Feature Requests / Enhancements for Peplink APs when managed via IC2.

We just finished a small deployment to a clients offices of 18x AX Lite APs, the following requests are based on issues I have run into whilst deploying that network that I feel would make life a bit better as well as enhance the potential to get the best performance from the Peplink products, especially when using IC2 to manage all the AP settings.

Enable / disable button for each radio within the AP.

This one mostly applies to 2.4GHz radios…

In a densely deployed network simply decreasing the transmit power of an AP is not sufficient, in fact at times it can be unhelpful to simply keep turning down the TX power - too low a TX power in such environments often results in an insufficient RSSI/SNR for the clients that need 2.4GHz and a messier RF environment where we have too many co-channel APs.

An option should be added that instead of setting a TX power I can simply set the radio to “off” or if we wanted to get fancy “monitor mode” - this should be available for 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios on every type of AP.

Consider the example where I have a guest network that is required in 2.4GHZ and 5GHz bands, but a lot of APs in a big room such as a conference room. In the majority if conditions I would not want all of those APs enabled - there are not enough non-overlapped channels in 2.4GHz for that kind of operation, so we would look to disable some 2.4GHz radios entirely.

I am aware that I can work around this by configuring an SSID as 5GHz only on IC2 and then go into every AP in turn and enable it for broadcast on specific 2.4GHz radios but this does not scale operationally and also gets overwritten if someone changes the config in IC2 as it is then pushed out to the APs again.

Control over data rates used per band, per ESSID.
By default Peplink APs will operate with every data rate enabled, this is fine at home but not in a place with multiple SSIDs configured or with a densely deployed network.

Disabling non-OFDM data rates on the 2.4GHz radios is generally considered a best practice in most environments. This improves airtime efficiency when consider that every ESSID has a beacon frame TXd at the lowest supported rate and when that rate is 1Mbps ~4-5 SSIDs chews quite a lot of airtime - compound that with the issue above about too many enabled radios and you have a nasty little problem.

Yes, I know there is a button to change the beacon rate in the settings of each AP directly, perhaps putting that into IC2 would be a start, but in reality we simply do not see 11b only (or 11g only) devices these days so turning off support for the 11b clients is not something I am going to lose sleep over.

Ideally I would like to see two buttons implemented to help mitigate this, they should be configurable ideally per SSID.

  1. A simple tick box that says “disable 802.11b data rates” this should remove 1, 2, 5.5 and 11mbps data rates from operation.
  2. An advanced screen that allows me to select which data rates are disabled, supported and mandatory - the example below is from a Cisco WLC but is pretty much how every vendor does this.

DHCP Enforcement for WLAN clients.
It would be good to have a feature that requires clients to be assigned an IP address via DHCP, basically dynamic arp inspection across all APs for a given SSID, this is to prevent a client from configuring a static IP and either by accident, or intentionally to cause a network issue (such as if they spoofed the IP/MAC of the default gateway).

This would require each AP to maintain a binding table of IP/MAC that were issued via DHCP for every client across every configured SSID as well as a means to propagate that information to other APs that need it.

Proxy ARP
It would be nice to have the option for each AP to proxy ARP requests for clients connected to it.

IPv6 filter
Given there is no support in Peplinks routers for IPv6 it would be nice to just drop IPv6 traffic inside the AP, do not forward traffic from the wire over the air and do not forward traffic from clients to the wire. A simple tick box to drop the IP protocol would be sufficient here until Peplink fully supports IPv6 - at which point you will need to consider developing features such as RA guard and NDP proxy to have parity with the IPV4 features requested above!

A huge amount of airtime is wasted in many networks with chatty protocols being allowed over the air on IPv6 even though they are filtered on IPv4 such as mDNS or SSDP.

Better “default” out of the box RF configuration/behaviour.
I am sorry if the following seems like a little rant, but I spend my life fixing badly configured networks because people simply do not understand what they are doing and trust the vendors equipment to make good decisions - and when the default configuration from the vendor allows those poor decisions there is room for improvement.

2.4GHz has three non-overlapped channels, it is commonly accepted that you deploy a channel plan according to 1-6-11 (or if you are in a very isolated area and can run OFDM only you can do 1-5-9-13 I suppose if your regulatory domain permits it).

Why on earth is every 2.4GHz channel enabled by default for auto selection in Peplink APs?

Setting your AP to channel 3 is like driving your car down the middle of the road, nobody wins in that scenario when there are other cars on the road!

2.4GHz should also operate by default as 20MHz, in fact get rid of the option for 40MHz entirely or hide it behind one of those blue question mark buttons for people that really want it or those places that are genuinely isolated where it would be viable to use it.

40MHz operation in 2.4GHz is like parking a truck across 4 parking spaces at the supermarket. It is anti social, causes interference within your own network and just further degrades what is already in the vast majority of locations dirty spectrum.

I would argue the same for 5GHz channel widths but feel it would fall on deaf ears, the marketing department won that war at most of the other vendors where “auto” or “best” are now used by default where those terms often just mean 80MHz rather than defaulting to at most 40MHz or ideally 20MHz. I have very, very few examples of requiring or deploying a wider channel than 40MHz in the real world and in most instances even finding clean channels that are 40MHz wide is hard these days in any kind of populated area.

As an aside, I would very much like to understand the radio management algorithm that Peplink uses and how it decides what channels should be used on each AP both at power on and when an automatic update runs - I have to be honest that I’ve not had good results with it and I will normally just manually configure the radios if it is more than a couple of isolated APs or something that moves around a lot like a Max Transit, perhaps that is because I do not understand how your channel selection algorithm works.


Thanks for the post and suggestions. I want to let you know that our team is looking into the details. We will respond soon.

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