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Wireless vs Cable

By mike.peck ·
My company is about to move to a new building. I am debating cable vs wireless networking and am looking for input, pros and cons. I am leaning toward cable but can be convinced otherwise. Any and all comments and suggestions are welcomed. Below is some background information.
20,000 sq.ft on one floor
65 employeess and workstations
1/3 laptops 2/3 desktops
NT, 2000, 2003 servers
Some wireless experience
Mostly open floor plan with some floor to ceiling walls.
Landlord would install cable
Single domain
3 remote locations connected through VPN
Thanks,
Mike Peck

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Both to get the benifits of both

by jdclyde In reply to Wireless vs Cable

Provide a hardwire connection to all PC's that don't need the flexiblity that wireless provides.

You give up a LOT of bandwidth when you go from wired to wireless. First instead of 100baseT you are running 54mbps. Now on top of that there is a LOT of network overhead for the wireless to work. Then to keep it secure you would be encrypting it as well. Plan of half the wireless bandwidth is just overhead.

This gives the wired network a big speed advantage (for the local users).

I would then have wired docking stations for the laptops if they need to connect to printers and mice anyways.

But I would also make the wireless available so that the laptops can be used when in meetings or visiting other locations.

Try to isolate the WLAN from the LAN by putting on a different subnet and authenticate to get onto the main lan. Many people use VPN from the WLAN to get to the LAN.

At least that is the way I would and HAVE approached this.

Good Luck.

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I absolutely agree with jdclyde...

by cp7212 In reply to Wireless vs Cable

Not only will you enjoy more bandwidth, your problems will be far fewer. You could put one access point near a main meeting room and then put one or two out on your main floor, depending on your needs. Just make sure if you put multiple access points out that they are on different channels. We use Channels 1, 6, and 11.

Actually, it sounds like you have a good environment for a hybrid network. Good luck.

Signal penetrations for walls:
Solid concrete: one or two walls
Concrete or cinder block: three or four walls
Wood or drywall: five or six walls
Solid metal walls will cause the signal to reflect. Chain links or grates will block a 2.4 GHz signal. Corrugated steel will also block a signal.

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Blocked signal

by jdclyde In reply to I absolutely agree with j ...

What I have done is get an access point that can run an external anttenna and run the cable to the outside of the wall.

Works like a charm and makes ME look good!

The EXECS love the access from anywhere and I also use this to bridge to another building so I didn't have to trench out fiber.

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How far does your anttenna cover

by ariel In reply to Blocked signal

How far can the users be to get a good signal? What kind of antena are you using?

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Agreed with both

by jmgarvin In reply to I absolutely agree with j ...

Let me be the third to agree.

Make sure that your antenna placement makes sense because attenuation can cause that 54mbps network to become a 1mbps network very quickly.

Also keep in mind that you can always move the AP to where it works best...just have enough CAT5e slack so you don't have to re-pull.

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AP placement

by jdclyde In reply to Agreed with both

Walls and ceilings work best!

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Big fan of ceilings and wall mounts

by jmgarvin In reply to AP placement

Although it isn't always possible. I know I've had trouble with fire code and various strange issues with mounting APs.

Sure, having an electrical outlet in the ceiling is fine, but using it...nope can't do that! Bah...

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Power over Ethernet

by jdclyde In reply to Big fan of ceilings and w ...

Some of the devices can get the power right over the ethernet cable. It is really a cool thing! Then you don't have to worry about electrical AND ethernet.

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Ah to dream ;-)

by jmgarvin In reply to Power over Ethernet

If only power over ethernet were a reality ;-) If only someone could create a cool device that pushed power over the twisted pair!

Ok, I joke, but I do have a question. Don't most APs still need a wall wart? Is PoE enough to support them?

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Wall Wart?

by jdclyde In reply to Ah to dream ;-)

The PoE will completely power the AP but only certain AP's will do the PoE, with the purchase of about a $20 box to feed the electrical.

More and more cool toys all the time!

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