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Local wifi on my Laptop for a workshop

Posted on 2015-02-03
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Last Modified: 2016-02-29
I'm preparing a 3 day workshop where the delegates will bring their laptops. The instructor's laptop will run a SQL Server. The delegates will need to connect to the SQL Server with their Excel on their various laptops.

I need to find suitable hardware for this. Preferably light enough to take on a plane. Is there a small box 'router' type thing I could plug into my laptop via USB? And how will I set it up? Easy?
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Question by:hindersaliva
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 375 total points
ID: 40587718
Look for travel router.  Set it up before hand.  I can't find the specific one I bought a year ago, but newegg had a sale on them $10 powered off USB port or USB type charger.  Works great.  Just keep in mind, if you don't plug it into a wired connection for internet, everyone can access but won't have internet so the server will need to provide DNS resolution or you'll have to have people specify the address by IP or add entries to their hosts file.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 125 total points
ID: 40588026
Or one of the HUAWEI pocket modem/routers like the E589 which you can add a SIM to for cellular external access (or with the SIM removed acts just as a Wireless LAN router) Connects up to 10 separate devices and is about the size of three credit cards stacked on top of each other.  8-10 hour battery life or connect to a laptop or USB charger.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 375 total points
ID: 40588479
The problem with a cellular one is that most limit to 5 or 10 or some other low number of connections.  A travel router shouldn't have that limitation.
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by:hindersaliva
ID: 40588485
Yes, I forgot about number of connections. Up to 20 would be ideal.

AND preferably the delegates (and I) can continue to access the internet as usual (through their existing or through our router), without interfering with the local Wifi.

Reliability is a must, of course.
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Author Comment

by:hindersaliva
ID: 40594919
I have searched online for Travel Routers. They are designed for travel (ie. light and small) and none mention how many Wireless connections are allowed. I guess these are not specifically designed for my need.

Does anyone know of any dedicated routers for 'instructors to use in a class' where students can connect with WiFi?
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Lee W, MVP earned 375 total points
ID: 40595060
Because most routers don't have a limit.  They are providing a connection and that's it.  You can buy a business class router too if you like... they aren't very large (most of them) will easily fit into a a traditional lunchbox.

Just keep in mind, wireless is NOT reliable.  I don't care how expensive the router is.  NOTHING beats a wired network.  If you're going to do this wirelessly, you're going to have instances where someone can't connect or that the connection drops... and then what happens if you get a hotel like Marriott jamming wifi that doesn't belong to them?

http://readwrite.com/2015/01/02/mariott-hotel-block-wifi-hotels-fcc
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Author Comment

by:hindersaliva
ID: 40595287
Thanks Lee. Good point about jamming WiFi!
I was going to use Regus but same warning applies. I should get assurances that they will not block wifi.
So wired should be a backup plan. Up to 20! That'll be a big box.
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