Extending a network wirelessly

Posted on 2010-09-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
Hi guys,
I'm after any suggestions you can give me.  I have a wired network, using a NETGEAR cable router and a NetGear 8-port switch.  Most internal traffic going over the network are high definition video files (to or from NAS devices) which are used in DVD production.  All works fine.

However, we want to move the NAS devices to another room in the floor below (no steel work to contend with), but getting a network cable down there is tricky because of the layout of the building.  My mind is saying ... is there a way of extending the network wirelessly that will a) work well and b) keep a high transmission speed - the latter is necessary because the file sizes are 700MB-2GB on average.  The wireless network is all using 1000Mbps equipment.  The Netgear route has wireless networking ability, although its only using 100Mbps ports for Ethernet.

Again, because of the way the electrics are structured, networking over power lines isn't an option.

So the question is can it be done and if so, what equipment (Wireless Access Points, Switches etc..) do we need?

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome.  
Question by:lynxIT
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Expert Comment

ID: 33716394
I vote for wireless N routers with MIMO capability configured to be ADHOC between each other with WPA-AES encryption
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 33716435
Not sure what you mean by  "The wireless network is all using 1000Mbps equipment. "

I would avoid wireless for high volume work and stick to Gigabit ethernet.

802.11n only shifts about 50 Mbits/s of actual useful data.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 33719442
Short answer is no.  No off-the-shelf wireless system will ever give you the same experience as a Gigabit Ethernet LAN.  The cost in acquiring, testing, and returning the equipment might pay for your wiring.

Consider that a multi-story commercial building already has a pathway for wiring between floors.  Use that existing conduit, or even an existing abandoned cable.

If there's no existing path, then a coring job should run $350-500 for a single core through the slab.  Conduit and wiring are variable, based on distance, firestopping, etc.  But if you're straight above, I can see it being done for a thousand dollars.  Do you have a facility manager/owner/landlord?
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Author Comment

ID: 33719738
Thanks for all your responses.

Thanks for that.  We're in an older building that doesn't have conduit and networking has always been kept to the upper of the two floors (ground and first) hence there are no old cables that can be reused.  The budget that we've got for moving the necessary equipment is not high, so the ability to bring in a contractor to do it is a no go.  Hence, my thinking wirelessly!

I feared the answer would be a no, but thanks anyway.  I presume CAT5 isn't weatherproofed?

LVL 32

Accepted Solution

aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33720124
>I presume CAT5 isn't weatherproofed?

I have a spool of indoor/outdoor Cat5e.  I ran it from the phone company box and the fiber internet terminal to underneath the house.  There are some that have gel in the jacket.

Safer would be to run in conduit, keeping in mind any penetrations must be sealed, and using conductive wiring outdoors has some inherent risks near power lines, radio antennae, lightning areas.

I have seen Cat5 (exterior) run for a short distances on the outside of a building.  I've even done it myself to get a phone line to a second-floor home office.  Homeowner didn't want major work on the interior walls, so I used masonry clips hammered straight into the stucco.  Not pretty, or permanent, but will work for many years (I hope).
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 33741074
if your budget permits then you can lay indoor multimode fiber with media converter

Expert Comment

ID: 33759048
Try a bridge using a couple of Engenius ECB3500 units.  I've been able to pull off some miracle wifi setups with those things and at under $100/each are very economical.  Power over ethernet means you can stick them anywhere you want and won't have to run any power lines - one cat 5e and you're done.

Author Comment

ID: 33819172
Thanks for all your help and advice.  

@mingano : Thanks i'll have a look at those Engenius units - do you know if they are available in the UK?

Expert Comment

ID: 33819385
They are.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34027189
Didn't solve the original query about Wireless, but provided a good alternative which was what we used.

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