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Wireless Needs

By Dwalker ·
I work at a school of 400 students and 50 staff members. Our NT network is composed of all 3com products. We have a fiberoptic backbone that can give us 2GB of bandwidth at full duplexing with three main backbone nodes. Each node is made up of two or more 3COM SuperStack II 3300s Matrixed together to supply a 1GB of bandwidth to eachother. Now students & staff are hounding for a laptop wireless system so they can access our intranet from home. My questions is:
What is the best cost effective wireless solution that will allow users to have wireless access from miles away?

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by Shanghai Sam In reply to Wireless Needs

I'm not sure you will find one that will support access from "home". Most of the systems I have seen feature a very small card for the PC/laptop with limited power and range...typically measured in hundreds of feet. These units connect to a wireless bridge that is hard-wired into the network which feeds into a separate high-gain antenna mounted on the rooftop to cover the miles between buildings and or cities. It sounds as if your users have blended wireless PC service with cellular phone service. I'm sure there are vendors with WAP modems for laptops, but then you're limited to cellular bandwith which, I believe, is currently limited to 14.4 or 19.2 Kbps. Probably not what your users had in mind.

You might want to check out Aironet (www.aironet.com). Their web site can show you how they're implementing wireless in office and campus networks and perhaps give you the facts you need to explain the problems with such a request. And hey, if there is someone out there who's developed a broad-range high-speed wireless system for the laptop, I'd like to know about it too!
Best wishes.

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Wireless Needs

by mark.chiampi In reply to Wireless Needs

I don't think that is a feesable solution. Wireless generally operates on the 2Ghz wavelength at low power-- like a c-phone. However, the signal is "line-of-site" and range is limited. To extend the range (max of about 25 miles), special antennasare required (to be pointing at each other)... Since your school cannot "aim" the antennas at individual students... I would seek another solution. Furthermore, wireless technology is still rather expensive vs. alternatives.

May I suggest a RASbank? (A bank of modems to allow direct dial-in of the students into the network).

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by Dwalker In reply to Wireless Needs

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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by ricky In reply to Wireless Needs

Unless the people who want wireless live very close to the school you need to look at something like seting up a dial in service and using a terminal server with a thin client of some kind. We use a lucent max6000 with our own isdn pri to get people in then we use windows terminial server running a citrix client. This combo works well with dialin speeds and gives the user a desktop just like at the job (well for all intents it is the same desktop). It is easy to manage because it is all local and all they need at home is a modem to dial in on. The reason for the dialin server(max6000) and the pri is to meet the v.90 standard and get the most speed posible.

hope this helps

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by Dwalker In reply to Wireless Needs

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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by rawright In reply to Wireless Needs

Our town's newest ISP is using the Lucent Orinoco WaveLAN products with great success. Each home connection will require a fixed antenna (I had to upgrade to a 25dB at home to reach about 5 miles and crash through a large, dense clump of trees), along with a PC card in the laptop. Depending upon terrain, distance, and geographical distribution of your students, you also need at least one, possibly more access points on the main building, along with additional remote access points to fill in shadow areas. That will require cooperation of other building owners to gain access to their roofs.

I just put my company on this system in exchange for free roof access, and it is a huge improvement! But I suspect that the dialup RAS solution isgoing to be far more affordable for a school. If you want to review the products, see http://www.lucent.com. CDW retails the products, so you can use their website as a price estimator. Good luck!

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by Dwalker In reply to Wireless Needs

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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by Dwalker In reply to Wireless Needs

This question was auto closed due to inactivity

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