Good channel planning can limit channel overlap between access points and reduce interference, making for a better overall wireless experience for users. Cisco Meraki APs have built in functionality to automatically optimize the radio settings, and now also provide easier visibility of RF configuration to optimize settings for high desnsity environments.

In an ideal world our radio settings for 2.4 GHz would look something like this. Nearby APs operate on different channels, and channel overlap is minimized. But most network deployments aren’t this simple. Invisible interference sources skew the map, as well as thick walls or barriers that limit the distance wireless signals can reach. Thankfully, Auto RF does most of the work for us. APs scan the RF environment and choose the best channel and power level taking into account channel spreading, interference, and several other factors.

In addition to Auto RF, dashboard now makes it easier to visualize channel assignments and make manual adjustments to fine tune RF settings giving admins full control in tricky environments. Right from the Monitor > Maps page, admins can view 2.4 and 5 GHz channel assignments and their associated power settings.

Maps are also now incorporated into the radio settings page. Instead of blindly making adjustments to channel or power level settings, admins can verify changes right on the map.

Using a combination of Auto RF and channel planning visualization, admins can easily ensure optimal wireless performance site-wide.  For more information on channel planning and a great example of deploying wireless in a high density environment, check out this 3 part guide.