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Medical office and wireless

Posted on 2004-09-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I'm looking for some recommendations on the most secure product/setup for a wireless network for a small medical office.  I know that this question is kind of vague, but can anyone give me any pointers on the most secure, user-friendly wireless equipment?  
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Question by:sunny10
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Expert Comment

by:askdavid
ID: 12122981

Hello Sunny,

If you want me to suggest better solution, Please answer following questions first . . .

1. Please specify country name in which you are planning to deploy Wireless

2. Which type of wireless systems you are looking for ?
i mean long distance or short distance

3. Please specify approx Air Distance between 2 location where you planning for wireless network deployment

4. Are they in Line of Sight?

5. If you currently deployed any equipement please specify make and standards of same

David

--
Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked. -- Jeff Pesis
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Author Comment

by:sunny10
ID: 12123176
Sorry, I could have been more specific.  The wireless connection is for inter-office use only.  The customer has two offices, but they are too far apart to be connected through wireless.  There is no computer equipment currently at either location.  I have a clean slate to work from.
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Expert Comment

by:askdavid
ID: 12125096

Hello Sunny,

I asked you to be specify according to my questions for several reasons...

1. Many equipements are available in today's market but they differs with standards, environment and whether conditions....for eg. equipements which works in one region or one countries may not work in another region or environment...this is wat my personal expierence says

2. There are lot of Wireless equipements available in todays market starting from $ 200 USD which have different features.....like some works for long distances and some may not, some have built-in security features and some may not

like above there are no. of reasons, so please be specific with questions asked to u :)

David
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Author Comment

by:sunny10
ID: 12125440
1. Please specify country name in which you are planning to deploy Wireless

 - United States

2. Which type of wireless systems you are looking for ?
i mean long distance or short distance
 
 - short distance

3. Please specify approx Air Distance between 2 location where you planning for wireless network deployment

 - 50 miles

4. Are they in Line of Sight?

 - no

5. If you currently deployed any equipement please specify make and standards of same

 - Currently no equipment
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Expert Comment

by:askdavid
ID: 12130120

best suited equipements for you are WLAN based equipements

WLAN will solve your all problems....well 50 miles can be easily cover thru WLAN, speed and performance of WLAN is good(10 mbps)....some minor problems i have observed in performance only due to FOG / RAIN / HEAVY SNOWFALL but works cool

if you think both sites are not in line of sight then try to increase height of antenna polls on both side....it will definately solve your problems....!

i have installed many networks based on WLAN, here it works cool (NOT IN USA)

David

Note: In many countries you need to obtain license & complete legal procedures before implementing WLAN networks, i dun't know much abt USA policies for WLAN networks, please contact WLAN equipement manufacturer / dealer to get complete details on WLAN based legal processes.
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 12132605
You have to make sure you meet the HIPPA requirements and carefully consider using wireless.
Most any low-end access-point that you can get at Best Buy/Office Depot is easy to setup and get going. That's the problem. Wireless was designed to be practically plug and play, very simple to set up. However, all security is turned off by default to make it easy.
If you go with a brand name like Cisco Aironet, you can't go wrong.
Cisco now owns Linksys, and I really like the Linksys products. They are very inexpensive, easy to set up and have all the security features that you need (encryption, etc).
I currently use the WRV54G from Linksys.
There is a confusing difference in technology. 802.11 a-b-g
B an G are compatible, A is totally different
A is faster, but G is almost as fast (54Mb)
B is defacto standard, but rather slow (11Mb)
Be aware of interference within the office space. Walls, bookshelves, microwaves, etc can cause interference and you may not get the coverage you need with just one access point.

If you have (or will have since you have nothing yet) stationary systems (front desk) that never move, highly suggest that you get them wired vs wireless. Assuming that you will have a server of some sort, and a potential to move large files (x-rays) accross the network, a total wireless solution many not be the best for your practice.

HTH...
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Accepted Solution

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PeteLee-PortlandOregon earned 50 total points
ID: 12137785
I'm going to respectfully disagree with many of the points made here--they're simply not correct for this circumstance.

1) RANGE
First of all, 802.11b is not made to go 50 miles, unless you are quite determined to hack up an ingenious antenna and have extremely good RF propagation circumstances (i.e., line of sight, adequate elevation of antenna, etc.).

Second, I'm assuming that what's really being asked for is a solution for use within a small office, not to bridge two offices together.

2) I would agree with lrmoore on the use of Linksys products--they seem to have decent bang-for-the-buck, and work adequately.  However, configuring equipment from different vendors can be very troublesome (especially if you're trying to set up a minimal amount of protection by using WEP encryption).  I would highly recommend checking the Wi-Fi Consortium website for WiFi certified products, then picking ONE vendor to go with.

3) Lrmoore also wisely notes being mindful of HIPPA regulations--I would expect that HIPPA guidelines contain some sort of clause on how records are handled.  "Reasonable and prudent" precautions to me would include use of 128-bit WEP (yes, I know it's weak), and setting up an access list that only permits certain MAC (hardware) addresses to access your wireless access point, and turn off SSID broadcasting.

4) In the event that you do need a more stringent form of security, I would recommend considering a VPN solution to use concurrently over your wireless connection.  Ideally, this would be an IPSec compliant one, and would require the use of a VPN to access the wireless network.

Is this seemingly overkill?  Perhaps, but if you are in a business that has something that hackers want (in this case, personal information that can be used for identity theft), it's worthy of consideration.
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Expert Comment

by:askdavid
ID: 12140381

well i agree with PeteLee-PortlandOregon, you can cover higher distance with good RF's & Antenna's Only(i don't think you need extremely good ;-) )....but it works well :-)

For security you can implement WEP as well as MAC Auth on both devices.

though if you want to cover higher distance it is always recommended that you go for VPN based solutions they are much reliable.

For intra office wireless connectivity above suggestion & comments are good

David
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Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 12280380
Are you still working on this? Can we be of any more assistance?
Can you close out this question?
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