Extend Wireless on Property

I have two buildings (small and close together)  One building has the Business Comcast Modem/Wireless on the second floor.  SSID: Admin 5ghz) and POOL (2ghz).  

I am running a  cable to the first floor and have a Netgear router (as an AP) there.   I have a Netgear wireless powerline connected via cable.  SSID:  WTCShop_Ext. that is located in the shop for the shop people only.....(I tried to have them connect to SSID: Admin upstairs, but there was reception/connection problems...probably due to building construction)

I need a wireless in the cafe in the adjacent (one story) building.  The adjacent building is "L" shaped to the 2 story building.  The Pool overlooked by both buildings.    I need the cafe (inside) to project SSID: Pool (for the guests).    I need as many guests connecting as possible.  

I don't want to piecemeal this environment.  I am looking at possible placing a Unifi system - but need to know if that is the best solution (and reliable).   This is an environment that may "add on" additional outdoor "SSID" ie. the Tennis courts.....or maybe in the future, be able to add cameras to the facility.

Does anyone have any experience with the Unifi (UBIQUITI) system?  Or multiple SSID from one modem (can it be done)?   Input is much appreciated!!!
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Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
I used the Unifi system to wire an entire healthcare facility and a college complex.  It works great, but needs a computer setup with their software to allocate the settings.  Once it is setup, it just works.

I went on Amazon and purchased bulk power injectors so that I didn't have to have a bunch of the individual injectors.  Plus, it looks better in the closet.

The system will automatically load balance and will kick users off of one AP and automatically transfer them to another one as needed.  It works great!
Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
One word of advice... they use a different voltage for the PoE injector, so you have to specifically search for "24v power injector".  This is the one that we used.


From my experience, you don't even need the "Pro" version of the APs, although they have more features for larger installations.
SuperCPlusAuthor Commented:
Super - finally technology is getting more useful....!  

Does the 2nd building have to have a cable to them?  Can they just access - or extend from the wireless signal on the 2nd floor of the 1st building?

Can there be separate SSID's  for each AP?
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Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
These are all wired.  They do not form a wireless backbone.  You will need to run a fiber link to the other building.

If you want a truly wireless option, check out Firetide.  They have made a lot of changes since the last time I used them, but they are a completely wireless mesh backbone, but you still need APs.

nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
I run UniFi Devices and controllers, consult and implement. This is VERY possible.

Don't extend.

  • How far apart are your buildings?
  • Estimated how many guests at any given time?
  • Do you want to limit bandwidth?
  • Do you have a budget for some additional hardware?

Here is a sample design

SuperCPlusAuthor Commented:
That's great confirmation....If I walk from one door across the pool deck, the cafe (2nd building) is about 100 ft door to door.   Inside the cafe - to the back of the cafe....add 300 ft.

The 1st (2-story) building has modem on second floor (where Admin hold meetings) and cable down stairs below the same room into the ProShop. We do want the Admin and Proshop to have secure connections....both can be SSID: Admin

On the Cafe/Pool, estimated guests will vary from 5 - 50 on a daily basis.  However, once or twice a year, we do want to be able to add additional users....maybe up to 300?  (Tournaments only....and there may be more tourneys a year....)

So the solution is to have a good system that can possible grow and be inexpensive and easily configured (no problem using a computer/software).  

What's the difference in this and Cisco's Aironet?  Just cost?  (I am not expert in wireless configurations but have extensive - 30+ years - using/troubleshooting computer technology)
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
UniFi is about a 1/3 the cost of Cisco gear and I think works as good for Wireless..

You can setup multiple vLANs, etc..  It's pretty slick if you have the skill.

DM me if you're interested or need help through gigs here on EE if it gets above what you think you can handle.
Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
From my experience, you will probably only need 2-3 with your configuration.  You can buy a 3-pack of the long-range APs on Amazon for about $250.  


As for the VLANs, it is really easy to use their software.  There is a panel at the bottom of the Web page that you click and you can configure different VLANs and limit their bandwidth, access times, devices, and more.

There are numerous videos on YouTube that describe the process.

To provide internet for the second building (which is what you have to plan out first), you could:
  • Set up a wireless bridge between the two buildings
  • Run wiring between the two buildings
  • Upgrade to Comcast's fiber service and then get a point to point between the two buildings

Have you done any sort of wireless survey? UniFi units can work in the scenario, and would be a great value option. But I've also had instances where I utilized Ruckus instead. UniFi units are considerably less expensive, but Ruckus units give better signal that's better able to overcome inteference issues.
SuperCPlusAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay in responding....I have been doing research into your suggestions.  I really like the Ubiquiti product - most Unifi AP's need the POE and ethernet wired.  But this one video I saw there was a wireless "uplink" :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16r9CoTdRqo

However, I think Unifi would be very sufficient for this property - and not having to run a wire to the 2nd building - yet.  Maybe in the future, running wire would be a consideration.  

As far as using Ruckus or Firetide, I think the cost is better satisfied with the Unifi and the signal will be sufficent.

Thanks so much for your imput - sorry for the long delay in responding.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
I was never a fan of Range extending and you will see this for your self for that may persons connecting..

Range extenders for wifi usually cut the bandwidth in half, but that is for the link speed basically...
The reason is because  extenders communicate to both sides of the network, which means extenders have to talk to the client first, get the data, then transmit it to the router(a.k.a store and forward). It then has to wait for the router to respond, then send the response back to the client. That adds a lot of overhead, generally cutting speed in half

My post HERE would cost you less than $400 and greatly improve your corporate and guest wireless experience over wireless range extending. Just my $0.02 :)
Brian PringleSystems Analyst II, SCM, ERPCommented:
For the link to the other building, you could also do a wireless bridge.  It is just a replacement for the wire, but may be faster and easier than a fiber link.

nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Fiber is great but expensive plus you need media converts(added $$).

 Air Fiber is also great but still pricey https://store.ubnt.com/airfiber.html

You want guests and staff to use your infrastructure when you build it.

I've installed many similar to this, at 1/10 the cost.
  • Two, or four 30m(100ft) cat6 bonded in a LAG between two LAN switches
  • Some added cost for Ethernet cables to the APs

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