still be worth a bit of additional discussion as a matter of finding the optimal solution (be it directly or indirectly related to OpenWrt, or just network related in general). In that spirit, if you deem that this might be a reasonable tangent (and is something you are directly working to resolve), feel free to post more details. Otherwise, thanks for being conscientious and keeping things simple :slight_smile: .

the heart of my post was to solicit opinions on whether to have one of the "main" APs run in mixed mode or use a dedicated AP to run just B/G. Or whether this even matters in the end. The issues I am concerned with are degrading performance for other users and wifi signal clutter. Since it's not definitive and not openwrt specific I will not pursue it further.

you can run a wifi dongle AP off a usb port...i am running an ancient 802.11g dongle (rt73 driver) as IoT radio...stable so far

Performance and reliability of that (and rt73 in particular <-- no support for powersaving clients) is sub-par (to phrase it very politely).

Disclaimer: I've tried that over years, using carl9170, ath9k_htc and rt2800usb (rt73 and rt3070/ rt3572), it was a world of pain with unexplained hangs, stalls and other failures.

tks for your input. I will probably go something similar to this route. I have been reading stuff on CISCO website absolutely categorically not to run APs in mixed-mode and to run in N-only, but then on the other hand other tech websites say it doesn't really matter and there are other factors at play here. It's all dark arts and very argumentative. Best I end this thing here and I will look at other forums to discuss.