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How do people build large wireless networks?

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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
August 24, 2004 7:32:31 PM

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
August 25, 2004 9:17:02 AM

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
>
>
>
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
August 25, 2004 1:30:34 PM

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
!