Multiple Access Points

We are currently in a 7,000 sq/ft office space. We have 3 Engenius access points on the same SSID and the wireless is slow and painful (when people wire in it's fine).

We are moving to a 10,000 sq/ft office space. It is an open area with cubicles. I am looking for suggestions on the best access points for the money (let's keep it under $500 per) and how I should configure it so someone can walk from their cubicle at one end of the space to a cubicle at the opposite end and never lose coverage??

Thanks any help.
clifford_m71IT ManagerAsked:
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
I am a big fan of ruckus.  How many users are we talking about.

You can probably ebay them cheap, but with wireless you get what you pay for.

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clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
about 80 users. I'll look at ruckus. At first glance they're not out of our price range. Would you recommend a single SSID so that people can roam around the office?
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
The reason you're asking is because you want to get past the slow service issue.

Presumably, you have them all with the same SSID and on different channels.  Yes?
Then, when one becomes weak, the client switches to a stronger one fairly automatically and the OS networking thinks it's all the same more or less.  Yes?

Since these are access points, they ARE wired, right?  No WDS or the like?  

I don't imagine that you have more than around 45 people involved in 10,000 sq ft.  So the number of clients shouldn't be much of an issue with 3 access points, particularly if the load is distributed more or less equally.  You will know that by looking at the number of DHCP clients there are per access point.  Even so, that's probably not a major contributor to slowness.

I'm a big fan of *wired* connections..... some people have laptops and use them wirelessly when all they do is sit on a desk.  That seems untoward.  The issue here is customer satisfaction and NOT one of trying to reduce the number of wireless clients.  As you've noted, the satisfaction is fine when wired.  Doesn't work for phones of course...

With the area you're covering and the type of space, I have a hard time imagining that just about any access point won't do the job as long as you pay reasonable attention to RF coverage (antennas and placement vs. walls, etc.).

I've been using a number of D-Link DWL-3200APs for at least 10 years.  On occasion I've had to reboot one or another and sometimes reload the firmware (we have frequent power outages where they're located).  I usually do all this remotely so it's not much of a bother when it does happen.  Otherwise they just run...    The POE is handy.  Their "n" replacement appears to be the DAP-2360 which is reasonably priced.  With the distances you have, these should work fine.  At $112, there's little financial risk in trying them.
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
Yes, same SSID and I recommend hard wiring, typically the case as you have to provide poe anyways.  

80 clients is a lot.  I will assume we are talking N, but enterprise aps are better equipped to handle that number of connections, how many hit the same AP now, any idea?  I would imagine this is the problem.  You may call ruckus and tell them your challenge as well so they can steer you right.  More APs or bigger APs.
Craig BeckCommented:
80 clients is easy with 4 APs.  With 3 it's tight.

Use the same SSID, different channels and RADIUS for authentication to enable seamless roaming.
clifford_m71IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I'm accepting this answer now just to stop EE from emailing every five minutes that I have a question open! I am going to give Ruckus a shot and report back.

Fred, everything you stated is correct. And I can't agree more that if your sitting at a desk all day why not wire in! We only have 25-30 users right now with three Engenius EAP350 AP's. They all have the same SSID. They are slow and when someone goes from one side of the office (open 7,000 sq/ft) to the other they do not hand off from one to the other.

Anyway, I'll let you know how the RUCKUS work.
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