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What Are Sticky Clients?

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One term you'll often hear banded about when talking with Wi-Fi professionals is "sticky clients". I thought it might be worth spending a few moments exploring what is meant by "sticky clients", why they are generally considered to be a bad thing in Wi-Fi networks and some approaches to mitigate them.

Background Many folks dealing with Wi-Fi networks often talk about the "sticky" characteristics of wireless clients when discussing client roaming within a W-iFi network. In an ideal world, we'd like to have access points providing ubiquitous coverage across our desired area providing high-quality, consistent client coverage where-ever we go. In this wonderful land of rainbows and unicorns, our clients would gracefully roam from AP to AP, detecting and associating with their closest AP throughout the coverage area to ensure their best connection speed at all times. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t quite reflect this roaming-client-Nirvana and is al…