Currently Deployed, trying to setup data network/sharedrive


Currently working on my 2nd deployment and its a bit different this time around. We are currently erecting a brand new FOB (forward operating base) and one thing that was brought up by our Soldiers is that they wanted a small network to share movies, music, and files on, like a homegroup.

Here is the problem, we do not have internet at all except our secret and unclassified ports, which we obviously cannot connect personal computers to. My question is what will I have to do and what do I need to setup a wireless network and/or sharedrive for about 80 personnel to access without internet.

This would be a giant morale boost for our Soldiers since it has already been rough this deployment. We do not have a lot of access to call home and I am lucky they didn't block this website from the government network, so I could post this haha. Watching movies, music, and trading files would be awesome for these guys (and myself!). Hope to get an answer if possible or not. Thank you!
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  1. You need an Internet service provider that is not, well top secret or not allowed. How about somebody like SniperHill? I know that they are not cheap and have service limitations that you *may* be able to work around with a state-side VPN service. But we'll get to that in due time if they are available to you. Otherwise most of the setups that I have helped with have had a satellite connection that the local troops went in on to purchase (or they bought it from the outbound troops).

    Thanks for your service, and I hope that I can help.
  2. Thanks for your reply!

    On my first deployment we had so many missions we didn't have time for movies and such, but now we kind of got out own little piece and sitting put in that area for a while.

    Yes I heard of other Soldiers, in the past, purchasing a dish or doing some type of satellite connection. I will look into this and see what we can do. Thanks for your reply.
  3. Try contacting (Austin) aka user sun-tracker, a Tom's user that recently configured a nice network using the HX50 in a similar situation. Here are the two relevant posts:
  4. Awesome thanks so much. This is definitely an option however, they personnel I plan to supply are a little larger than his 17 that he stated. Is that same plan feasible with 70-80 people or will that bog down the network?

    Also, this may sound dumb haha, but is it possible to link computers without internet via wireless signal like bluetooth (without using bluetooth though)? We want to create a sharedrive so Soldiers can drag and drop movies/music/files off of. I feel like it is possible just like a LAN party with a switch, but can it be done wirelessly?

    Thanks for all the help thus far. Your option may be the way to go.
  5. Happy to help, thanks for your service.

    You can have an intranet that links everyone either together as a whole network or in smaller groups -- subnets. You can put a large shared hard drive or even network attached storage device (NAS) that can be shared by the network, although all 80 at once streaming video would require some above average bandwidth. You can also add Internet access to such a setup for selected people, limited times for each user, or selected uses.

    When you are talking about 70-80 connections, you need to understand that a good router will handle assigning and routing that many connections, however the wireless radio will only do around 10 or so connections maximum on consumer level products. There are commercial access points that can handle that load but they cost about 10x as much.

    If you want to keep the cost down, think about dividing up into subnets and making Ethernet cable connections where possible to limit the wireless clients a bit. If you use multiple consumer wireless routers configured as access points, each with different SSID and vary your radio channels depending on the geographic layout of the APs you can serve quite a few users.

    Best thing to do is map out a schematic of groups that are located around central points or specific uses, like XBOX 360 gaming groups for example, and then plan out how to best implement that layout. Take a look at the schematics sun-tracker made as an example of a good way to start.

    If you can post a diagram of that sort, it will assist your planning and the folks here can help work out the best way to accomplish it on your budget.

    For cost estimation: can you get stuff at reasonable prices, like those listed on Newegg or Amazon though a service related source that sells and ships there, or do you have higher cost equipment suppliers?
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