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Will this Large Airport Extreme Wireless Network Work?

Posted on 2008-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have to setup a large wireless network for a substantially large house and I would like some reassurance from anyone who has setup large wireless networks, specifically using Apples Airport Extreme devices. I have done a site survey and come to the conclusion that we need 8 Apple Airport Extremes to fully blanket the area. We will install them on the ceilings of closets and supply power to them via POE. The plan is to provide DHCP via the router, turn the airports into bridge mode (or turn off DHCP) assign them all different IP addresses, and connect them all via POE to a POE switch (which is obviously) connected to the router. From what I understand, as long as I give the same SSID, wireless channel and WPA/WEP key, the users should be able to roam from AP to AP, picking up the strongest signal without any interruption. Can someone please verify, with absolute certainty that this setup will work as intended.

Thank You
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Question by:worklessdomore
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mgonullu earned 200 total points
ID: 22780788
Your described settings will work 100%, as long all APs are in the Bridging mode. I remember that the manual has a step by step description of such setup
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by:ifreq
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ID: 22780934
Its a much easier, 1st configure your 1st Airport Extreme (master) as you want (I prefer WPA for encryption), then tick the option: "extend this network" on.

Then configure "slaves" one by one and tick the  "Extend a wireless network" fron the airpot utility.

Should work like a charm :)

This is called as WDS which stand for:

A Wireless Distribution System is a system that enables the wireless interconnection of access points in an IEEE 802.11 network. It allows a wireless network to be expanded using multiple access points without the need for a wired backbone to link them, as is traditionally required. The notable advantage of WDS over other solutions is that it preserves the MAC addresses of client packets across links between access points. [1]
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by:arthurjb
arthurjb earned 200 total points
ID: 22819099
Unless it is one of Donald Trump's homes or is made of completely metal walls, 8 Airports seems like major overkill.

And too much signal can be worse than a low signal.   The extra signals from the various airports could interfere with each other causing the clients not to be able to properly lock onto any of the signals, reducing the throughput.

Your coverage pattern should look more like a quilt than a blanket, with each square of the quilt not overlapping by very much.

Unless there is a major amount of metal in the walls, a single airport can easily supply a 100 foot sphere of coverage.

I would personally not use Airports for an installation like this, especially if there are likely to be tough coverage areas.  A box with the twin external antennas allows you to add special antennas for shaping the signal, and are cheaper than the Apple.

Good Luck !
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Author Comment

by:worklessdomore
ID: 25025853
Arthur,

It was a HUGE house with a combination of old walls, and new walls, the initial audit showed that the signal did not leave the rooms very well.

I ended up wiring ing 6 airport extreme's in the closets using POE and everything has been working PERFECT for 4 months!

Thanks for all your input guys!
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