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Trying to connect 2 buildings about 1,200 feet apart.  Recommendations on how to do it and the costs?

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Last Modified: 2018-11-01
We have a new 2nd building on property we own.  someone got verizon fios at the 2nd building (it was already in the 1st building).  They are about 1,200 feet apart with line of sight.

We need the 2nd building to be able to access the network in the first building (and minimize costs).   the 2nd building will have 1 -2  users and MAYBE some file transfers between the 2 buildings, but mostly email, web surfing

I'm trying to see the costs for connecting the 2nd building to our existing network / do we need fios at that 2nd building

Some options I thought of?

1) Setup a VPN - we have a watchguard at building 1 already and that has a VPN to another office in another state.  So add a Watchguard unit for $500? at building 2 and some config time / costs.  and still have the fios ongoing costs.  Anyone know the throughput of a vpn using Verizon fios at both ends?  it's lower than the speed you are paying for from verizon, right?

2) wireless? Maybe Unifi Nanobeam 5AC gen 2  

https://www.amazon.com/Ubiquiti-NanoBeam-High-Performance-airMAX-NBE-5AC-Gen2-US/dp/B0713XMHH9 

$113 each and we need 2 of them, plus time / moneh for hardware, mounting poles, etc. That  Would get 400Mbit which is fine (mostly email / web surfing etc at the far end).  But What if we want gigabit on wireless?  Is that doable at a reasonable cost? And can cancel the FIOS

3)  Fiber? I called Lanshack.com and they are saying the fiber cable would need to be outdoor rated (regardless of being buried, hung from poles or run in a conduit).  They have loads of choices but seems to be about $1,000 for a 1,200' cable (yes, we'll get a more accurate measurement before ordering and then increase by a bunch to be sure it's not too short).

And a couple media converers would be about $150. so $1,150 for an outdoor run of fiber for about 1,200 feet?  That will supposedly get gigabit speeds?

Am I missing anything?  Are my costs accurate?

What would you say the life of the wireless hardware would be?  Fiber or Fios / VPN seems more reliable, no hardware exposed to the elements.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
For the kind of use you want, VPN is likely to be slow unless you have really fast (read Expensive) connections at each end.

Wireless could be subject to interference and possible dropouts. Murphy's law will have these problems at the worst time.

Long term, fast and stable:  Go for the fiber connection. Amortize the capital over 3 years and it is competitive for cost.
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any thoughts on costs? does that little over $1K sound right for the hardware for fiber?

I like your thinking andrew - figuring out a path to hang the fiber from poles / buildings and actually doing that is something I'd like to avoid.  But I think you'd have to agree - 2 of those out in the cold / heat / salt air (oh, yeah,... this is on a pier in NY so a) there's salt spray and b) no way we can trench the cable : )  can't be the best conditions for them.  And wind gusts on masts - changing the alignment?  No one will want to go out there to re-aim / replace the units in the winter when the internet goes down

and would it be fair to say VPN speeds are a certain % of the speed you are paying for?  What is that certain %? (because of the VPN overhead, 20% of the data pipe is the encapsulation, etc... so you can only expect 80% of your normal throughput?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
any thoughts on costs? does that little over $1K sound right for the hardware for fiber?

no way we can trench the cable

I think then I would be inclined to get really fast Internet at each end and use VPN ( or see in NYC if you can get an MPLS connection.

No underground and winter / salt spray will be problematic for the other methods
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Commented:
We need the 2nd building to be able to access the network in the first building (and minimize costs).   the 2nd building will have 1 -2  users and MAYBE some file transfers between the 2 buildings, but mostly email, web surfing
What are the longer run plans for the second building? Based on your current state, Andrew's solution makes the most sense given you're talking about only 1-2 users since it's a fixed cost. However, you never did mention what else would be over there. Your next best solution would be getting an internet connection and implementing a site-to-site VPN (naturally this has recurring costs), which is what John's last solution was.
SouljaSr.Net.Eng
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Commented:
Agree with John. The cheapest/best route is to just get decent internet at both sites and put a site to site VPN between them. Easy does it!
Scott FellDeveloper
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Living out in the country with no fiber, comcast, uverse and very bad cell reception, the only choices for internet are satellite and wifi from a tower 2 miles away with a lot of trees and hills. I do use the wifi option myself at home.  At the office, we have fast broadband and as a back up a wifi connection but the tower is a mile away with very good line of sight. As there is a storm and comcast is down right now,  as we speak, I am on the wifi connection with 10 users that rely on a cloud VOIP phone system and heavy use of Google GSuite and internet connection.   The speed at the entry point router for the wifi is 40 Mbps set by our ISP and the average users workstation is 25 Mbps which is more than enough.  Although our main internet is 150 Mbps, we really can't tell the difference.  I can't speak to the Gigabit, but the option Andrew gave you works well for us.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
if the other site has its own Internet connection, VPN is the best solution.

if not, wireless bridge is the way to go. something like below show be within your budget.

http://www.telcoantennas.com.au/site/ubiquiti-nanobridge-m-point-point-wifi-bridge

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