How do people build large wireless networks?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

Hi,

I have a small familiarity with wireless networks, but I don't know how
people implement larger wireless networks. I've seen special antennas that
are supposed to increase distance, repeaters that are supposed to increase
distance, etc. Are there any webpages that cover larger wireless
installations? How would you design a wireless network to cover a 500' x
500' area for example?

Thanks,

SA Dev
2 answers Last reply
More about people build large wireless networks
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

    How to setup a Wireless Network
    OK you have a PC connected to the internet at home or the office and you
    want other PCs to share the internet access. Hopefully you’ll have Cable or
    DSL internet access.
    What should one do?
    First, make sure everything you buy conforms to the dominant wireless
    standard known as 802.11b, or Wi-Fi (short for wireless fidelity). That way
    you can mix brands, operating systems, even network a Mac to a Windows PC and
    everything should still work together.
    There are two new, faster versions of Wi-Fi: 802.11a and 802.11g. "A" is for
    business use; "g" is for the home. Both bump networking speeds up from 11
    megabits per second to 54 mbps. But unless you're moving around big video
    files or sharing other graphics-rich multimedia applications, "b" will be
    more than sufficient. If you still want "g," wait until the standard has been
    officially ratified this summer.
    The heart of your network will be a wireless access point and the Internet
    Access or preferably one device that does both called a router, acting as
    Wireless Access Point and cable or DSL modem and Network Switch. The
    two-in-one units, available from Linksys, D-Link, Netgear and others, start
    at about $100; with a few Ethernet ports and USB port too, so you can connect
    to PCs using a standard Ethernet cable or USB cable.
    To establish a wireless connection between a desktop PC and the wireless
    router, you need a USB or Ethernet Cable.
    To connect a notebook PC, you'll need a wireless PC card. If new notebooks
    have Wi-Fi capabilities built in. Notebooks with Intel's new Centrino chip,
    for example, are Wi-Fi-enabled.
    Note that 802.11g is backwards compatible with 802.11b — meaning a laptop
    with a "g" card will talk to a "b" router, albeit at the slower speed — but
    802.11a is not. If your office installs an 802.11a network, get a dual-band
    wireless PC card for your laptop so that it can connect both at home and at
    work.
    Make sure that the software that comes with your gear will walk you through
    the installation. The steps will vary slightly, depending on each computer's
    operating system. The older the OS, the trickier it can be; Windows XP is
    designed to detect and configure a PC card to talk to an existing network.
    Before you start, gather the following information:
    • your broadband connection's IP address, e.g., 123.43.2.1
    • subnet mask, e.g., 255.255.122.0
    • default gateway e.g., 192.168.0.2
    • DNS IP addresses e.g., 123.123.123.1
    You can get these things from your Internet provider; your customer-service
    rep will know what you're talking about (or you can find this using the
    Properties tab, under Network Connections). Each is just a series of numbers
    (e.g., 123.43.2.1) that you'll be prompted to plug in during setup. (If your
    provider supports a protocol called DHCP, your router should retrieve these
    settings automatically when you plug it in.)
    You may also be asked to choose an SSID (service set identifier) I recommend
    that you do not accept the default setting as anyone nearby with a wireless
    device can also use your internet access. Set your SSID to a meaningful name
    use your Business Name. For work-group name use ‘Wireless’ and a wireless
    channel select from 1 – 11, I recommend you use a higher channel as default
    settings usually select the lower end. Keep these consistent for all of your
    machines.
    Security
    For additional security you can and should use Wired Equivalent Privacy
    (WEP) algorithm: and set this at 64bit: you can then choose a combination of
    10 hexadecimal characters [0-9 + A-F], again for this may I recommend you
    select your mobile phone number as it is 10 characters long and not known to
    all your neighbours.
    Additionally you can set the Access Point to only allow access to specific
    units, where you would enter their MAC address, again a series of Hex
    numbers, usually found on the Wireless Card plugged into the Laptops or other
    desktop PCs.

    For coverage of large areas, one could choose a more powerful AP or to
    'repeat' a signal one sets up the APs specifically for this application or
    buys a range extender. Then there are the considerations for Routers, Video
    Conferencing devices, VOIP etc.

    Overall, with so many PCs in your network you should consider the highest
    speed devices available.

    A discussion with major vendors [D-Link, 3-Com, Motorola etc] where one can
    inspect your premises and make a valued judgement on the network topography
    required based upon the architectual properties of your building are
    important.

    As an example, one of the business I support havs only one AP, however due
    to the nature of their offices and neighbours, one can 'see' AND access to
    some degree, 25 different APs: so 24 other companies are vulnerable because
    their IT advisors have not configured a secure wireless environment - scarry:
    try this. One evening over 50,000 emails were sent out using a neighbours
    Internet Connection via wireless connection!

    "SA Dev" wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a small familiarity with wireless networks, but I don't know how
    > people implement larger wireless networks. I've seen special antennas that
    > are supposed to increase distance, repeaters that are supposed to increase
    > distance, etc. Are there any webpages that cover larger wireless
    > installations? How would you design a wireless network to cover a 500' x
    > 500' area for example?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > SA Dev
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windows.networking.wireless (More info?)

    Hi BAR,

    Thanks for all the info. I am most interested in the topology of a larger
    wireless network. Do you have any webpage links for how to set these up?

    Thanks,

    SA Dev
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