Solved

Wireless / Wired access point

Posted on 2013-12-01
12
557 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
I have a friend who I set up a video security system for in his small business.  His cable internet comes in on the top floor and that is where is router is installed.  He uses it for about 4 devices on the top floor, some wired and some wireless.

He wants to install a computer and a wireless Point of Sales terminal on the ground floor shop.  The wireless signal is sketchy by the time you get to the ground floor.  I was thinking of installing an access point for him.  I am unable to find the specs I am looking for, but think that maybe they are just advertising the products the wrong way.

So here is what I need.

A Wireless access point that offers wifi extender type services.  Meaning that is should extend the same network not create a new one (like connecting a wireless router would do).  I can not have double netting, it will break the security system.

I need it to have at least two wired switch ports that again, will only be switching, not routing (NO DOUBLE NAT).

I would like to spend as little as possible but get something decent.  Maybe the $50 - $100 range.

Any ideas?
0
Comment
Question by:savone
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +2
12 Comments
 
LVL 90

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 56 total points
ID: 39688315
If you cannot easily get a wired Ethernet cable to the ground floor, I suggest you get two powerline adapters (Ethernet outlets) and put one on the top floor and one on the ground floor.

Now on the ground floor put in a switch that will allow you to connect your POS to the network on the same subnet.

I assume your POS is best wired, but with the above setup you can easily add a wireless router on the same subnet and network as the top floor.

... Thinkpads_User
0
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:tsaico
tsaico earned 222 total points
ID: 39688317
You can just run a wire to the current location from the expected place for your AP.  Go with an AP that can handle POE, power over Ethernet, and then make the SSID and password the same, but a different channel.  Then whichever the AP has the better signal, it will connect to that.  Your user will feel a blip when switching in between APs (moving between floors), so a download in progress will often fail.  

I do not vote for extenders, since that adds latency to an already latent-prone communication.  

I have started using these, and other than their huge space ship look, http://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-Networks-UniFi-Enterprise-System/dp/B004XXMUCQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385918191&sr=8-1&keywords=ubiquiti+ap

I love em.  Fairly easy to configure, and come with the POE adapter so you only have to run one CAT5e or better cable to it, and the power and the data go over single line, making it easier to choose a good place to mount it.
0
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
tsaico earned 222 total points
ID: 39688320
Oh depending on the number of floors, you can actually just run the POE to middle floor and center of the building.  Then your AP is in middle of the action.  Still keep the same SSID and pass, different channel, but it may be easier to do than all the way to the ground floor.  The broadcast is a sphere, and goes 360 around.

Oh, also, I noticed many APs now coming with DHCP options, make sure all of them are off except for your wireless router's.  Engenius and ubiquiti have them off by default, but you never know.

Oh, and finally, I generally suggest to stay away from wireless for mission critical business applications if at all possible.  WiFi can be interrupted by all sorts of external factors beyond your control.  I often hear the argument, "but hospitals and other high-priority places use it all the time!". Which is true, but I can guarantee, their APs and the mobile devices have much more expensive antennas on them for this very reason.
0
 
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 111 total points
ID: 39688480
Perhaps this diagram will help.
The notion is, as many have said:

* Always* use Ethernet cable to connect when you can.
I can't emphasize this enough.
If routing some Ethernet cable isn't included in your price range then do seriously consider it.  The cable is cheap enough.

A commodity wireless router can do what you want in your price range.  Take a look at the attached diagram.

As mentioned, power line extenders are a userful substitute for Ethernet cable.

Never run QuickBooks shared over wireless.  Sometimes it may work and at some point may fail miserably and then you'll have a very hard time figuring out why.  You won't believe it's the wireless as the messages you get suggest corrupted files, etc.

The idea of centralizing wireless "radios" is a good one.  There are lots of factors and you may find that multiples are better than just one - as you have been pursuing.  Walls (particularly outside walls), ceilings and floors all attenuate the signals.  2 or 3 of them at most is about the limit.  None is best of course.  1 is usually OK.  2 is often OK.  Distance matters too but less so unless walls, etc. get in the way anyway.  It's hard to get coverage from one end of a large building space to the other end and hard to go from one floor to another unless the path is rather immediate above or below.

One easy way to find out is this:
Take a wireless router or access point around the building, plugging it into power as you go.  Then, while it's in one place, survey the result.  It doesn't need to have a connection to anything in order to test the wireless coverage.  Use something like NetStumbler to get signal levels on a laptop and walk around.

But, first, try hard to run a cable from the 3rd floor to the 1st floor.  That will resolve more problems than you might imagine!!
Wireless-Router-as-a-Simple-Swit.pdf
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 111 total points
ID: 39688620
If you connect the wireless router by one of its LAN ports (instead of the WAN/Internet port), and disable its DHCP server, you end up with a 3-port LAN switch and a wireless hub (NO DOUBLE NAT).
0
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:tsaico
tsaico earned 222 total points
ID: 39688823
@darr247's comment, this is also true, but the reason why a POE AP is still a better option, is so you can place the wireless at the ideal location regardless of electrical outlet., or even hanging from the ceiling, as they look a bit like smoke detectors.  Also, if you do this, don't forget you will have to disable one router's DHCP service, or at least change it's range to exclude the other.  (as in it increases admin tasks since now you have two DHCP pools to monitor and care for)

Cost wise it is about the same, just a router isn't as flexible until you get to the over $100 mark.  I have seen many $125+ have a ton of options, such as extenders, bridge mode, AP mode, etc though.  It just seems to be a waste to get one and then use it as only an AP.
0
Highfive Gives IT Their Time Back

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:savone
savone earned 0 total points
ID: 39689093
If I select a POE model, wouldn't my router need to have POE also?

@tsaico - Does your suggestion offer wired switch ports?
0
 
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:Fred Marshall
Fred Marshall earned 111 total points
ID: 39689137
If you select a POE model, the Ethernet data cable coming toward it will plug into the POE module and will continue through to the "output" side of the POE module.  The data source can be anything.  The unused conductors are used to get power from the module to the POE-enabled device.  

This is fine unless you are using full Gigabit Ethernet which makes use of all 8 conductors.
(I've not investigated Gigabit combined with POE - maybe it exists...)
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 111 total points
ID: 39689364
While some routers/switches offer PoE built into their LAN ports, I've never seen a PoE device that didn't work fine using a PoE injector such as this WS-GPOE-1-WM Gigabit PoE Injector unit (~$9 w/shipping). That same seller (WiFi-Texas) also has a WS-GPOE-6-48v60w 6-port Gigabit injector unit (~$60 w/shipping), et al.

You don't even have to buy a router/AP with PoE support built in, because most models can be converted to use PoE with selectable 5/9/12 volt injector/splitter kits like this TP-LINK TL-POE200 kit.
0
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:tsaico
tsaico earned 222 total points
ID: 39692881
@ darr247, check out the linked AP, I can't say much on the long term, since I just started using them, but Ubiquiti includes the POE injector with the AP.  It is more flexible than the Engenius and almost as good as my Cisco that are 3x as much.  They still work on standard POE switches.  So far, I have set up only 8 of them, but I really do like them for
1. The features and ability to control SSIDs, separate them into VLANs
2. It includes the POE injector, so no chance to forget them when headed to a site.

As for the OP, no, it does not have wired switch ports.  I am proposing you run a single Cat5e cable to the central part of the building, middle floor, and put the AP there.  The injector will be at your current wireless router, and will put both power and data to your AP.  It does not accomplish anything else than get Wifi signal to a more central location.

And I also saw a question in there with a question on Gigabit POE, it does exist.  Though, with the exception of APs, most of the demand simply isn't there.  All of my POE devices are things like HR time clocks, VOIP phones, and the occasional security camera.  While there can be said some demand for HD video on a security camera, most companies do not want to spend the extra on the camera and the DVR.  The wiki on POE has a great article on how it works to inject the power on the two pairs at the same time as using them as Gigabit data.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39694159
For future reference, if you hadn't selected http:#a39689093 as part of the solution (because it was really a request for further information, not technically part of the solution), you could have closed this without a 4 day wait... as long as all 500 points were assigned among the selected answers.

Hope that helps.
0
 
LVL 23

Author Closing Comment

by:savone
ID: 39704090
Thanks for the info
0

Featured Post

What Security Threats Are You Missing?

Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

Even if you have implemented a Mobile Device Management solution company wide, it is a good idea to make sure you are taking into account all of the major risks to your electronic protected health information (ePHI).
Don’t let your business fall victim to the coming apocalypse – use our Survival Guide for the Fax Apocalypse to identify the risks and signs of zombie fax activities at your business.
After creating this article (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/23699/Setup-Mikrotik-routers-with-OSPF.html), I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg) offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

706 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

17 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now