Wireless Solution Or Scam?

By jbiohaz ·
Ok, here's the thing. I'm working at a beach condominium resort in Mexico that has never had fully functioning wi-fi. We're looking into expanding the wi-fi service to the whole complex, this consists of 2 10 story condo buildings (max 13 units per floor).
The contractor that's going to do the setup has given us 3 options.
1.- Purchase range extenders for every 2 units to improve signal.
2.- Set up 20 access points (10 for each building, 1 for each floor) and install repeaters every 2 units (46 repeaters per building).
3.- Hard wire the buildings with Cat6 cable & 1 48 port hub & 1 16 port hub per building.

The current set up is in the middle of both buildings we have a DSL connection to a 3com OfficeConnect ADSL Wireless 54mbps 11g firewall router, that feeds 1 omnidirectional antena (for ground coverage arround pool area) and 2 D-Link ANT24-1800 2.4Ghz 18dBi indoor/outdoor high gain directional antennas.

We know for a fact that the use of range extenders has not worked in the past. And we would prefer to have the wi-fi instead of hard wire. But we cannot get a second opinion since this is the only contractor in town that can do the service. But I'm not sure this contractor is having the customer's best interest in mind.

I would like to see if you have any recommendations for this situation.

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All Answers

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Check this out

by patb071 In reply to Wireless Solution Or Scam ...

They send you all the equipment you need. I don't know if they have any dealers in mexico but if you offer a free stay anything is possible. I have used there system before and it works good. i was going to become a dealer for them but i have no extra time.

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OK firstly Range Extenders do work

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Wireless Solution Or Scam ...

But they have to be correctly installed and setup.
Just bunging them where you think they should go and hoping for the best isn't going to work most of the time.

However if you don't want to use Range Extenders your only other option is to Hard Wire things into place and work that way.

It's one or the other here you can not have it both ways.

As for if it will work provided that the Buildings are of the right construction and don't have Foil Insulation between the rooms yes it should but without know the construction of the Buildings it's a Line Ball Call there I would have to go with the person On The Spot as to what they recommend as they can see what they are dealing with.

However the down side of WiFi is Security what are you planning on instigating to prevent strangers as apposed to guests logging into the WiFi and stealing Bandwidth?

The better the security the harder it will be for the guests to setup their WiFi Enabled NB's to access the WiFi so if you want ease of use I would go with a Individual RJ45 Socket in each room and just allow the guests to plug in to get Internet Access.

You can maintain the WiFi for around the pool area but keep it restricted to that small area and don't try to extend it to the main buildings.


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On the range extender issue

by jbiohaz In reply to OK firstly Range Extender ...

Ok, thanks for the feedback. The area of the resort is somewhat isolated from people that would log in and steal Bandwith. As I said, I'm not that knowledgeable in the wireless networking field. But could you piggy-back on the range extender signal to cover the whole building?

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It depends on the construction and Radio Wave Propagation

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to On the range extender iss ...

All WiFi Devices do have a limited Range which is shortened further by obstacles in the way. So if you where to place a Earthed Metal Screen between a WiFi Transceiver and the computer there would be no or very little signal strength available at the computer because the Screen absorbs the Radio Signal.

These low Powered WiFi Extenders have small aerials which are very directional so if you can imagine the Radio Waves radiating out from the Aerial as a sort of Cylinder on the same axis as the aerial you will see that any computers mounted above or below the WiFi Extender will be in a Black Area or at best an area of a Weak Signal.

You need to spread the Range Extenders out from wherever and at different levels above Sea Level as required. So any Metallic Insulation/material in the Walls/floors/ceilings will limit the signal and if these are Electrically all one piece they will stop the signals as they become a Faraday Cage.

The trick with Range Extenders is to place the first one just before the Range of the WiFi Access Point drops below as to be a Marginal Service with lots of Drop Outs or slow Data Transfer. You then keep expanding from that point out as required depending on Signal Strength. The stronger the Signal with less obstacles between Range Extenders means a greater distance between Range Extenders.

Under ideal conditions a WiFi Signal can travel 500 Meters but the Operative Words here are Ideal Conditions. It's very rare for these conditions to exist. Depending on any Structures and their construction this can be limited right down.

Even Air Conditioning Ducting can absorb Wireless Signals and prevent a WiFi Hotspot for having any real range.

This isn't the easiest thing to explain and it's even harder to describe how to setup something when you have no idea of the topography and construction materials.


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This is really helpful

by jbiohaz In reply to It depends on the constru ...

You've opened my eyes to the problem in a whole new way. Insulation in the units is not a problem, we would be happy if the signal would go up to the balcony and main room in front of it. But I've never taken in account the balcony railing, these are made of cast iron, about 3 1/2 feet tall. That may very well be the reason we only get 1 or 2 bars of signal strength in the units. Seems like we?ll have to bite the bullet & go for the hardwire solution.

I really appreciate the help, my main concern about the vendor was addressed.

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Your Welcome. OEM

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to This is really helpful
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not sure if this will work 4 u?

by sirkozz In reply to Wireless Solution Or Scam ...

Use a Belair AP100 on each side of each building mounted at ground level. $3000 each total $24,000. This is the enterprise solution. I've done this in Vegas for hotels.
Works great!

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