Learn how to manage your Advantage WiFi (formerly SmartWiFi) speed limits to optimize your network usage. Use these tips to enable WiFi speed limits and choose which WiFi speeds to use.
Enabling WiFi speed limits
Enabling speed limits will reduce the maximum possible device speeds. It helps set priorities, as well as smooth and even out usage in busy locations for all users. By default, the private network has no speed limit imposed, so if a single device is tested, it would get the plan speed. Guest networks are set to a speed of 5Mb/s down, 1Mb/s up to ensure priority is given to the private network.
For many, this default setup is perfect as it’ll allow you to have full speed capabilities on all devices at all times on the private network. This isn’t ideal in all situations, however, as you may want faster guest network speeds and some private network devices might be using too much of the connection and slowing down others.
Managing speed limits will take practice to balance out individual user needs with that of the whole network. Note that any speed limits you set will never affect your wired devices; they will only impact wireless devices on the private or guest network. Setting speed limits may also help if you need the hard-wired network to have the highest priority.
Advantage WiFi network speed limits
Network speed limits set the maximum total speed that all devices on the specified network will share.
You can set device speed limits per network name. Often this is only applied to the guest network, but can also be set up on your private network if needed.
Network limits are more optimal than device limits for very busy guest networks. As an example, 30 guests connected to Advantage WiFi 30 will not be efficient if using a device limit of 5Mb/s, as this would allow 30 guests to use the entire plan many times over. However, a network limit of 15Mb/s means they’ll never use more than half of the available speed and squeeze out the private network’s business use.
Checking your current Advantage WiFi network use
Log in to your Meraki Dashboard and go to Client Analytics. Note: Network use information is on Page 6 of the Advantage WiFi User Guide.
It’s a good idea to look over this information when users are reporting slow speeds, or if you’re worried that guests might be slowing you down. It can also be handy just to know what usage is like throughout the day. Once you have an idea of usage, it may be easier to know if speed limits need to be applied, and if so, whether you should use device or network limits.
Choosing which speed limit to use for Advantage WiFi
It can be hard to determine if you should set speed limits, which may require modifications over time. Both the network and device speed limit settings will be helpful depending on your location’s type of usage. Here are a few scenarios for a Advantage WiFi 60 plan customer:
Your business needs high speeds and guest speeds aren’t essential:
- No private network limit but guest network should be limited to 10Mb/s to prioritize speeds for business use.
- Device limit isn’t essential if your only concern is priority for business use, but you may want to set device limits if some users hog bandwidth.
You own a coffee shop with only basic internal use and you want your guests to have lots of speed:
- No private limits but set guest limit to 55Mb/s to prioritize guest speed, and still have some basic dedicated bandwidth for business use.
- Setting guest device limits can help set expectations and keep things fair during busy times, but will limit total achievable speeds. See how things go and modify as needed.
Few users on both guest and private networks but you are getting complaints about speed consistency:
- Set device limits for each network to 30Mb/s. No one will get the full speed when connecting wirelessly, but no one can hog it all either. Device limits will keep things even.
You get many guests in your business at once, and it slows down your business too much:
- Figure out how much speed you need for your business and set the guest network limit. If your needs are 10Mb/s, set the guest limit to 50Mb/s. Device limits will be less important if you’re just trying to protect what you need.
You frequently have many guests, but one or two of them try to hog the speeds inappropriately:
- Set both device and network limits for the guest network.
These, again, are only example guides. Figuring out the best settings for you can take time. Just keep in mind how the limits work and make sure that you get the most of your plan and how you want it to work for you and your guests. As long as you know what your speed limits are set to, you can manage expectations and tweak settings as the need arises.