NetEqualizer News: March 2017

We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include an overview of more 8.5 Release features, a preview of our new website, and more!


  March 2017


8.5 Release – More Features!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

Our 8.5 Release development is almost complete! This month we preview some of the new features for you, and also show
some of the new screens that our development team has been willing to share. Look for 8.5 to be available in early summer 2017!

Our wireless Internet Provider customers may be interested in our newly released Hidden Node White Paper. And we are experimenting with a new website design. We would love your feedback!

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or

And remember we are now on Twitter. You can follow us @NetEqualizer.

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release – Features Preview

:: NetEqualizer is a Hidden Node Solution

:: Under Construction – New Website?

:: Best of Blog: The Best Monitoring Tool for Your Network – May Not Be What You Think

8.5 Release – Features Preview

8.5 Release Additions – Continued from February…

In February, we talked about adding Real-Time Penalties to the RTR Dashboard, and adding Host Name from NSLookup to RTR Reports. This month we introduce several more features planned for 8.5:

1) Configuration Validation for Traffic Limits & P2P Limits

In order to make it easier for you to setup and configure your NetEqualizer, in 8.5 we are adding automated configuration validation to our toolset. In the first offering, we will automate the rules around defining traffic limits and P2P limits. As part of the installation process, when you send your diagnostic to Support, we will then run our configuration validation on your rule set. This will be particularly useful for customers that set up hundreds of traffic limiting rules.

2) Add Units to Active Connections Report

You can now select the units that you wish to see on the Active Connections Report. We currently show Active Connections in bytes/second (Bps), as this was aligned with how we used to show units in the configuration. However, in 8.5 we added the ability to select Configuration Units – the traditional Bytes per Second (Bps), or Megabits per second (Mbps), or Kilobits per second (Kbps). Now we are aligning Active Connections with those changes, by expanding our units selection to include Active Connections. See below for screenshots of this new feature.

In this example, as Megabits per second (Mbps) are selected, you can see that both Wavg (column 4) and Avg (column 5) are now shown in Mbps. Hopefully this will make it easier for you, as you can see your reports in Units that are meaningful to you:

As always, the 8.5 Release will be free to our customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS) plans.

NetEqualizer is a Hidden Node Solution

 Read our Hidden Node White Paper

If you are an Wireless Internet Provider, and are challenged with Hidden Nodes in your network infrastructure, you may want to read our newly released Hidden Node White Paper, to see how the NetEqualizer resolves this issue.Of the numerous growing pains that can accompany the expansion of a wireless network, the issue of hidden nodes is one of the most difficult problems to solve. Despite best efforts, the communication breakdown between nodes can wreak havoc on a network, often leading to sub par performance and unhappy users. Many times, the cost of potential solutions appears to outweigh the benefits of expansion, which in some cases may not be a choice, but a necessity. Yet, hidden nodes are a problem that must be addressed and ultimately solved if a wireless network is to achieve successful growth and development.

To continue reading, view the full white paper here. Check it out!

Under Construction – New Website?

Website Design Alternative – Tell Us What You Think!

We are working with a design agency to put together new web pages. Our initial set of pages are ready. We picked a dark background, and aimed for an interface that aligned with today’s mobile platforms, as it is more scrollable, and trend towards less text/more pictures.

Before we switch over to use these pages across our entire platform (we are using for our Google Adwords leads now), we would love to get your feedback.

Please take a minute to look at the new pages, and then click on the feedback button to email us your thoughts. 
Click the above picture or this link to view the new design:
What do you like? Dislike? Any recommendations for what we should change? And the big question – should we keep our current website or move to this?
Best Of Blog

The Best Monitoring Tool for Your Network – May Not Be What You Think

By Art Reisman

A common assumption in the IT world is that the starting point for any network congestion solution begins with a monitoring tool.  “We must first figure out what specific type of traffic is dominating our network, and then we’ll decide on the solution”.  This is a reasonable and rational approach for a one time problem. However, the source of network congestion can change daily, and it can be a different type of traffic or different user dominating your bandwidth each day…

Photo of the Month
Pipeline Swallowtail

This is a picture of a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly taken in Arizona in the high desert grasslands area over a recent spring break getaway. This butterfly can be found in a variety of habitats, but is most commonly found in forests.

APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

More Ideas on How to Improve Wireless Network Quality

By Art Reisman


I just came back from one of our user group seminars held at a very prestigious University. Their core networks are all running smoothly, but they still have some hard to find, sporadic dead spots on their wireless network. It seems no matter how many site surveys they do, and how many times they try to optimize their placement of their access points, they always end up with sporadic transient dark spots.

Why does this happen?

The issue with 802.11 class wireless service is that most access points lack intelligence.

With low traffic volumes, wireless networks can work flawlessly, but add a few extra users, and you can get a perfect storm. Combine some noise, and a loud talker close to the access point (hidden node), and the weaker signaled users will just get crowded out until the loud talker with a stronger signal is done. These outages are generally regional, localized to a single AP, and may have nothing to do with the overall usage on the network. Often, troubleshooting is almost impossible. By the time the investigation starts, the crowd has dispersed and all an admin has to go on is complaints that cannot be reproduced.

Access points also have a mind of their own. They will often back down from the best case throughput speed to a slower speed in a noisy environment. I don’t mean audible noise, but just crowded airwaves, lots of talkers and possible interference from other electronic devices.

For a quick stop gap solution, you can take a bandwidth controller and…

Put tight rate caps on all wireless users, we suggest 500kbs or slower. Although this might seem counter-intuitive and wasteful, it will eliminate the loud talkers with strong signals from dominating an entire access point. Many operators cringe at this sort of idea, and we admit it might seem a bit crude. However, in the face of random users getting locked out completely, and the high cost of retrofitting your network with a smarter mesh, it can be very effective.

Along the same lines as using fixed rate caps, a bit more elegant solution is to measure the peak draw on your mesh and implement equalizing on the largest streams at peak times. Even with a smart mesh network of integrated AP’s, (described in our next bullet point) you can get a great deal of relief by implementing dynamic throttling of the largest streams on your network during peak times. This method will allow users to pull bigger streams during off peak hours.

Another solution would be to deploy smarter mesh access points…

I have to back track a bit on my stupid AP comments above. The modern mesh offerings from companies such as:

Aruba Networks (

Meru (

Meraki (

All have intelligence designed to reduce the hidden node, and other congestion problems using techniques such as:

  • Switch off users with weaker signals so they are forced to a nearby access point. They do this basically by ignoring the weaker users’ signals altogether, so they are forced to seek a connection with another AP in the mesh, and thus better service.
  • Prevent low quality users from connecting at slow speeds, thus the access point does not need to back off for all users.
  • Smarter logging, so an admin can go in after the fact and at least get a history of what the AP was doing at the time.

Related article explaining optimizing wireless transmission.

APconnections Details Hidden Node 802.11 Solution in AirEqualizer White Paper

APconnections, maker of the popular bandwidth control solution NetEqualizer, today announced the publication of a detailed white paper describing how their new access point technology, AirEqualizer, solves the hidden node problem widely found in wireless networks.

“The AirEqualizer has proven itself to be a rock solid access point which completely eliminates congestion and slowness associated with hidden nodes,” said Art Reisman, CEO of APconnections.

Entitled, “AirEqualizer and Hidden Nodes: A Real Solution to a Virtual Problem,” the white paper breaks down the hidden node issue and the complications it can cause for wireless networks. The paper goes on to document the technology behind the AirEqualizer solution, which uses latency to prevent more dominant nodes from blocking out those with weaker signals.

The white paper in its entirety can be found at

The AirEqualizer technology was first developed out of open source projects that APconnections started in 2004. Like the company’s NetEqualizer line, the AirEqualizer is designed to fit easily into any network with minimal setup time. In addition, the technology doesn’t require users to purchase products from any single equipment supplier, like many other hidden nodes solutions.

When asked why APconnections openly explains and details their technology in a white paper, Reisman responded: “We found that customers don’t like getting locked into proprietary solutions where they’re forced to buy certain types of equipment, and we use that to our advantage. Anybody already using 802.11 technology can retrofit our AP’s right in without any re-design. We offer a value add by supporting and bundling the technology in an AP.”

Also announced today is the availability of the AirEqualizer in Western Europe exclusively through APconnections’ distribution partner Ai Bridges (

APconnections Offers 802.11 Hidden Node Solution in Most Recent AirEqualizer Release

LAFAYETTE, Colo., July 9, 2007 /PRNewswire/ — APconnections, a leading supplier of plug-and-play bandwidth shaping products, today announced that the capabilities of its AirEqualizer power-over-Ethernet wireless access point (AP) are expanding. The AirEqualizer now not only effectively controls network congestion and eliminates AP brownouts and lockups, but also serves as a proven 802.11 network hidden node solution.

With the advent of this technology, AirEqualizer users worldwide have seen the near instantaneous drop in problems associated with hidden nodes, leading to significant improvements in QoS and customer satisfaction.

“As we began to grow our client base, we discovered hidden node collisions were causing customer slowdowns. The more customers we put on, the more complaints we received,” said Chris McKay, director of British Columbia’s Airspeed Wireless. “Once the AirEqualizer was setup and configured to run optimally on our busiest site, the complaints immediately dropped off. We now have over 20 AirEqualizers in place at all of our WIPOP’s and very rarely get calls from upset customers. We give the AirEqualizer three thumbs up. It has saved our business and our sanity!”

Through the equalizing technology found in APconnections’ NetEqualizer bandwidth shaping products, AirEqualizer allows organizations to control network congestion at the AP. This ensures high-quality connectivity for voice over IP (VoIP) and other priority users, thereby dramatically reducing help desk and service calls, without the need for any manual tuning.

“We run a VoIP service over our wireless data network in Gunnison, Colorado and can’t afford to have customers with lower powered radio signals get crowded out of the RF spectrum,” said Jason Swenson, president of Internet Colorado. “With the unique QoS provided by the AirEqualizer, we have been blessed with the ability to run our network using less expensive 802.11-based equipment while maintaining first rate QoS.”

In addition to the equalizing technology, AirEqualizer comes with standard commercial AP features, including authentication, billing, re-direction, routing, and firewall protection.

APconnections partners with and the University of Limerick Ireland on a European version of the AirEqualizer.

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