Equipping You to Communicate Effectively
| support CMN & share a |
library of 19K+ images, videos, etc
| ||Thread Tools||Search this Thread||Rate Thread||Display Modes|
Adding a second wireless network
Our current setup has been working fine for a while now. It is as follows... cable modem to cisco switch to 75' cat5e run to a secure wireless router for staff accessd. Most staff are using wireless and are networked to our printer that way as well. We are wanting to add free wifi throughout our building for guests. Can i just add a second wireless router Before the switch? What would be an easy way to accomplish this task?
You can add another wireless router and have it configured with the same SSID or a different SSID. I would set them to different wireless channels so as you move around the building, you connect different routers.
We have 4 routers in our church. Two for wired connections for the office staff and two for wireless for the visitors and members. I just spent 4 hours this week reconfiguring all four routers, upgrading the firmware on all four, then making sure they all work.
You could just replace your existing router with an Apple Airport Extreme. Simultaneous operation on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, built-in segregation between private and public AP so your employees can access secure internal network while your guests enjoy free, open internet access. And it works just as well on Windows networks and is just as simple to configure with the Windows Airport Client or with your iPhone or iPad.
We bought our Airport Extreme when Apple first released them and it has been running maintenance-free ever since.
Mark Petereit - iOS Development Team Leader
Family Worship Center, Florence, South Carolina
I would highly recommend you look at either the Ubiquity Unifi or Zyxel managed wifi access points. I'm not sure about Zyxel, but I would be shocked if they didn't synchronize configurations among your access points and also automatically handle firmware updates among all your access points just like the UBNT Unifi system does.
With Unifi, you can start with one Unfi AP for $80 and grow from there. Since you already have one AP, and want to add another and may need a third for complete coverage of your space, I'd just grab a three pack. They are under $300 and really easy to set up. I would replace your existing AP and just use the Unifi's for your whole network.
Unifi also comes with a built in guest network and portal that provides some basic isolation of the free wifi users from your main network. The catch is you need to have a computer that can run the Unifi controller software. If you have a Windows server or a PC that's pretty much on whenever you want the free wifi to be available, it's not that big a deal. The private network without the portal doesn't need the controller to be operational - but you don't get the nice network stats and history if the controller software isn't running. I loaded it on our Windows server as a service and it works great, but you could easily load it on a PC that's mostly on all the time as a service too - it doesn't have to be a server. If your Mac based the controller will load on Mac's or Linux if you prefer Linux.
Finally, Unifi also lets you control how much bandwidth the free network uses. If you have cable internet with some nice speed, it's probably less of an issue than if you are on a DSL line - but it's there.
If you are going to have more than one AP, there is no way I would put in an Airport Extreme, netgear or any other home/consumer level gear - especially given the price points of the Unifi gear. The ability to have a managed infrastructure where if I have 2 or 200 access points, it's the same amount of work for a configuration change is huge!
Finally the Unifi controller has some really nice stats and reporting - handy to pinpoint of, say, a neighbor is hogging your free wifi Our building is pretty far away from houses in the neighborhood and I have the power on our AP's dialed down so they really don't go beyond the middle of the parking lot so it hasn't been an issue for us - but if you are in an urban setting, even playing with the power output of your AP's may not be enough - Unifi also has a voucher system where you can, say, publish a code in your bulletin for people to use the free wifi. Hopefully that would be the most extreme example but it's a nice tool to have if you ever need it.