[LINK] Wireless access point recommendation

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Sat Jun 6 14:28:54 EST 2009

On Sat, Jun 06, 2009, Ivan Trundle wrote:
> On 06/06/2009, at 2:04 PM, Adrian Chadd wrote:
> >You may want to investigate using >1 AP and building a proper(ish)
> >wifi network.
> That's why I'm looking at 'up to three' devices...

Hm, sorry, that's why I shouldn't reply to email before breakfast/coffee.
I saw "one device for up to 100 users" somewhere near the top.

Anyway, I've had no issues with the Cisco aironet units but they're pricey.
Their price and obscure configuration clue is made up by stupidly useful
amounts of diagnostics for techies when things -do- go wrong and their
mostly flawless overlapping wifi network support.

Trundling off other brand names, I've had similar successes with
Apple airport express and general Apple airport stuff. Easier to configure
than Cisco devices, work great as wifi bridges in a larger topology.
Not as many knobs or things to use for debugging. They run BSD, which keeps
the open source nerd in me happy.

For the most part though, something like whatever the Linksys WRT series
have become should be fine. The units shouldn't need to maintain state about
all the users on the network, so as long as you don't have 100 users in the
same room all associated to one AP you should be fine.

I've read a few papers written by friends on the topic of building successful
wifi networks; I'll see if I can dig it up for you. Basically though, platform
quirks aside, mostly the same restrictions kick in for all wifi devices
at a certain point. The maximum number of packets per second for each speed
and technology is mostly constant; laying out the devices correctly and
configuring appropriate TX power limits is almost always the most important
factor. Making sure you understand attenuation and reflection in your physical
building layout is just as important.


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