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Wireless access in a 52 bed property


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matt884 matt884 is offline
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07-Aug-2012, 01:53 PM #1
Wireless access in a 52 bed property
Iv recently been asked to install/make available reliable wireless access throughout a 52 bed property, the property has extremely thick steel girders & iron walls etc as it is quite an old building. I have taken into account Wireless N of course, however the fact that it will be a student property obviously means that some people's computers may not be able to operate on this networking standard, the main issue is of course though, the fact that the signal needs to be be reached in every room. It would be rare for all 52 people to be using the network at the same time but it will still need to accommodate the majority of people to avoid continuous crashing/overload. Other points i have taken into consideration are Ethernet plugs which use home electrics as a network device, multiple access points will be inevitable, the fastest possible bandwidth will again also obviously be essential, hi-gain antennas (omni/directional) + amplifiers, multiple routers etc. Another option which i think might have to be the case due to the fact that wireless is half-duplex or whatever people call it, would be CAT6/CAT5E cables where we would only be able to offer one wall outlet in each room with each cable running to a central point where they're connected to a network switch which is connected to the router? I have never fitted or installed such a system but i am aware of it and could get an electrician to help me install everything. Just wondering if anybody could provide me with some guidance as i have never actually installed wireless needing to accommodate such a wide scale before, the most i have ever have to accommodate is 12 people, which was to be fair again in a really old building with ridiculously thick walls however i didn't have much of an issue just using Ethernet plugs, i just don't want to end up spending all that money on Ethernet plugs for example if it is simply not going to be effective and secondly because i am not even the one paying for the stuff lol.

Any advice would be much appreciated,

Matt
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07-Aug-2012, 10:49 PM #2
What's your relationship with the owners of the property?
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08-Aug-2012, 02:58 AM #3
Have you considered building a network with Cisco Lightweight APs?

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wire...g_overview.pdf

This kind of hardware can easily take 1000+ wireless clients and their access-points are also quite powerful. There's also large antennas available for them.
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08-Aug-2012, 04:17 AM #4
I am very good friends with the owner of the property, the owner is in fact the person asking me if i am able to help with such a solution.

I hadn't taken lightweight AP's into consideration no, they look like they could indeed do a more than sufficient job. I'v never worked with them before however, are they difficult to setup/install? (This isn't something i do for a profession, i'm just simply a friend looking to do another friend a favor if i can).

Last edited by matt884; 08-Aug-2012 at 04:22 AM..
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08-Aug-2012, 05:03 AM #5
before spending any money, get your friend to check with his ISP that they will alow that number of users on a single connection and he buys a connection with teh appropriate amount of bandwith allowance
he will definitley need a commercial/business connection & not a home/domestic one, otherwise he is likely to find himself cut off ( and his students)
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08-Aug-2012, 05:30 AM #6
Yes. You'll need a different wireless system over using SOHO wireless routers. It's still unclear whether you're able to pull Category cabling to various areas in the building. In the event you can't easily pull cabling, you can use a wireless mesh type setup such as what Aruba Networks has with their IAP product. You just need to get power to the IAPs and pick one to plug into your ISP service.

But with any wireless deployment of this size a site survey would need to be done to get an RF profile of the site. This is needed to determine the number and placement of APs.

Although you are friends with the owner, you reaaly should do him a favor and tell him to hire a company to set this up for him. You don't want to get in over your head and you don't want your friend getting a non functioning system and potentially spending money unnecessarily.

dvk01's statement is also a factor to consider in this project.
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08-Aug-2012, 05:36 AM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt884 View Post
I'v never worked with them before however, are they difficult to setup/install? (This isn't something i do for a profession, i'm just simply a friend looking to do another friend a favor if i can).
It's not something you want to do as an amateur. But that applies to the whole project you're asking about, just like the others here said.

The big advantage in a Cisco Lightweight AP network is, that you only have to set up one single controller. All the Lightweight APs don't need any configuration, they just need a wire to the controller.
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