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How to network locations a mile apart

Posted on 2004-03-27
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I live in a gated community with four entrances.  These entrance gates need to by networked to facilitate sharing of information from residents about expected guests, contractors, etc.  What would be the best way to set up such a network?  I would prefer wireless, but the terrain is hilly with a lot of trees.  What would be expected cost for equipment, assuming all four sites already have a Windows XP computer.
Thanks in advance.
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Question by:xmaid
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infotrader earned 43 total points
ID: 10697521
I think the cheapest solution is to find a DSL or Cable Modem service provider and subscribe services with them.  Use the DSL or Cable Modem to connect to each site via a VPN connection.  Of course, this would cost you about $120 to $200 per month, but I think that is probably the only solution.

You can think about Microwave dishes, but it doesn't work through trees.  The start-up cost per unit is very expansive, let along 4, and is very unsightly.

This looks like the cheapest solution right now.

- Info
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by:lrmoore
lrmoore earned 41 total points
ID: 10700529
Agree with infotrader. If you can get phone and power to these locations, you should be able to also get either cable or DSL broadband. Assuming there is some central office that will serve as a 'hub', that already has Internet access, you will need only some basic items.
1. broadband service (either dsl or cable) with Internet access
2. a VPN device/box, or client software on the PC in the guard shack. Client software is free or you can use the already-there Microsoft PPTP client
3. Something at the hub that can terminate the VPN. You can use any number of SOHO VPN routers or firewalls. It depends on what you have in place there already.
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Assisted Solution

by:rswickersham
rswickersham earned 41 total points
ID: 10701516
Try looking into some of the new 900 mhz wireless gear.  Alvarion make a product in this class.  Have to do a little design work to see what else might interfer in your area but its less affected by the trees, etc. and can cover that distace.  It would be more expensive to set up but probably cheaper in the long run.  Worth looking into.
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Expert Comment

by:sponyz
ID: 11231088

the cheepist solution is to have a telephone line in every location, & apply for dsl datalink connections from the nearist isp.
it will cost you like 30$ per month.

we allready have connected many locations this way.
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