Onion Approach to Wi-Fi Troubleshooting Basics: Jumping To Conclusions

By George Stafanick, Blog Contributor
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In this onion approach to Wi-Fi troubleshooting basics, we will be discussing jumping to conclusions during Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

Nothing is never really cut and dry when you troubleshoot wireless issues.

Let me give you a few examples:

In the wired world it's rare that you miss a packet during a trace. In the wireless world, there is a very high probability you will miss frames during a trace. To an untrained eye, some folks start down a rabbit hole! I missed a frame(s) that has to be my issue!

You are called in on a Wi-Fi voice jitter troubleshooting issue. You analyze the frames and you discover the phones aren't marking QoS. Immediately you declare victory only to learn after fixing the QoS markings the issue is still not resolved.

People are complaining about dropped wireless connections. They mention they have low wireless bars. What do you do, add more access points? Only for the issue to continue.

Users can't connect to the network and you’re first thought is to reboot the controllers and access points, because of course, that has to be the problem. And if that doesn't work then reboot the radius server!

Friends, it is very important not to get excited when you start to see something strange and declare a premature victory. If you aren't sure what the issue is it is very important to understand the problem. Reproduce it. Then make the needed tweaks to resolve the problem. It is so easy to jump to conclusions and find yourself down a rabbit hole. It is also best to put boots on the ground to see the issue first hand. Users can sometimes exaggerate and make the problem worse then it really is. Boots on the ground gives you first-hand real-life exposure to the problem.

There are plenty of gotchas in wireless and there are even more rabbit holes to go down. Practice patience when troubleshooting.