Wireless Access

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Moderator
Posts: 243
Registered: ‎09-12-2007

Game consoles

Learned something new yesterday from a couple of university customers, who report that in their dorms, game consoles are killing the Wi-Fi. From what they said, some of these consoles (the Wii especially) will only associate at very low data rates, like 1-2Mbps. Of course, that slows everyone down. If that is true, I can only assume that Nintendo was hoping to avoid rate adaptation in the software and so just defaulted to the lowest and most reliable setting. I don't know if it's really hardcoded to 1Mbps, or if it's just using the lowest available rate. Anyone know?

Has anyone else had similar experience? What do you do about it? The suggestion I gave was "disable the lowest rates. Make 11Mbps or something higher be the lowest available rate, and that will either force the game console to use that rate, or it'll prevent them from getting on entirely. Then sell one of the D-Link game adapters (Wi-Fi bridges) in your campus bookstore, and refer people to those as a way to hook up their consoles." No idea if my suggestion was a good one though.
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Jon Green, ACMX, CISSP
Security Guy
Aruba Employee
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎04-27-2009

RE: Game consoles


Learned something new yesterday from a couple of university customers, who report that in their dorms, game consoles are killing the Wi-Fi. From what they said, some of these consoles (the Wii especially) will only associate at very low data rates, like 1-2Mbps. Of course, that slows everyone down. If that is true, I can only assume that Nintendo was hoping to avoid rate adaptation in the software and so just defaulted to the lowest and most reliable setting. I don't know if it's really hardcoded to 1Mbps, or if it's just using the lowest available rate. Anyone know?

Has anyone else had similar experience? What do you do about it? The suggestion I gave was "disable the lowest rates. Make 11Mbps or something higher be the lowest available rate, and that will either force the game console to use that rate, or it'll prevent them from getting on entirely. Then sell one of the D-Link game adapters (Wi-Fi bridges) in your campus bookstore, and refer people to those as a way to hook up their consoles." No idea if my suggestion was a good one though.




I have a Wii at home and have not noticed that behavior. I have not looked for it but given the amount of testing and packet captures I do there you think I would have noticed. As another data point I run two networks at home (well two in addition to those available through RAP). One is N-only for the laptops and the other is G-only for all the phones, TiVos and game consoles.

My G-only AP is in my AV cabinet about 5 feet from the Wii. My suspicion is that most of the Wiis on a campus would be in AV cabinets or similar clusters of electronics. As such I bet the only available rate is 1-2Mbps.

-J
Aruba
Posts: 760
Registered: ‎05-31-2007

Wii

Haven't seen this behaviour either on my own testing of Nintendo, Sony and XBox (yeah I have free time... ;))

I actually built up some user derivation rules to mask on Nintendo and Sony users a few months back to watch for these devices at a few deployed sites in my region. The rates are well distributed from what I have seen.

Example (far from the complete list...just provided a few to show how it's done):
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:09:bf " set-value Nintendo
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:16:56 " set-value Nintendo
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:17:ab " set-value Nintendo
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:19:1d " set-value Nintendo
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:00:95 " set-value Sony
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:01:4a " set-value Sony
set role condition macaddr starts-with " 00:04:1f " set-value Sony
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-02-2007

Re: Game consoles

Maby doing Fair-access under QoS, could "solve" your problem a bit?
Occasional Contributor I
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-30-2009

Re: Game consoles

As a side note, on my home network I've noticed the Wii is amazingly chatty, on the order of around 50 requests an hour (DHCP acks, etc). I had to set it to static IP to quiet it down.
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-29-2009

Re: Game consoles

Nintendo's consoles are all 802.11b ONLY as far as I know. We have had quite a number of annoyed residents ever since we disabled b-rates on our network. This has applied to all Wii, DS and even the new 3DS. I honestly dont get why they would still use 11b for their newest gear, but it is the case.

 

IIRC this was also the case with the Sony PSP.

 

-Alex

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