Questions about setting up an office network

hey everybody,

i'm looking into setting up a network for a real estate office and i need some questions answered.

information about the company's request:
the office is going to have a max of 80 connections (in the future, initially its going to start at 20 or so users), with a central, shared AIO printer.
They are requesting a Wireless network as each agent would be using laptops and they want/need flexibility to come and go and not have cables to worry about.
They don't really need a server for applications as they will be using applications from the internet and pre installed.
they shouldn't need an email server as this will be provided by themselves (pretty much, the agents will work for the company but they typically work under their own name ie. the company will be called RealEstate but each agent will have an email as johndoe.com or janedoe.com so this will be provided for themselves)

so my question is...
what's the best way to setup the network?
router suggestions? i need something heavy duty and the less i need, the better it would be....
do i need a server set up? not too sure b/c the printer would have a built in print server
what other hardware would i need. i'm assuming i would need to get a 48 port switch and connect it to the router so this way i'd be able to connect some computers and printers to the wired network...

thanks for the help.
3 answers Last reply
More about questions setting office network
  1. We would need some additional information so we can visualize the office.
    You are going to need one or more access points to provide wireless coverage
    to the office.

    For access points:
    1. How large is the office? Length x width.
    2. Single or multi-floor?
    3. B/G or N wireless?

    For the router:
    1. What is the Internet Service speed?
    2. Is VPN needed for the internet connection?

    Do you need a 48 port switch for the few connections you listed?
    A 12 port or 24 port may meet your wired needs.


    I have set up a couple of similar offices using B/G wireless with these two items.
    They are secure and can handle the connections without bottlenecks.
    The access points were mounted in the drop ceiling with the antenna
    poking though the tile for a neat look.
    As the router has 8 ports, no switch was needed.

    Router: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122148

    Access Point: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122064
  2. hey,

    For access points:
    1. How large is the office? Length x width. 100 ft x 50ft or so...about 12 closed offices in total...
    2. Single or multi-floor? SINGLE FLOOR
    3. B/G or N wireless? majority will be g but some computers are N enabled and i'm going to mention to them to start buying N capable NIC cards.

    For the router:
    1. What is the Internet Service speed? download: 7.5mbps upload: 512Kbps
    2. Is VPN needed for the internet connection? shouldn't be necessary

    i dunno if this will help visually what i'm needing to setup for them and what i need to have done...

    basically in the office space, they need access to the internet but they don't need the basic needs of a regualr office ie. server backups, software backups, software deployment...b/c each agent is just more or less renting the use of the office (does that help explain?) think of a large scale starbucks or something where ppl can get internet access but secured and controlled.

    there's very few articles about setting an office in this format and a server will not be necessary yet i keep getting told to set one up...
  3. One access point would work for now, if centrally located.
    Check the signal strength with a utility like NetStumbler.

    Later as the number of users increase you may wish you had installed two.
    Wireless networks speeds decrease dramatically as the number of users increase.
    This is true even for an internet connection speed such as yours.
    And, even busy workers find time to use the internet connection for personal
    downloads and hog the bandwidth.

    Two access points would handle this space and provide the bandwidth needed
    for business now and in the future. They should be located equal distance from the end walls and each other.
    Run them on different channels.

    A 12 port switch will cover your needs.
    To improve the reliability and up time of the network the modem, router, and switch
    should be on a battery backup.
    If possible the access points should be on the battery also. Think long extension cords.
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