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School Wireless Equipment / System

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-27
A school, with 65 rooms and 1300 users has asked for a simple solution to a new wireless equipment install.  They have looked at the Meru and Meraki systems but the equipment and license fees are extremely expensive.  
Has anyone experience or has seen a wireless system that is simple but works?  
The ideal solution would be a router joined to the internet, join it to their current domain and use one of their windows domain controllers for RADIUS authentication and domain internet access.  Switches to be installed, wired to the router and then on to the Access Points.  I have looked at the Draytek equipment but the router recommended (2860) can only control up to 20 APs.  
What is the best value for money that can be used?
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Question by:babaata
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LVL 17

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Chris Millard earned 375 total points
ID: 39796739
An objective question since everyone will have their own ideas, but we have a client who uses Watchguard, and it's very good.

They have an XTM515 hardware Firewall, with AP200 units for the Wireless. The Wi-Fi is VLAN separated between staff and students, and the student Wi-Fi also has station isolation enabled so that student devices cannot communicate with one another.

All APs are centrally managed from the Watchguard appliance.

It's a good system. I can't say best value for money though, since I've nothing much else to compare with that I personally have used.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:Jordan Medlen
Jordan Medlen earned 375 total points
ID: 39796906
Look at Ubiquiti (ubnt.com). They have great equipment, free wireless controller, and performs very well. I have actually installed the AirFiber product and tested it out as well. I do get 700Mbps between buildings in our campus environment, that are .5 miles away. Works well as a backup to our fiber. When I go to upgrade our existing Cisco WiFi infrastructure and controllers, I will be going with Ubiquiti.
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:convergint
convergint earned 375 total points
ID: 39798582
The EnGenius line of access points are great value for money with an option for almost every situation and they also have a free wireless controller.

http://www.engeniustech.com/component/content/article/130-solutions/16350-zone-controller

However, the Ubiquiti have been good for us too but I only have experience with their outdoor line of equipment.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:sgt_best
sgt_best earned 375 total points
ID: 39799844
We've used the Ubiquiti and it works great.  We have also used their equipment to create wireless bridge to IP cameras and works great.  That is constant traffic even when school is out.
The Ubiquiti products usually come with its' own POE injector but that will get messy fast.
We've also used the Engenius outdoor products.  They are a solid company, well represented and provide excellent support.

Make sure to budget for power, too.  Most POE switches will not handle a full load so just because you have 48 ports doesn't mean it will run 48 POE devices.
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