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Wireless network to another building

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
There is a wired network in one building that needs to be extended to another building. I would like it to be wireless. The buildings are opposite each other, max 100m between them. Nothing on the way, except for frequent lorries.
I have bought a wireless LAN access point Dlink DWL-900AP+ that supposed to have a range inside 100m, outside 400m. It is installed on the first floor.
One of the computers on the ground floor of the same building worked with wireless card (although the network traffic was rather slow and broken), but when I moved it to the other building (directly opposite on the ground floor), it couldn’t see the network anymore.

Does anybody know if:

1.      Is it possible to configure a wireless network to reach the other building? What would I need?
2.      Is the wireless network going to be slower then the cable one?  

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Question by:kdzido
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    Expert Comment

    by:drexp2000
    1. Is it possible to configure a wireless network to reach the other building? What would I need?

    Yes it is possible to configure a wireless network to reach the other building.  You would need a Wireless Bridge to connect to your WAP that is hooked up to your wired network.  Then from the bridge, then from the bridge you can hook up a switch as well for the wired computers on the next building.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=33-122-026&depa=5
    There's an example of a bridge with an extra plug to hook up a switch.

    2.     Is the wireless network going to be slower then the cable one?  
    Wireless network will always be slower than your wired network in your first building.  Right now if you were to use protocol .g  you are still limited to its maximum bandwidth of 54Mbps.

    Hopefully that answered your question.
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    Author Comment

    by:kdzido
    Thank you drexp2000.
    Could you be more specific? How many bridges do I need? 1 or 2?
    Do I need also a switch for the other building? There is no network there at all at the moment. I would prefare to connect the computers via wireless cards.

    Thanks
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    Expert Comment

    by:drexp2000
    You will only need 1 wireless bridge and then make sure that bridge has an RJ45 port on the back for a Switch connection.

    If you are going to connect all computers on the 2nd building via wireless cards, an extender will also be an ideal way.
    http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=33&prid=629

    Something like that will work.  You will just need to buy everyone wireless adapters and that extender should be strong enough (if placed properly) to send/receive the wireless signals.

    Good luck.
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    Author Comment

    by:kdzido
    Thanks again. I still have couple of questions:

    1. Why do I need a bridge with a port for a switch connection? (I have an access point connected with a switch already)
    2. Does this bridge need to be cable connected with a computer?
    3. Would the network be faster in the other building if it was cabled (but wireless between the buildings) or it doesn't matter?
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    by:drexp2000
    1) Actually is optional, just incase you ever want to expand your 2nd building with wired computers.  But you don't have to get one.
    2) This bridge will be wireless, so no cables, just configure it to reach the WAP from the other building.  You might need to connect it once via cable to configure it.  
    3) The network will not be any faster to reach from one building to another, but if you put all the computers in the 2nd building in a switch then yes it will be faster and more consistent.  (100Mbps>54Mbps)

    Do I get my cookie points now? :)
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    by:drexp2000
    Let me rephrase #3.  

    The computers will be faster to access all the computers on the SECOND building if they were to be put on a switch.  But if computer A on 2nd building was to talk to computer B on 1st building, it will still be limited to wireless speed (54Mbps)
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    Author Comment

    by:kdzido
    I need all the computers to access the server from the building A, and that's about it.

    And more questions as some things are still unclear (but you definitely have earned your points!)

    1. Wouldn't it be good to have a bridge also in building A on the ground floor, as the access point is on the 1st floor?
    2. In building B - should I get a bridge from your first comment or the extender from the 2nd? What is the difference between them?
     
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    by:
    Ok here's another idea.

    Since you are going to be working with DLink products, I will try to use products from DLink.

    Straight from Dlink's website: "The DWL-900AP+ can be configured to perform in any one of five modes — as a wireless access point, as a point-to-point bridge with another access point, as a point-to-multi-point wireless bridge, as a wireless client, or as a wireless repeater"

    That being said, you can easily hook up another DWL-900AP+!

    So you would put the second wireless access point to the second building and configure it as a point-to-point bridge.  

    If the signal is weak, use an outdoor antenna for the first wap
    http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=289

    If you really want the most out of the wap's, grab another antenna for the second wap.  Other type of antenna's are listed here: http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=1&sec=0#cid_59

    You're going to want an antenna for the 2.4GHz range.

    I also recommend upgrading to protocol 802.11g, your current wap will only run 11Mbps compare to 54Mbps if you were to get a 802.11.g  (http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=326)

    802.11b & 802.11g can use the same antenna.  So if you were to upgrade to the G protocol, you will need to make sure the wireless cards for the workstations are set to 802.11g.  That way, it will use the full maximum bandwidth of your wireless network.  

    I think this way is the BETTER way to do this project.  Good luck on that.  


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    Author Comment

    by:kdzido
    That sounds perfect! Thanks!
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    Expert Comment

    by:cscherrey
    You can also use two radios from Tranzeo.  www.tranzeo.com
    Each radio would cost around $300.  You would place one on each building and point them at each other.  It would create a bridge to connect your remote site onto the network.
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