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Feb 14
Beginners Guide to creating a WLAN
Posted by John Wong

Once logged into the wireless controller, creating a WLAN is very simple. Configuring the WLAN’s setting is where it can become difficult. Creating the WLAN is as easy as entering one command in configuration mode. That command is the wlan command. In this blog I will be covering some basic commands for you to create and configure some general properties of a Wireless network.

The entire prefix is wlan profile-name wlan-id ssid. The “profile-name” is the WLAN’s name. You can name it whatever you like using 1-32 alphanumeric characters. The “wlan-id” is the number you with to assign the WLAN. You can pick number from 1-512. I think that means you can create 512 different WLANs if you wanted but why would you. Lastly the “ssid” is the SSID of your WLAN. That’s the wifi network the displays when you look for available Wifi networks. If you don’t enter a ssid, then the profile name will be used as the SSID.

You can create the SSID using the CLI or GUI but Cisco recommends using the CLI for this. Also the WLAN is disabled by default so you want to use the no shutdown command to enable the WLAN.

If you ever need to disable or delete a WLAN, that process is also simple. You can enter configuration mode. Access the wlan with the wlan profile-name command. Remember the “profile-name” is what you named the WLAN. If you only want to disable the WLAN then enter the shutdown command but if you want to delete the WLAN you need to enter the no wlan profile-name wlan-id ssid. The values in the command are the same as mentioned above. If you ever forget then you can use the show wlan summary command to get a list of all the WLANs.

Now that you’ve created your WLAN. You might want to configure some general properties so your WLAN can be usable. First you want to go to global config mode then access the WLAN you want to configure. The commands are “enable” to enter EXEC mode then “config t” to enter global config mode and then “wlan [profile-name]”. Remember the profile name is the name you give the wlan when you created it.

To enable broadcasting your SSID, use the broadcast-ssid command. This will allow clients to find you SSID when searching for available wifi networks. To config the WLAN to use all radio bands use the radio dot11g command. You can select a different band by changing “dot11g” with one of the other bands like “dot11a” or dot11bg”. You can enable multicast VLANs on the WLAN with the “media-stream multicast-direct” command. This helps streamline multicasting and reduces traffic. The next command to consider is the “assisted-roaming neighbor-list” command. This command enables 802.11k neighbor-list support. That’s a standard that helps your wifi clients find the nearest AP available based on active users and overall traffic. The “Band select” command allows just that band selection. What does means is it enables the AP to delay one band’s reply over another band. That sounds a little confusing so let me try to explain. When a client attempts to join the Wi-Fi. It will send a request and will take what AP replies the fastest. There are usually only two sometimes three bands, 2.4ghz or 5ghz and sometimes 6Ghz. Typically 2.4ghz AP replies faster so the client connects to the network on that band. But 2.4Ghz has a lot of potential issues with interference which. So the AP can delay response of the 2.4Ghz AP so the client can see the 5Ghz AP and join the network on the 5GHz band. There are also other benefits 5Ghz has over 2.4Ghz, too much to cover here. So that was some basic command line commands you can us as a beginner to create and enable some settings for your WLAN. I hope it helps anyone out there new to wireless.  


As always if you have any questions on wireless for you and your business and would like to schedule a free consultation with us, please reach out to us at sales@lookingpoint.com and we’ll be happy to help!

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Written By:

John Wong, Network Architect

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