Multiple SSIDs over large site

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
We have a customer who rents out part of their site as temporary office space.  They want to provide the office users with temporary wireless Internet access.

Initially they want to do it through their existing ADSL line.  But if the additional traffic has an adverse affect on their operations (they have VPN links to other sites) then they will add an additional ADSL line.

They want to be able to offer each customer their own SSID and provide them with a unique network key.  This way access for all users in a temporary office can be removed easily when required.

I know there are products available that offer 2 or 4 SSIDs - but we need at least 10.

Also, the site is quite large and will likely need at least 2 wireless repeaters and we want to avoid having to cable these if possible.

I know from using the Linksys WRE54G a few years ago that you could only use one range expander with each access point - and you could only use it with specific Linksys access point units.

But maybe WDS has improved a bit since then and it's possible to have more than one repeater per access point?  And also possible to mix units from different manufacturers?

Ethernet-over-power products probably won't be any good as the site is split into 5 different circuits.

Any advice on suitable hardware greatly appreciated.

Budget-wise, they don't want to spend any more than 500GBP
Question by:devon-lad
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Does each organisation needs its own SSID?

    This can be done, Cisco has Wireless routers supporting that number of SSID, but, it would be a disaster to configure. I doubt the budget wil do either.

    Lets say it does, each time an organisation renting the room changes, the router needs to be reconfigured with another SSID end key.

    I guess it is a better idea to use the hotspot idea. There is only one SSID, but it has multiple (temporary) keys. Each organisation has its own key. Those keys can be easily generated and revoked.

    The usage of range extenders is no problem at all. Using WDS (bridging) is less optimal, because the bridges need to connect with the same channel/SSID/key. Thats okay for non changing environments but hard to keep up in an environment like this.

    But: first things first: is One SSID with multiple key would do: look fot the term "hotspot router" on the Internet. There is quite a lot of vendors offering solutions for this.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the response.  As it turns out, the customer now tells me that they expect most users to be individuals as opposed to companies, and they have also decided that the whole site does not need to be covered.

    So for now it's pretty easy to solve - just need to activate the Wireless Guest network on their Firebox router and will give some step by step instructions for each user to provide the MAC address of their wireless adaptor to control access.

    But I think you're right that the hotspot route is the one to take given their original requirement.

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