Wireless solution for Condo project?

5 pts.
Tags:
Access Points
Wi-Fi
Wireless
Wireless security
I am on the HOA board for our condo complex. We ordered a qwest business internet package and we are trying to find a good cost effective method to distribute the internet to everybody via wifi. The complex is 4 stories high, and has about 50 units total, with a big shared open lobby in the middle. I am guessing we have a main access point, and then repeaters strategically placed on the other levels? Is this the best setup? If it is possible, we would like to remote manage the access points/repeaters, and also control who is on the network and how much bandwidth they are using...

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Hi FOO!!

I’m really no expert with wireless networks, BUT if there are 4 floors…. ideally you could have an access point on each floor and trunk them via wire to one switch which is therefore connected to the internet, all in the ground floor or basement.
Now, regarding access restrictions and remote admin, it depends on which access points you buy.
Most do have this capability. You can restrict access by only allowing certain MAC (physical) addresses on the wireless network. And as far as bandwidth utilization, this could be done through the switch or the access point.

Hope this helps a little.

Best of luck.

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  • Wrobinson
    There are a number of options to consider here. The best approach in your case can really only be determined by having a wireless network assessment performed on-site. Using a wireless access point with repeaters is an option; however, you can also use multiple wireless access points that are all part of the same wireless network. You might consider having at least one wireless access point for each floor and using repeaters throughout the floor as well as additional wireless access points as necessary based on your requirements. High-gain directional antennas are also worthy of consideration. It is worth pointing out that wireless network bandwidth is shared so you really want to implement something that is capable of 1 Gbps throughput as opposed to 10/100 Mbps.
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  • Kb3cgj
    I would suggest using Hotspot software and assign everyone a user/pass. Then you have control of who connects...most hotspot software also comes with bandwidth management software to control and monitor. I would also suggest that you have a wireless survey done. But keep in mind that the more access points the better, wireless is shared but putting them on Gig isn't going to help performance. Your limited by 802.11 so if you have 54Mbit access points the first person gets 27Mbit of usable bandwidth each direction then if a second person connected it would split again and each person would have 13.5Mbit of usable bandwidth and so on and so forth. So putting these on Gig isn't really practical but distributing the load more effectively by adding more access points is an easy way to increase performance. Nick
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  • Simhasriram
    hi Talking about a 4 storey building being made a wifi hot spot, you need to do a proper site survey, to understand whether the signals can be sent in to the units from the outside, as it will be easy to maintain and trouble shoot, there is also a philosophy which specifies that the more number of access points may give better coverage and throughput, but with only 3 non-overlapping channels it may seem illogical, but it is surely possible and in fact i am myself supporting a network on Wlan with 8 floors and 50+ access points installed and almost all are exposed to the weather(of course with weather proofing). you have mentioned repeaters are being used, i have an experience to understand that this may only add to the latency and bandwidth may not be put to optimum use this way, as you may be aware that wireless transmissions are slow compared to wired and only one can talk at any given moment on one particular channel(or AP), you should also understand that using g tech will reduce your range at the cost of speed, and it has to be adopted suitably as using both in the same environment my degrade the speeds notably. you can use a wireless lan controller but they are prohibitively costlier, as you do not intend charging (or do you), to monitor the users it may not be necessary as the present AP models are themselves capable of telling you these details.
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  • Jenrzzz
    You might also want to consider meraki, I'm not affiliated with them but it seems like they have a pretty good solution that might work for you. http://meraki.com
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