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  • #2182269

    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
    Mike Peck

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    • #3175608

      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.

    • #3175414

      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.

      • #3175379

        Blocked signal

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to I absolutely agree with jdclyde…

        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.

        • #3067957

          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?

      • #3175251

        Agreed with both

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to I absolutely agree with jdclyde…

        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.

        • #3174859

          AP placement

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Agreed with both

          Walls and ceilings work best!

        • #3179033

          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…

        • #3178900

          Power over Ethernet

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Big fan of ceilings and wall mounts

          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.

        • #3177844

          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?

        • #3177810

          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!

        • #3176944

          Wall Wart = Transformer

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Ah to dream ;-)

          Those big ugly black boxes….

          That is good to know about PoE. It sounds like the coolest thing since Univac…I wish I had PoE equipment to play with 🙁

    • #3174596

      Depends on the service level you are buying

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Wireless vs Cable

      Local cable companies here are great for home users, but they often get picked up by businesses too and it’s a huge mistake. They also offer business level service, at MUCH higher costs, but they offer static adressing, company domains and they provide a guaranteed level of service and uptime, not available to home users.

      I wouldn’t recommend using a local cable provider as a business ISP though, not reliable and not secure enough.

      If you bring in your cable/DSL connection you can ruin wireless throughout your organization.

      As for satellite, I have a business connection myself, in BC. But if I had to pay for it, it would be close to $600.00 + per month with the bandwidth I use.

      Sure there are cheaper sat services, but they don’t come remotely close to the service level and reliability I have. Again, this is in the BC region.

      The main issues I’ve had with wireles/ssat in business is connectivity, then bandwidth loss as it generally loses about 7-10% through routing.

      I would suggest looking at your ISP’s more than anything, reliability, downtime, Quality Of Service (QOS) options, additional bandwidth useage costs (if they say unlimited, you are usually not discussing business level service)they generally give a set limit permonth and offer either a sliding scale or an expensive overage charge.

      CHECK the cable provider, I’ve seen more than my fair share of companies jump on the cable bandwagon only to find out it is not business level quality, and there are huge limitaions.

      In most cases you will need to run your own web server and host your own site, thus disqualifying you from residential rate plans, or else they won’t offer you your own domain name hosting, and wil charge you for business service.

      Weigh the options properly with the providers, explaining clearly that it is for business and a VPN with 3 locations.

      You will not find the best value for money or the best option for your company by asking for general technology help, look for local info from the providers.

      Good luck, don’t forget to weigh ISDN and DSL options, again business class only, if the provider can’t offer it, or says it’s all the same, go elsewhere..

      It WILL work, the issue shouldn’t be focused on the best internal connections as much as it should be placed on the better ISP, the better service and security level and above all else, the right price, business class service can be DAMN pricey!

      • #3178855

        Another WAN Idea

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Depends on the service level you are buying

        Don’t forget to look at Frame Relay. True, it isn’t quite as fast as a direct leased line, but the savings can really add up quick!

        Also, look at an IP phone system and do VOIP between the locations. This combined with a good VPN will let you put “soft phones” on the laptops so they have an extention even if they are at a hotel or at home. Of course OZ will have much more information about the phone systems. I know what the basics are, but don’t work with the phones myself.

        When you get your WAN, make sure you have an idea how much traffic you will have. Your provider will also be able to help you monitor your usage. After a month you will know if you have enough bandwidth or not.

        If using Frame relay, remember to use header compression! Knocks down on a lot of network overhead that just isn’t needed!

        • #3177843

          Let me add MPLS

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Another WAN Idea

          Sure it is a PITA to integrate it, but once it is in, you will notice the difference. It might also (long term) save you some serious cash on equipment that you might not need.

      • #3176815

        re cable dls and business.

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Depends on the service level you are buying

        with shaw cablesystems, business accounts start at 169/mo and only get 4 gigs data transfer, zero over limit options.

        when pressed, they refer you to thier backbone, a subsidiary called bigpipeco inc.
        and they start at oc3 connections for 1500.00/mo
        with a 200gig MINIMUM data transfer. plus a 10,000.00 setup fee.

        sprint canada is offering local phone service here now, on to of the long distance, and “dial up” internet access.
        primus, local phone service, long distance, high speed connection*

        the sat connection is actually beoming the best qos/tco service around.
        it even has a few benefits, if you have a global service provider… like put the system on your superyacht and cruise the world with your entire netowrk online constantly.. no matter where you are.

        * as long as not primus phone service, they have a fault in the outing for high speed if you have thier phone services

        • #3066556


          by jsilva2911 ·

          In reply to re cable dls and business.

          I agree with Oz_Media: the most important thing is the QoS that offers your ISP. The best choise for LAN is an hybrid network: I made an experiment with the Development Department, letting them wirelessly with an AP for both Laptops and IP Phones, and currently no problems. I thing I would migrate gradually the rest of the office to wireless when possible (and till my Linksys WRT54GS allows)…

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