Wi-Fi network planning and deployment can be a daunting task for most business operators. Network engineers need to carefully select network equipment, do site planning, deploy equipment, set optimal network parameters, and continuously tweak the network parameters to get the best possible performance. Fortunately, Moxa has taken on the challenge to simplified this daunting Wi-Fi Network Deployment process for you through Moxa’s AeroMag. AeroMag is a easy-to-use software that designed toward reducing the time spent configuring Wi-Fi settings and also preventing errors caused through manual input.
AeroMag—A Wireless Technology for Effortless Wi-Fi Deployment
AeroMag technology takes care of the basic Wi-Fi settings for you, saving you considerable effort when deploying your wireless networks. AeroMag is a useful tool throughout the Wi-Fi network lifecycle. When you are configuring network devices, AeroMag sets up your Wi-Fi connections correctly in a single step. During the installation phase, AeroMag streamlines network operation by analyzing the optimal channel for your current operating environment. From a maintenance perspective, new APs/clients can join the AeroMag topology without any additional configuration.
Configuring Multiple Wi-Fi Devices
Once you have confirmed the quantity and location of the APs using a site survey tool and have configured their device names and IP addresses, connect all the APs to the same network using Layer-2 switches and then activate the AeroMag function on both the APs and clients. Now watch AeroMag automatically configure the devices in your network!
Here’s how the AeroMag function works:
- AeroMag APs will designate one amongst them to act as the master AP.
- The APs will automatically generate basic network settings such as SSID, WPA2 password, RF type, and channel.
- All the APs will scan the channel spectrum for both 802.11 and non-802.11 signals.
- Each AeroMag AP will send a spectrum status report to the Master AP (see Figure 1).
- The Master AP will select the three best channels based on the information provided by the slave APs and sends this information to the slave APs (see Figure 2).
- The slave APs complete the basic Wi-Fi configuration using one of the three “best channels” provided by the master AP.
- AeroMag clients send connection requests to APs that are available and connect to an AP after a two-way authentication process (see Figure 3).
- The APs will assign the optimal configuration generated to the client APs connected.
Once the AeroMag topology is established, you can lock it to prevent unauthorized devices from joining the network. Your Wi-Fi network is now ready for performance testing.
Optimizing Wi-Fi Channels On-Site
Once the testing phase is complete, install the network devices on-site. Because the network topology was already established in the test environment, you just need to turn on the network devices in the current topology and the devices will use AeroMag to establish a Wi-Fi network. However, channel usage in an on-site environment, such as in a factory or office, is considerably different from a test environment. AeroMag provides a refresh channel function, which checks the operating channels on the APs and adjusts them for the on-site environment. When you trigger the refresh channel function, AeroMag APs will scan the channel spectrum and will inform the AeroMag client if the operating channel needs to be changed. The refresh channel function remains available when the AeroMag topology is locked down.
Refreshing Wi-Fi Channels to Avoid Interference
When your wireless network is in operation, the AeroMag refresh channel function can be used to adjust the channels of field-side devices whenever their operating environment changes. A field-site environment changes when new wireless equipment or wireless networks for other purposes (e.g., Wi-Fi for personal devices) are deployed, making the optimal channel overcrowded and no longer the best operating channel. The refresh channel function reduces needed effort by finding the best channels for different operating environments automatically.
Adding New Wi-Fi Devices to Existing Networks
You can unlock the AeroMag topology to allow new units to join in (Figure 4). For example, when a production line is extended and more APs have to be installed to cover the additional Wi-Fi clients, all you need to do is connect a new AP in the existing AeroMag topology under the same subnet. The AP will automatically acquire the SSID, password, RF type, and operating channel settings to join the AeroMag topology. You do not need to manually import settings from a configuration file.
Secure Wi-Fi Communication
AeroMag APs and clients communicate using WPA2 security protocol, which is the most secure communication protocol available today. During the AeroMag authentication process, RSA encryption is used throughout the wireless network for added security.
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