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Wireless office network

Posted on 2014-03-09
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Last Modified: 2014-03-12
Hi experts!

I have an office with 5 rooms with doors and walls in between.

Currently the 15 laptops and 3 printers are all wired via LAN wall ports which have internet

Office area is 50m x 35m. I currently have 2 x Asus RT N12 wireless router but the range is not good enough

I like to go all wireless

What equipment should I get?
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Question by:sharepoint2014
7 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:insidetech
ID: 39916811
Take a look at http://www.trendnet.com

They have fantastic WIFI technology for reasonable price. For extended range you can user one or multiple access points(AP) or select equipment with MIMO antennae technology that at minimum doubles the range.
With their stuff you can easily get GB at WIFI.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39916869
These are quite nice as well for the price they are: http://www.engeniustech.com/business-networking/indoor-access-points-client-bridges/16342-ecb350 they have other models as well for wall or ceiling mounting ...

Besides that, they offer something called Neutron Series, which is kind of a management platform, looks interesting, haven't worked with it yet though ...
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39917043
hello,
   I have just done a job for a pub which was a listed buliding with thick walls etc. and moreover there was no cabling in the building.

I ended up using HP AP stations.
I have blogged it here >> http://kash-knows.co.uk/?p=68

The model number is wireless access point is HP M220 - RSVLC-1103.

I have used 4 of them and they are clustered together and they do a really good job.

I have to say before doing the job I wasn't sure if it were going to be any good but it is not bad.

If you want something even stronger, consider Meraki Units >>> https://meraki.cisco.com/products/wireless
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Author Comment

by:sharepoint2014
ID: 39917239
Thanks - How do you cluster AP stations? I like this idea?

Now I have 3 x ASUS RT-N12 wireless router/AP/extender
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-3-In-1-Wireless-Router-RT-N12/dp/B00DWFPDNO

I'm thinking should I

- Plug my internet into one of the ASUS RT-N12 and run it as ACCESS POINT
- The other 2 ASUS RT-N12, shall use them as EXTENDER to extend the ACCESS POINT range

Can I do this?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39918801
it depends. The HP APs have a Clustering option in them. You put the name of your cluster in it and on all the others where you want them to join a cluster, just type the cluster name and it works.

Asus should work on the similar principle. What you need to do is take in to account the wireless signal cut out point for one station and then overlap the signal by 10% so that they are in constant PING with one another and that when you move from one area to another, you get a smooth handover to the other AP without any problems.

You can plug one of them into the router and then extend the network from that one on to other ones.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39918872
Normally I wouldn't contradict a customer's "wants" but this seems a case that some contrary advice might be helpful to you.

Use wired connections wherever you can.  Wireless just adds complexity and more things to go wrong.  It sounds like you have pretty good wired coverage.

If cost is a consideration then using the equipment you have is always a good plan if it will do the job.  

Without knowing the physical characteristics of the building spaces, here is a general ide that would work for wireless:

1) plug the wired access point into a port in the middle of the spaces.
2) set up the other 2 extenders half way away.

So, if there are 5 rooms in a straight line, you might put the access point in the middle "Room 3".
And, you might put the extenders in Room 1 or 2 and in Room 4 or 5.
It all depends on the attenuation and the coverage needs.  Rooms 2 and 4 will have better signal from the access point while rooms 1 and 5 will themselves provide better signal to the "edge" users.  You need adequate signal in both situations.  So, you can adjust depending on your exact situation.

It's easy to survey the site because you can use a laptop with something like NetStumbler to look at signal levels on a laptop.  And you can move the wireless units around without having to plug them in or link them (yet) just to look at signal levels.

A signal to noise ratio of 30dB or higher is desirable.  Links might work at 20dB SNR but could give you headaches from time to time.  NetStumbler may show a signal at -70dB above a noise level of -100dB.  So that's a difference of 30dB and anything above -70dB would be better.

It is difficult to predict what will happen "just by looking" or by doing it on paper as I have done above.  That's why you need to survey the site.

But, if this is really the situation (where there is perfectly good wire available) then why not plug in all of the Asus RT N12 units into the wall ports and use them also as a switch for nearby computers?  Consider 3 access points and NO extenders.  That's a much more robust arrangement.
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Accepted Solution

by:
masnrock earned 2000 total points
ID: 39924569
Yes you can do that. But you do need to make sure that the coverage wherever you place the units intended to be extenders are within range of the main access point. But if the first RT-N12 is acting as a router as well, then you should leave it in ROUTER mode. You will still be able to use the other two units as extenders. I have that scenario set up in my house. Works great 90+ percent of the time (occasionally need to restart them).

You could also consider setting up all 3 in different rooms to wired connections and making each one an access point. Then you will not have any of them dependent on another. Assuming you have a central router already, then you can make all 3 access points. Otherwise, 2 could be access points, and one could be set up as a router.
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