Suggestions for enterprise class Wifi Router to serve a large room

Posted on 2011-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey all,
Im not 100% up to speed on the current offerings of enterprise wifi access points so hoping someone on here can give an opinion on a model of AP that would be well suited to the below situation:

I have been given the task of setting up data for a large one day media event. The data is to serve a number of TV crews and the press pool. I am still trying to establish from the organizers what size of pipe is going to be sufficient but it will be somewhere between a 100Mbit down 10Mbit up to a full duplex 1Gbit fiber line.

For a router I was planning on using a dual Opteron machine and smoothwall, and ill pickup some fancy managed switches for the hardlines. However the press pool has requested wifi and I am expecting to server something on the order of 50+ wireless devices.

The whole event is being conducted in a single VERY large room with a VERY high ceiling so I was hoping a singular access point device could get the job done, but im not too sure what the best model would be for such a task.

I have a bit of a budget, but the most important thing is the solution must be rock solid; if things were to go down it is quite possible the sky would indeed fall. (IE I may order 2x of everything and have a 2nd, network hooked up but un powered (just in case.)

I will NOT be running a radius server, so standalone wpa2 AES PSK was my original plan. Preferring a device that will serve N as well as b/g. I would prefer a solution that has only a single piece of hardware mounted in the ceiling, however if this is not possible so be it.

Any and all suggestions and comments are GREATLY appreciated...
Question by:WalkerYYJ
    LVL 44

    Accepted Solution

    I've done loads of these kinds of events, and usually if its just photographers and local media they will be ok with a decent ADSL line (for the upload of pictures, etc.)

    However, if you are going to be connecting TV crews they usually require a larger, synchronous pipe.  10Mbps is usually ok, and you can share it around too.  To be sure I would try and do some information-gathering before you commit to buying anything as you may under or over-spec what you actually need.

    For WiFi, I'd use a something like a Xirrus XN8 array.  This gives you 4x b/g/n APs and 4x a/n APs in one unit.  You could quite easily connect 50-80 clients to one of these...

    This can all be connected up quite easily using a Draytek router or similar to provide a connection to the internet.

    Author Closing Comment

    Excellent, thanks I had seen a Xirrus array in operation some time ago but it had totally slipped my mind, just ordered one!

    appreciate the input!

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