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What's the best Wireless modem for best strong signal

Posted on 2012-12-22
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Last Modified: 2012-12-25
Hello
Please I have new real estate (new building) four floors include 18 apartments and still working in the infrastructure, do you think that one wireless modem is enough to provide  DSL  internet service to all the apartments without using Access Points devices and which type should it be.
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Question by:yzn
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by:John Hurst
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I have my wireless modem in the basement of my house, and it services the second floor quite well, but the signal is less upstairs than on the main floor where I mostly use my laptop. Also, the modem is high in the basement. I have a very good Cisco RV200W wireless modem.

So I don't think you will find one modem to service 4 floors. That is too much of a stretch. You need an access point on each floor.

Assuming you can run Ethernet between floors, it should be very easy to add access points.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:yzn
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Ok Sir, which type of Access Point is guaranteed to cover one floor even the deep rooms inside the floor?
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by:Scobber
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Your biggest consideration apart from signal is congestion.

I would be deploying a couple of decent access points. and turn off the wifi in the DSL modem. Most entry level modems don't handle wifi too well. The customers that are at the farthest point will cripple those closer. When you add Connection Tr5acking/NAPT/Firewall/Port Forwarding into the mix. the modems processor tends to get a little over worked.

Check out the Ubiquiti Uni-Fi series.

They are a LWAP fairly cheap, easy to add and clone configurations.

http://www.ubnt.com


Cheers
Scobber
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by:Tony Giangreco
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I agree with Thinkpads_User, it can be hard to find one wireless modem to cover an entire building. There are environmental factors that can breakup, deflect and block signal such as steel beams, sheetmetal vents, steel doors, microwave overns and cordless phones (in use) and other transmitting devices.

Normally what we do in this situation is review the floorplan of each floor, determine the best location on that floor to place the modem where it's not blocked by anything metalic and mount it in place. Then we add an access point or signal extender to each additional area or floor and connect the access points to the wireless modem. This adds a 2nd, 3rd or 4th area where signal is transmitted and further saturating your building with signal in an attempt to provide signal to all areas of the building.

Don't forget to setup wireless security so you limit your liability and protect your tenants.
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by:Darr247
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It depends on construction. If it's concrete with rebar, or metal studs, 1 per floor might not be enough.

You don't need an active internet connection to set up a wireless router/AP on the 1st floor and go up to the 4th floor with a laptop to see how much signal you have.  If you install a program like inSSIDer on it, you can see relative signal strength while checking for nearby competing networks at the same time.
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by:Tony Giangreco
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You can also setup one wireless modem, put it in place and check the current wireless signal strength by running the app and walk through that floor to determine of an area will have a dead spot ot low signal.

We did this for a commercial client and it worked great. Try this app. it's quick and very easy to use.
http://www.passmark.com/products/wirelessmonitor.htm
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by:Tony Giangreco
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Sorry, I left out: We walk through the are with a laptop running the app and watch the grapg to check signal strength.
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by:John Hurst
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I use a Cisco RV220W wireless modem which is a commercial dual band (G and N) router. You need something like that.

Also with 18 units and 18 different levels of expertise, consider (if you can) Ethernet in each unit and let people get their own routers.

If you cannot, an access point in each floor will probably work.

.... Thinkpads_User
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lancecurwensville earned 70 total points
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Without doing a site s survey you are just taking a chance at best and possibly waiting money.    A simple, although very basic survey can be done pretty cheaply yourself.   Following the others suggestions, get inssider installed on a notebook, purchase the cheapest ap you can find.  Set it on top of a ladder in the center of the floor.  Fire up the program and walk to all areas of that floor to gauge signal strength.   If you have decent signal then you will know for sure one per floor will be enough.   If there are areas that are weak then you may need to add a second one per floor.  Once the number of acces points are determined you will need a router, such ss a Cisco 831 or equivalent, but something other than your isp device to hand out addresses.   As for Aps, I am partial to orinoco/proxim Ap 1000  or Cisco airports.   You will pay more up front, but if you go residential grade equipment you will forever be resetting equipment.   Plan and purchase good stuff up front and you won't have to touch for several years.
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by:yzn
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Ok gentlemen, depending on all these information I think I should choose one of two choices after putting the DSL Modem  in the ground floor (Where the DSL line is found and no apartment in this floor) as first step then:

1- I put one main Access Point  in each floor where all of them should be connected to the DSL Modem by  ethernet cable then I put another Access Point in each apartment where each one of these local Access Point should be connected to the main  Access Point in the same floor by wireless method. The goal of this choice to use less cables (just 3 cables to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors) and this mean less cost.
OR
2- I put Access Point in each apartment where each one of these local Access Point should be connected to the DSL Modem by  ethernet cable and this mean 18 cables (6 cables to each one of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor). This choice seem better for signal level but higher cost.

What you think gentlemen?
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by:John Hurst
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In the medium to long term, option 2 is most definitely the better choice. You will get the best results by apartment and if you use a good quality installer who uses proper wiring techniques and CAT 6 cable, the installation should last a long time.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Tony Giangreco
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Sounds like a good decision. You might want to check for dead spots to warrant off complaints.
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by:Darr247
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Option 3 would be to put one 8-port gigabit switch (e.g. Cisco SG200-08) on each of floors 2, 3 and 4, run 3 cables as in option 1, then if needed run 6 ethernet cables from each switch to the apartments on that switch's floor.
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