I am the only person at my house with any[/any] technological know-how, and I have no idea what to do.
My house is 3 stories + a basement, older (built in the 30s). There are 28 students living in the house, and only one wireless router (on the second floor at the moment).
I have a few questions:
1) How many connections should I have coming in from Comcast, what speeds?
2) How many routers would be necessary for almost 100% coverage.
3) What would be the best security (having one PW for a long time is not an issue)
A word of warning. We're talking about a lot of ppl here (28!), and concurrency could be a big problem. Esp. among STUDENTS (think torrents, gaming, etc.). So it’s probably not quite as simple as dropping APs around the place. The typical ISP might only allow 10mbps on a connection (so you may want to consider a better plan). And each hop from AP to AP using wireless repeaters cuts your bandwidth IN HALF because only two wireless stations can be transmitting at any given time. IOW, it’ serialized, and half-duplex as well.
Once you start adding wireless repeaters, many wireless clients, many concurrent users (most of whom are more likely than the average bear to download a TON of stuff, etc.), well…, you have to be especially careful in how you design your solution. Most of the solutions discussed in these forums assume just a few users, maybe 1-3, most of whom do light browsing and email, and probably one user who’s considered the “power user”. In those environments, it’s easy to ignore the numerous inefficiencies of your typical home or small office network.
You may need to consider a higher quality router, one w/ QoS, content control, etc. Maybe even multiple ISP connections + routers if you need more bandwidth or support for online gaming (e.g., two or more ppl need access to the same ports for port forwarding). I realize some of these things may not apply. You’ll probably establish written policies for this network. But at least you need to know these things before you start. And it helps if you have some technology available to help enforce those policies. Otherwise, be prepared for lots of complaints by ppl annoyed that Bubba is running his torrents 24/7 and eating all the bandwidth!