Home WiFi Misadventures

The point of this post is to hopefully save any reader the aggravation I just went through over the last several hours coupled with the years of missed performance.

The Topology:

The main access point is an Apple Airport Extreme 802.11ac access point connected to a Comcast cable modem at 1GB/s. The access point is connected to a 600MB/s PowerLine network via Gigabit ports and a Gigabit switch for local hardwired clients. There are two Apple Airport Express 802.11n access points connected via the PowerLine network for the upper and lower floors of a three floor home, respectively. Everything was auto-configured using Apple defaults.

The Symptom:

I just purchased a Surface Pro 3. And discovered that its WiFi speed was 3MB/s. After resolving several Microsoft-related issues, I boosted performance to a whopping 15-20MB/s. Not settling for this, I spent several hours researching…

The Problems:

I discovered several issues upon troubleshooting everything:

  • The out-of-box defaults use a single SSID for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band. It turns out that a number of Windows systems do not like this configuration and will end up on the 2.4 GHz band. Based on anecdotal testing, I may have had some Apple devices in this category as well. 
  • Out-of-box defaults left no control over channels. Clearly I had some channel overlap between the access points going, which explained why performance degraded when devices were active across more than one access point.

The Solution:

  • Configure a separate SSID for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ranges. Point any 5 GHz capable device to the 5 GHz SSID. 
  • Manually configure the channels for the 2.4 GHz ranges
    • Channels 1, 6, and 11 were used – as they do not overlap. Note: You can really only get 3 2.4 GHz access points in a given location before you start getting channel overlap as the spectrum used per channel overlaps with its neighbors (e.g. – Channel 1 overlaps with 2, 3, 4, and 5).
  • Manually configure the channels for the 5 GHz ranges
    • Channels 36, 40, and 44 were used; there are varying reports that these would slightly overlap but no issues were seen in routine testing

Now, 5 GHz devices routinely get 100MB/s+ from the Internet when on the main access point and 50-60 MB/s when on a remote access point going through the PowerLine network. 

Hope this helps!

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Sitecore Commerce lives (in between many travels)

I realize I’ve been far quieter with respect to blogging than I had intended. As I get ready to head off on another trip (because 101.5K miles flown this year isn’t enough), my long layover at Chicago O’Hare gave me a chance to reflect on just how fast the last few months have gone since Sitecore acquired Commerce Server last year. 

Sitecore Commerce is a comprehensive product portfolio aimed at providing a commerce solution for all enterprise needs. It is much broader in charter and scope than Commerce Server ever was, as what I had been working on constitutes just a component in the overall strategy. But, the sheer amount of work to get integrated and getting this to market has obviously required a considerable amount of time, focus, and cone of corporate silence. 

It’s been a phenomenal journey. And with the product and strategy now in-market, the proverbial cone of silence can be lifted. So expect to see a bit more on here. 

And, for a recap: 

Sitecore® Introduces Industry-First Enterprise .NET Experience Commerce Platform (Press Release)

Sitecore announced an early access program for Sitecore Commerce, powered by Commerce Server, the first enterprise-grade .NET customer experience management solution with fully integrated commerce functionality. The new offering enables marketers and merchandisers to deliver personalized and relevant digital shopping experiences from initial customer acquisition through online transaction using a single, connected platform.

  • Sitecore Commerce Unveiled: The First Enterprise-Grade eCommerce Integrated .NET CXM (CMS Critic)
  • Sitecore Marries .NET Customer Experience, E-Commerce (CMSWire)
  • Sitecore Fully Integrates e-Commerce into Experience Platform (Digital Tech Diary)
  • Sitecore Adds Commerce Solution to Its Experience Platform (DM News)
  • Sitecore Adds Editing and Asset Management Capabilities for E-Commerce Sites (The Hub)
  • Sitecore Premieres Sitecore Commerce (KM World)

For some additional information, check out Mark Floisand’s and my blog posts:

And with that…I have a plane to catch – onto corporate headquarters at Copenhagen for the next two weeks.