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Best Access Point Device

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-15
Hi,
 
 I have main building with file server (192.168.1.x network) and I have 2nd building which is about 40 yards away from the window of the main building. The 2nd building has a few desktop computers on the 1st floor and a webcam device in the basement.
 I am looking for the best access point device that delivers the strongest signal to the 2nd building. (* Running Ethernet cable or fiber optic cable is the last resort).
 What method would you recommend?
 (1) Install Access point on the window of main building so that 2nd building computer/webcam devices can receive signal and IP address from the ACCESS point?
 (2) or install some type of Range Extender on the window of 2nd building?

 What method and product/model name would you recommend?
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Question by:sglee
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Expert Comment

by:Mdlinnett
ID: 41828871
Have a look at devices by Wavesight > http://www.wavesight.com

I have a client who had a similar setup to you.  They had two Wavesight WaveSprint devices (54Mbps, one at each site) connected to provide network connectivity to a satellite office.  The devices can be powered via PoE.

The Firefly devices run faster though, at 802.11N data rates.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41828969
Is Firefly different to wavesight?
What is the company URL?
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by:Mdlinnett
ID: 41828973
The Firefly is a device made by wavesight. http://www.wavesight.com/technology/wireless-networks/
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Accepted Solution

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masnrock earned 500 total points
ID: 41829015
You basically need a wireless bridge type solution.

The Ubiquiti AirMax line would be something that would work well for you:
https://www.ubnt.com/broadband/#airmax
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41829065
@masnrock,
 
 What specific product(s) do you recommend given the scenario? Also I don't see pricing on their website. Is retail pricing available somewhere?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41829075
@masnrock,
It appears that Amazon carries Ubiquiti  products. I can see the reviews and pricing.
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 41829433
Agree with mansrock that you need to bridge, and to use Ubiquiti products.

Buy a pair of NBE-5AC-16 units to provide a link between the buildings, then connect a switch and/or wireless access point to the bridge at the remote building.
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41829596
Ubiquiti products are sold in lots of stores, including online.

Here's a link to the model that Craig Beck mentioned: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1194386-REG/ubiquiti_networks_nbe_5ac_16_us_nbe_5ac_16_nanobeam_ac_high_performance.html
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41830385
I tried to call UBNT at 408-942-3085, but all I get is the recorded message.
Do you happen to have a phone number where I can talk to a human being?
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41830504
There isn't one. Ubiquiti is one of those companies that's known for making you leave a message and they'll contact you back. Their products are solid, and I'd understand why you'd want to call and ask about them. If you need a live person to talk to about their products, you're better off talking to a company that sells their products, who of course have a vested interest in you buying.

I'd advise that you submit a sales inquiry to them from this page: https://www.ubnt.com/contact/

Nanobeam is part of the AirMax product line.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41830509
I ordered two of Ubiquiti Networks NBE-M5-16 5 GHz 16dBi NanoBeam airMAX Bridge. Basically I can connect one of these in the main building PoE switch. In the second building, I can connect 2nd unit to the internal switch and let the computer devices in the second building to connect to the same switch.It appears that I can consider these two devices equivalent to extension of Ethernet cable between two buildings.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41830512
I will receive the product on Friday and will try them over the weekend.
I will report back next week.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41838395
Building diagramWireless SettingNetwork Settings@masnrock
I have two of  NBE-M5-16 and need to set these up to connect my main building to the 2nd building.
Can you give me some information as to basic settings to accomplish my goal of making 2nd building as a part of main building? I
I have assigned 192.168.1.220 (default IP :192.168.1.20) to the first unit in the main building and not sure what option to choose in Wireless and Network tab - It has three options: Station, Access Point, AP-Repeater.
How should I set up NBE-M5-16 in the second building? I intend to connect NBE-M5-16 in the 2nd building to an internal switch where some PCs will be connected and hopefully the PCs in 2nd building will receive IP address from DHCP server in the main building.
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Assisted Solution

by:masnrock
masnrock earned 500 total points
ID: 41838434
In the Wireless tab, you want the following:
  • Wireless Mode: Station
  • WDS should be enabled.
  • SSID should be whatever you want it to be for the wireless bridge.
  • Wireless Security should ideally be WPA2-AES, and be sure to select a secure passphrase.

Set up the one for the second building while you are still at the first building. Wireless settings will be exactly the same. That way you can just take the second one to the second building already configured and be ready to test.

Here's a link to help you out:
https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/102255-point-to-point-wireless-bridge-with-ubiquiti
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41838480
Thanks for the info. I will try out later today and report back.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41838952
How would these two devices see/find each other and connect to one another without manual intervention?
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41839059
They will have all of the settings necessary to find each other once you've configured them. Given their strength and the fact that they're only 40 yards apart, you definitely should've have any issues.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41839120
I applied suggested settings on the 1st one including firmware update w/o a problem.
I can't apply firmware update for 2nd one and can't update the password. In fact I can't find where I can change the password although I can change username. I will reset the device and start from scratch.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41840091
Last night, I worked with Ubiquiti tech support  to troubleshoot the firmware update problem with one of two NBE-M5-16 devices. I knew that there was a little they could do when you can't apply firmware update, but I tried anyway, but no avail.
So they offered an exchange, but not cross-shipment that I was hoping for.
This product is not something that is readily available at local computer stores - Micro Center, BestBuy .. etc.
So I will have to ship this to Ubiquiti  in order for them to ship another one to me. This is going to take time.
I am going to try to test the product as it is. Hopefully lack of newest firmware won't impact the performance of the device.
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41840102
Where did you buy it from? A lot of retailers will let you exchange within the first 30 days rather than deal with the manufacturer.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41840132
I bought them from B&H Video and they are closed yesterday and today due to observance of holiday (???).
Ubiquiti offered to ship a NEW unit, not refurbished, but I have to send the bad one back first. No Cross shipping offered.
So I think  I will wait for B&H to open for business tomorrow and order/buy a new one and send this one back for credit via RMA.
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41840146
Today is Yom Kippur. B&H closes for Jewish holidays.

I would wait until tomorrow as well for B&H as well.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 41845149
MainWirelessNetworkSince I am waiting for the replacement, I have decided to give this a try with the unit where I could not update the firmware.
I have assigned 192.168.1.219 to NBE-M5-16 in the main building where the cable internet is located and these are the changes that I made in addition to password change.
(1) WDS: Enabled
(2) SSID: PDI_MAIN
(3) Security: WPA2-AES
(4) Network: Static IP 192.168.1.219

On 2nd device, all is the same as 1st unit except SSID: PDI_ANNEX  and IP: 192.168.1.220.
I placed these two in the same area (in the main building) facing each other abou 10 years apart.
Then I connected 2nd device to the 5 port switch and I connected my laptop to the 5 port switch. On my laptop, I disabled Wireless network and assigned static IP information: 192.168.1.100, 255.255.255.0   gtwy: 192.168.1.1 DNS: 192.168.1.9

My laptop does not see the internet and I can ping 192.168.1.220 and that is about it.
I thought these two devices will recognize each other and make the connection automatically and I would be able to surf the internet or connect to the internal network, but it does not.

How does these two see each other without manual intervention?
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Assisted Solution

by:sglee
sglee earned 0 total points
ID: 41845223
Select Wireless ConnectionI figured it out by watching the video clip given by Ubiquiti tech support. The following is what I had to do to get this working on the top of your advise:

(1) I had to set 1st device in the main building as ACCESS POINT and set the 2nd device as STATION.
(2) in 2nd device, I had to click [Select] button in the Wireless tab section to choose SSID ("PDI_MAIN") of the main(1st) device and click [Lock to AP] button. That was it!

Thank you for recommending this product. The device in 2nd building is connected to internal switch and I connected my laptop to the same switch. The speed is very good, considering I am in 2nd building. I am getting 45/5 mbps spee whereas we get 46-49/5 mbps on the main building. Our official internet speed is 50/5 mbps.

I placed both NBE-M5-16 devices inside the office windows in both building. There are a couple of trees in between buildings, but they don't seem to be blocking signals.
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 41845373
No problem, and we're glad you got things working. That's great that your speeds are very close to your true internet speeds.
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