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The Wireless Hotel

By eth0 ·
I am designing a wireless network for a hotel out here in Southern California. The owner wants to provide free Internet access to all guests. There are 2 floors with 59 rooms each. I do not have the exact square footage but I would guess 200 x 200.

I am looking at Buffalo Technology's AirStation, Cisco's Aironet series, and D-links Access Point stuff.

What I am trying to figure out is it cheaper to go with maybe 3 D-links or 2 of the stronger 200mw AP's such as Cisco's or Engenius? I have been reading that power is a difference maker when it comes to this type of environment.

If you have any suggestions please reply. Thank you all!

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Wireless

by CarlitosWay In reply to The Wireless Hotel

Hello,

Well it depends. There's a spanish saying us puertorican folks tell people often "You buy cheap....you buy every week".lol

I would go with either the Cisco Aironet series or the BT Airstation. I have to confess though I have never worked directly with BT products so I dont know how they would preform: security and signal distant wise. The cisco accesspoints come with a omnidirectional signal(more over all coverage) and the signal strength (up to 100mw)is more dependable and might reach farther then the D-link. Don't get me wrong I think Dlink is great and has a far reach, but for commercial client installations I personally wouldn't take the risk.

Like I mentioned before, I havent worked with BT products so I couldn't help ya there.

Just remember to take walls, obstacles, etc inside of building into consideration.

Hope this helps,

Carlitosway

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Check for dead spots

by jdclyde In reply to The Wireless Hotel

Due to walls, electerical and distance there may end up being dead spots in your network. Do a good walk around to make SURE it all works.

Will this be an open access point or will they need to login? If they login, then the Cisco will be more in line with what you want.

I would NEVER put a d-link in a commercial install.

Even high end Netgears are better.

But if you have to keep going out to fix this because of problems, the cheapest will rarely give you the results you want.

You can also upgrade the antennas to give better coverage. I wouldn't do a floor per access point, but a wing per as it will go through the floors and walls.

Get one, and test the coverage. Then use that to base how many you will need to get to cover the entire building well.

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external -internal consideration

by namitswar In reply to The Wireless Hotel

Install external omnidirectional antennas.
Those will cover all most of the rooms upwards from first floor.That will reduce cost of AP in all rooms as well as maintainence would be much easier.

Install AP in rooms on the lower floors and in the rooms which do not face the antennas.

Also dont forget about creating separate channels for AP to prevent channel conflict

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external -internal consideration

by namitswar In reply to The Wireless Hotel

Install external omnidirectional antennas.
Those will cover all most of the rooms upwards from first floor.That will reduce cost of AP in all rooms as well as maintainence would be much easier.

Install AP in rooms on the lower floors and in the rooms which do not face the antennas.

Also dont forget about creating separate channels for AP to prevent channel conflict

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Seperate Channels?

by eth0 In reply to external -internal consid ...

Thank you all for the tips. First, do you guys think Linsys is an adequate vendor? They have range extenders that work well with the wireless routers. I could have a wireless router on floor 1, perhaps an AP on the second floor, and then range extenders where i need them.

Also, security is not an issue now.

Regarding seperate channels, I understand these AP's are wired into the router (and the internet as well) do the clients automatically get the strongest one? DO range extenders work the same way?

Thanks all!

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Some tips....

by cp7212 In reply to Seperate Channels?

I have worked with the Cisco Aironet AP's and recommend them highly. This is a case of you get what you pay for. Also, Cisco's site is a wealth of wireless info.

Interference issues for a 2.4 GHz signal:

Solid and pre-cast walls will limit a signal to one to two walls. Concrete and concrete block walls will limit penetration to three to four walls. Wood or drywall, five to six walls.

Microwave ovens are the worst. They can block a 2.4 GHz signal within a radius of 50' when operating. These devices should have a label on the back to note what frequency they run on. Cordless phones (2.4 GHz, but usually not the older 900 MHz) will knock a wireless device off also.

Set different channels on your APs. We use 1, 6, and 11. No two channels of the same number can overlap. It doesn't look like you'll have a problem with that.

A client will gravitate towards the strongest signal. You will have to decide whether to dedicate a client statically to a certain AP or DHCP, in the case one AP goes down, it can find another. There's pros and cons to both scenarios. I've had to put one behind four concrete walls to keep it on one AP.

We don't have range extenders, but have you thought of using a wireless bridge?

An omni-directional antenna actually creates an oval-shaped field, with the field being longer horizontally than vertically. I had to physically lower an omni-directional antenna to make the signal "fit" under a metal deck.

If you have some more questions, post them and I will get back to you.

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my pov

by jbaker In reply to Seperate Channels?

I personally would not use Linksys in a commercial environment either. If the unit you are referring to is the one I am thinking of, then you will be extremely dissatisfied with the signals you get from it, even with the range extender.

Go for Cisco, or take a look at the HP ProCurve wireless. I would say Cisco first, though. If this hotel is constructed like most that I am familiar with, you might get away with two access points for the entire building and pool area (if applicable).

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