Need suggestions regarding setting up a hotel for wireless access

I have a client with a 100+ room hotel.  They currently have wireless access for their tenants but it's not secure and they are having connectivity problems.  I want to come in with a whole new solution.  I am an MCSE and have setup many networks for small businesses, however I have not done anything as large scale as this hotel.  

I have stayed at hotels and been provided a 24hr code to get online.  Usually browser based, etc.  Anyone know what these solutions are so I can look into getting one setup?  I don't think we even need anything that allows for pay by the day stuff...it will be free and included with their hotel fees (as all hotels should be in my opinion) but I need to get it locked down similar to those systems.  

Anyone that has experience with this or knows of a canned solution let me know.

Thanks!
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authen-techAsked:
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naykamCommented:
Have a look at www.nomadix.com

I have used many before, its a very hard area to find something. I have worked in a convention center and this is the best solution we found.

Nomadix has been the best. It will integrate into a CRM system, will throttle speeds, access cards, credit card billing, redundancy. It can aparently support 2500 people. I have seen it with only 200 and it was still working fine.

I have actually built a custom front end for it. But you can always use the built in webpage.
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authen-techAuthor Commented:
Looking into it.  Thanks!!!

Todd
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oldcatfanCommented:
I have set up a few wireless networks with extreme distance or signal issues. What I found that works the best without having to pull cable is most any generic router, though I prefer Linksys, and then use a couple of repeaters. Set the router up as close to center of the units/rooms and then put a repeater about half way to each end.  You want the repeater to be able to get a good signal and in turn put out good signal.

A repeater that I have used that does a good job is the Hawking HWREN1 Hi-Gain.
http://www.buy.com/prod/hawking-hwren1-hi-gain-wireless-300n-range-extender/q/loc/101/208743239.html  You plug this into the router with Ethernet for the initial setup and then you can remove the Ethernet cable and place your extender/repeater some distance away. Again, not so far that the extender can't get good signal from the router. During setup it will detect the SSID you have setup on the router and asks for the password the router needs and will keep it connected. The only problem I have found is that if they do not have a static IP address for their router the extender can lose connection and not get it back if there was a power outage and the router grabbed a new IP address from the ISP on restart. If that happens you will need to take the wireless repeater down and cable to the router and run the setup again sometimes.

The Hawking can be wired or wireless but as said, having their router assigned a static IP and wired direct will cut down on headaches. If they are wired directly to the router there will be almost no signal loss between the router and extender.  I am currently using this range extender in a situation where the distance between buildings is about 500 feet and they get very good signal in most rooms. Upper level back side gets signal too but not the 4/5 bar like the front side. More like 3/4 bar..
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jhardydjCommented:
I would recommend a Linux based router that is compatible with the DD-WRT .  

More info can be found at http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F

Setting up access control is fairly easy with this setup.

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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
In situations like a hotel, an important consideration is the number of simultaneous connections that the router will support.  My Linksys WRT54GS apparently only supports 8 or 16 simultaneous connections but I'm the only one using it.
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naykamCommented:
Sorry are you also looking for hardware?

Like mentioned above, it really depends on the hardware.

Like mentioned above, the WRT54G can only do a small handfull, while something like the Cisco 1252's can do something like 190 concurrent  associations.

Also you have to consider how to manage it in regards to the configuration and setups. You are best to get something like a wireless lan controller, this way you can manage all the access points (yes, you will need more than 1).

To achieve what you want, you really cannot use domestic grade hardware, you are going to have to look into the higher end products
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authen-techAuthor Commented:
Still waiting to see if we get this client.  I will look into this further in a couple of weeks.  Thanks for your input so far...
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authen-techAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions!  I am still waiting to hear from this potential client but rumors sound promising!  I have a direction to look now.  Thanks again!
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