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Increasing WLAN size

I currently have 1 WAP connected to my LAN and my broadband box also has a WAP built into it. The building I work in has thick sandstone walls and the WAP is at one end of the building. The signal degrades very badly when I get to the other end of the building and as such the speed drops off significantly.

What I want to do is add another 2 of the same WAPs to the LAN so that other wirelesss laptops can simply connect to them wherever they are in the office. Is it simply a case of configuring the WAPs to the same channel and setting them up so that they operate on the same network?

I want to be able to take my laptop from one end of the building to the other without needing to connect to each WAP individually. Simply taking it to the other end of the office should auto detect the WAP in question and allow me to continue working, seamlessly.

I have a new SBS 2003 server in place which I was thinking of making my RADIUS Server so if this has any bearing then I can use it for authenication protocols. The WAP I currently have is a Belkin F5D7130uk 802.11g enabled WAP.
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Steven O'Neill
Asked:
Steven O'Neill
2 Solutions
 
lrmooreCommented:
Different channels, but same SSID/encryption keys.
But yes, simply pop in a couple more access points.
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andreacoppiniCommented:
Yes, simply adding more access points and setting them to the same SSID and encryption method/keys will do the trick.  The laptops will switch to the AP with the strongest signal as they move out of range of their present one.

As for configuration, you have 2 Options:

1>  Wire all your present and additional APs into your LAN using standard CAT5 cable.  This is the ideal situation since it doesn't affect your wireless performance.  In this case, use different channels on each AP (try to limit yourself to channels 1, 6, 11).

2>  Configure the new AP's to use WDS (or repeater mode).  This is a protocol which turns your new access points into repeaters for the main access point which is wired to your internet connection.  Bear in mind that for this setup you will probably need to purchase access points from the same brand, as this is normally not compatible across vendors.  It will also degrade your wireless performance a little.  In this setup, all access points must be on the same channel.
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Steven O'NeillSolutions ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Thanx guys. Principally the same idea from both of you. Splitting points and lrmoore gets the accepted answer as he was first.
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