SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast Gonjiness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Posts
    84
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Large Wireless Network

    I'm trying to set up a wireless network for an apartment building. Right now the building has nothing in terms of a wired or wireless network. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    I am thinking of implementing two options:

    1. Buying eight home routers for the eight floors of the building (one on each floor). Each floor will also have a repeater to boost the signal strength at the other end of the hallway.

    Pros
    - Everything is done wirelessly
    Cons
    - 8 times the maintenance

    2. Have a switch with 8 wireless access points

    Pros
    - All access points are managed with shared Internet and better security
    Cons
    - Twice as expensive (the switch is expensive).
    - Access points must be physically wired to the switch

    Does anyone have any kind of experience setting up large (more than one router) wireless networks or HotSpots? I have a lot of experience in networking and setting up home wireless networks, but I am unsure about how to proceed in such a large apartment building.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do it the second way. The initial install will be much more complex, but it will be worth it in the end when you can troubleshoot the Internet connection at one point, rather than seventeen.

    Don't use any components designed for home use, and make sure you have a beefy firewall (we like the SonicWALL TZ 170).

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Gonjiness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Regina, SK, Canada
    Posts
    84
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the very quick response tripleD.

    Do you have any links that you can recommend? I've set up dozens of home and office wireless networks, but I'm a little clueless with the larger network.

    Here's my hardware configuration:

    1 3COM Wireless Lan Switch WX1200 attached to 8 3COM Wireless Lan Managed Access Points. The switch is controlled by 3COM WRLS Lan Switch Manager software. I'm not sure if a firewall is included in the package but if not I will definitely use the SonicWALL TZ 170.

    Right now I just desperately need information on the best way to set this up (configuration and hardware).

    Any links and/or advice is greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've never worked with 3COM stuff, so I can't say whether your hardware is good or not, but so long as it's business-caliber I'm sure it will be fine.

    Here's the way I'd do it, but bear in mind that I'm a sales guy and a web development man, and even though I came from an IT background I always consult folks in my office about technical specifics. That said, and off the top of my head, no gaurantees, results may vary:

    You've got your Internet connection coming in wherever, and your switch has a LAN IP address of 192.168.0.1 (that is, any component using this device as a gateway needs a 192.168.0.* IP).

    From there, you've run CAT5 to eight other access points. The WAN IP address of these access points should be 192.168.0.101-108 (I'd use 101-108, so you'll know offhand which IP belongs to which floor), and their LAN IPs should be something like 192.168.101.1), so the wireless devices connecting on the first floor (for instance) would receive IP addresses of 192.168.101.2-255. So apartment 302 might have an IP address of 192.168.103.10, with a gateway of 192.168.103.1. Apartment 709 has an IP of 192.168.107.20, with a gateway of 192.168.107.1.

    Code:
    SWITCH (192.168.0.1)
     |-1F Access Point (IP: 192.168.0.101, handing out DHCP addresses in the 192.168.101.* range)
     |-2F Access Point (IP: 192.168.0.102, handing out DHCP addresses in the 192.168.102.* range)
     |-etc.
    Hopefully that makes sense.

    I don't have any ideas concerning security (i.e. keeping apartment 302's computers secured against the prying eyes of apartment 304), but that's something you'll want to give some thought to as well.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard maartenvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,679
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I really dislike 3COM. Tespecially their network cards have given me lots of problems.

    I setup a large wireless network before. It is a ton of work, no doubt about that. But I think you want to keep it as simple as possible. Check out www.smc.com. Just keep the router you have now, get a wireless access point and use bridges from there on. Much easier to manage!
    Maarten


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •