Regular, short-term WiFi disconnect on AP130s (WatchGuard Cloud)

We switched to the new WatchGuard Cloud solution (AP130 access points) and noticed a strange behavior. All clients are disconnected approximately once every hour - reconnecting within 15-20 seconds. Its quite annoying for terminal connections (and other software that does not automatically reestablishes connection after a network loss), but also negatively impacts streaming with small buffers.

Am I overlooking a setting for example for regular scanning for other networks or thelike, which may be a cause?

Comments

  • I'm not noticing this on my wi-fi 6 AP330, but I don't have long running streaming often where I might notice this.

    Consider opening a support case on this.
    Use Support Center at the top right.

  • james.carsonjames.carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    If it's happening on what's effectively a timer, I'd suspect an outside source may be possibly causing this.

    -If you haven't done so already, take a look at your logs in WG Cloud.
    -If you happen to be using 5GHz DFS channels (the channels that are shared with weather radars and quite a few other devices) I'd suggest trying a different channel outside of that range.
    -Check the uptime of the APs to see if they're rebooting -- they may possibly be loosing power or rebooting for some reason.

    They definitely shouldn't be doing that, but as Wi-Fi shares the frequencies it uses with a lot of other things, it's not uncommon for interference to cause disconnects like you're describing.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • Some years ago we had that...every time a new XRay machine took a certain view. They forgot to shield the ceiling....took MONTHS to figure that one out. Then there was the time with the crushed ice machine near a switch.......

  • james.carsonjames.carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    @TestingTester
    If I can get location data in the US/Canada where streetview/google earth is prevalent I will cruise around on the local streets and see what's around there.

    Some of the notable ones I've seen:

    -A firebox and several network switches were installed a room or two over from a CT scanner. The spinning magnet (or other ancillary equipment) was enough to induce voltage and slowly kill the network gear over the course of a few months. The medical center had to re-cable everything on the other side of the room and shield the wall more thoroughly.

    -A customer who had Wi-Fi that went down around 10am daily but only on weekdays. The building was across the street from a police station and the daily speed radar checks on the squad cars (despite being a different frequency) were enough to knock the APs offline since it was pointed about directly at them.

    -A small office that had their wireless firebox sitting directly on top of a microwave oven. Wi-Fi didn't work during lunch hours.

    -An AP inside a commercial kitchen between two very large range hoods "so the customers would not have to see the AP." (APs can easily be hidden above drop ceilings if needed, but it's usually best to have them below the steel grid to minimize interference..)

    -Whenever an airport terminal is involved, the fact that wireless works at all with all the RF flying around is amazing.

    Since Wi-Fi works on what is technically unlicensed medical bands, it has to pause if any interference is detected. That's one of the many things that could be happening when Wi-Fi drops are occurring.

    Wi-Fi 6's ODFMA adds an extra layer of complexity because you're using a subcarrier to differentiate traffic on the same frequency. It's better because it allows you to pick out your signal from the noise, but it also potentially means more noise. Very few devices even support Wi-Fi 6 at the moment, so you're still dealing with 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, ac wave 2, and all of the random draft standards that vendors pushed product out on.

    Regardless, the complexity is why we generally suggest that customers do wireless site surveys prior to, and after deploying APs. There's tons of free tools to do it (I believe Enahau* still offers a free version of their survey software,) and metageek's inSSIDer* is really good for visualizing interference.

    *As a WatchGuard representative I don't officially endorse any of that software, use whatever works best for you.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

  • Experiencing similar issues, but we are using AP330's. Called support, told to turn off Band Steering. Didn't help. Strange thing is, though, this was working perfectly fine for 8 months, then, right around time a new firmware was installed (about a week after), the problem was reported. No other changes. I told this to support, but they had no knowledge of a problem. My customers are not happy right now. Neither am I. Did anyone find anything to improve the situation.

  • You should be able to downgrade the firmware and see if your issue goes away.

    As James suggested, it could also be caused by interference from something new in the area which happened around the time of the firmware upgrade.

  • re. a microwave oven cause - my neighbor has an AP in his office, and a microwave in the kitchen which is near the office. When in the living room, wi-fi would not connect when the microwave was on - as the microwave was directly between the living room and the office.

  • james.carsonjames.carson Moderator, WatchGuard Representative

    @WGWheeling
    What's the case number you have associated with this -- I can go make sure this is with the wifi team.

    -James Carson
    WatchGuard Customer Support

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