IPIQ Basics: Fast Roaming

Difficulty level:  • • •
By Lindsay Bull, technical writer


If you’re here, you want to learn more about roaming. If you’re here and you want to learn more about roaming, but you haven’t already read our first two installments in our roaming series of IPIQ posts, here and here.

Cindy, our friend with a seamless roaming solution, video chats with her collegiate daughter in the mornings. Her next-door-neighbor and best friend, Janet, does not video chat with her collegiate son—and that’s not because he hits “ignore” every time she tries…

Janet’s network uses a fast roaming solution.

When a client device is connected to a multiple-access-point network, it can only be connected to one access point at a time. We know that roaming occurs when a client device transitions from one access point to another, and we know that this can happen seamlessly. But Janet’s network is relying on fast roaming; what does that mean for her?

Without a controller to actively manage and keep track of the client devices on her network, Janet’s devices are the ones responsible for initiating when they roam to the next access point. These devices’ number one priority is to conserve battery power, and searching for a stronger connection to the network utilizes battery power. Trying to cling to a not-so-great signal does not.

So when Janet tries to video chat with her son, and she moves from her kitchen to the family room, her device remains “sticky” to the access point in her kitchen, causing her connection to become bad, the video to become choppy, and her experience video chatting with her son irritating.

Once her device experiences such a terrible connection that it finally moves off the kitchen access point, it uses its fast roaming technology to connect to the family room access point very quickly, in about 100ms.

Janet’s fast roaming solution doesn’t solve the problem; video chatting with her son, something she wishes terribly she could do, is an unpleasant and frustrating experience to the point she won’t even try it anymore. So while fast roaming sounded like a great feature when her integrator explained it to her, Janet’s network simply isn’t cut out for the everyday activities she relies on it for.

If you have a client that has a fast roaming network and is experiencing these or similar frustrations, and you want to upgrade the system to a seamless roaming solution, visit luxul.com to learn more!

Lindsay Bull