WIFI Access point for 100 users?

readymade used Ask the Experts™
What access point do I need to buy to provide 100 people wifi access?  This is for a sales meeting, so it's not permanent.  

Maybe I will need multiple access points for this many people?

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I'm assuming that this event will take place indoor's?
Are you concerned about security?
What is the approximate sq footage of meeting area?
Approximate budget?
You'll need to make sure that the internet connection behind the wifi is up to the job as well.
In the past I have used the following:
NETGEAR ProSafe 16-AP Wireless Management System WMS5316
The AP management system give you load balancing and a control interface for the entire system

NETGEAR ProSafe Dual Band Wireless-N Access Point WNDAP350
Has a good range and power.

you will also want a POE switch so you only have to run CAT5(6) to the Ap's

There may be newer model numbers as this setup was completed a year ago.
The answer to your question is somewhat complex. It depends on the type of data and amount of data this temporary WiFi network is expected to handle. If the users are going to be able to do more than just check email and basic web, more APs may be needed. Multimedia, VOIP, etc. add to the network load.

Multiple Access Points (AP) may be your best / only viable solution. The number of APs can vary though.

A basic rule for WiFi is 20-24 users max for most commercial quality AP. (You can set the number of users when configuring most APs.)

The more users per AP the slower the speed. Home grade wireless routers and access points will usually not even handle 10-12 users for any real traffic load.

The higher quality, multiple radio enterprise APs are advertised as being able to handle 100-200+ users. However, actual recommended loads are 30-70 users, (depending on the number of radios in each AP.)


The event might be behind our building in a big tent.  Not sure yet.  

They won't be doing anything crazy.  Just email and web surfing mostly.  

Ok so for a higher quality multiple radio AP to handle 30 - 70 users.....   what is a good model and what is the price range for these?
Check out the D-Link DAP-3690.
Specs - http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=899

If you're sure it's not going to get wet, the D-Link DAP-2690 might be suitable.
Specs - http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=770

If you buy multiple units of either, they can be centrally managed using D-Link's AP Manager II software.

I believe CDW and Newegg sell both of those units, too... it just looked like Amazon had the best prices.
I have had good luck with Motorola's Dual and Tri-Radio APs

Motorola AP 7131 Tri-Radio should be less than $1100 US each
Motorola AP 7131 Dual-Radio Should be less than $900 US each

There are a few other brands out there too, but I have not had any recent experience with their multi-radio AP products.
Roughly $800

NETGEAR ProSafe 16-AP Wireless Management System WMS5316 - Network management device - 4 ports - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet -
with 2x NETGEAR ProSafe Dual Band Wireless-N Access Point WNDAP350


Thanks!  Great advice!

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