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Windows Thread, Wireless roaming throughout the school in Technical; Hi all, at the moment we don't have wireless, we also dont have much money either! ha But I want ...
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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    Wireless roaming throughout the school

    Hi all, at the moment we don't have wireless, we also dont have much money either! ha

    But I want to implement wireless throughout the school.

    I am planning to buy 6 Netgear WG602 Wireless Access points and dot them around.


    The 6 WAPs will have the same:

    SSID
    WPA KEY


    Will a Laptop work well roaming around the school to and from each access point? Have you got something similar that works?

    Any other recommendations?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    With an unmanaged system, as you propose, you will have issues with hand-off. Namely, once a laptop is assigned to an access point, it won't let go of it, and switch to a stronger signal providing access point, until it can no longer receive a signal from the original access point. This means that roaming will be a buggy thing.

    What most schools are looking at now are managed wireless systems, such as those made by Ruckus, Aruba, Cisco, or even Netgear. These have a central controller which handles hand-offs instead - instructing laptops to use different access points and controlling power etc...

    What is your budget for this?

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    speckytecky (10th March 2010)

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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    Hi thanks for the heads up, Ruckus I have heard good things about.


    What sort of pricing would we be looking at?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    Hi thanks for the heads up, Ruckus I have heard good things about.


    What sort of pricing would we be looking at?
    A lot more then 6 netgear APs.

    We've got an Aruba managed system, the controller (with a 32 AP licence) was 7000 and each AP was 130 (and this was with a discount for buying over 20, normal price was over 200). I suspect ruckus is a fair bit cheaper, but still in a different league.

    What are you intending to use your wireless for and how big is your site?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    Hi thanks for the heads up, Ruckus I have heard good things about.


    What sort of pricing would we be looking at?
    Usually, a Ruckus system has less AP's than others - so, working from 4 AP's and a controller, you'd be looking at about 3k or so for a Ruckus system, with 802.11a/b/g/n - using a 106 controller and the 7962 AP's (which are the top range ones, there are other, cheaper ones too).

    Looking at the b/g ap's, you could do it for 2k tops.
    Last edited by localzuk; 25th February 2010 at 03:59 PM.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Shouldn't be a problem, however ensure the access points support the following protocols for fast roaming handover and general roaming goodness

    802.11i & 802.11r

    We have around 40 access points across our sites, all same SSID and security and roaming between them with terminals is outstanding, no glitches or delays, our AP's support the above standards as well which does help.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    With an unmanaged system, as you propose, you will have issues with hand-off. Namely, once a laptop is assigned to an access point, it won't let go of it, and switch to a stronger signal providing access point, until it can no longer receive a signal from the original access point. This means that roaming will be a buggy thing.
    802.11i and 802.11r, the handover is done at AP level, the laptop never knows its changed, therefore you have no issues with roaming at all, majority of AP's support this as well

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    How do unmanaged AP's know about other unmanaged AP's? So, how will an AP know to hand over a device to another one? I have not heard of that working well on *any* unmanaged network before.

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    Oh an have a look at non overlapping wifi frequencies.

    802.11b WiFi Frequency Channels

    Managed systems do this automaticaly.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    How do unmanaged AP's know about other unmanaged AP's? So, how will an AP know to hand over a device to another one? I have not heard of that working well on *any* unmanaged network before.
    You have not heard, doesn't mean it doesn't exist or work. Our's work seamlessly and effortlessly.

    We have the following access points: 4ipnet - Outdoor Access Points

    Which fully support IAPP and roaming between them, they are unmanaged and dumb, however they are intelligent enough to switch a device based on whoever has the best signal.




    Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-A...Point_Protocol

    Which is part of 802.11r which I mentioned.
    Last edited by ahuxham; 25th February 2010 at 03:34 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    You have not heard, doesn't mean it doesn't exist or work. Our's work seamlessly and effortlessly.

    We have the following access points: 4ipnet - Outdoor Access Points

    Which fully support IAPP and roaming between them, they are unmanaged and dumb, however they are intelligent enough to switch a device based on whoever has the best signal.

    Here you go: Inter-Access Point Protocol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Which is part of 802.11r which I mentioned.
    Hang on, those AP's come in at 250 each anyway! You can get managed ones for that, especially with only b/g functionality. The Ruckus ZoneFlex 2942 AP can be got for around that from my quick search. So, when you look at a ZoneDirector 1006, and 4 of them, you'd end up with around the same cost, for a managed solution that *will* be easier to manage, and more reliable.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Hang on, those AP's come in at 250 each anyway! You can get managed ones for that, especially with only b/g functionality. The Ruckus ZoneFlex 2942 AP can be got for around that from my quick search. So, when you look at a ZoneDirector 1006, and 4 of them, you'd end up with around the same cost, for a managed solution that *will* be easier to manage, and more reliable.
    Look at the AP's they are outdoor specified and sealed units for our freezers, hence the cost. No fancy technology. You find me a cheap AP that will survive a constant cycle of -45c for 4 hours, than -18 for 2, than a defrost cycle raised to 5c, than back down to -45c. Condensation and humidity are a factor here

    And you've moved off topic as your previous comments about roaming was proven false. I'm not arguing cost, I was mentioning that roaming between AP's is possible and the laptop would never know disproving your uninformed and opinionated comments that it doesn't work. Get a cheaper non-sealed/environment specific AP with the same specifications, 11.r/11.i and IAPP and your golden, even if it costs a mere 20 from Sweex.
    Last edited by ahuxham; 25th February 2010 at 03:51 PM.

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    To the OP:

    Linksys WAP2000 Wireless-G Access Point with PoE

    Not overly expensive or cheap, however as stated in the specifications they support IAPP, which would leave you with no worries about roaming between the AP's

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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    Hi thanks for the heads up, Ruckus I have heard good things about.


    What sort of pricing would we be looking at?
    If I were you I'd talk to Simon at CPLtd (on here). Search for Ruckus on here and pound to a penny you will be lead to him, and all favourable reviews.

    If you would like to talk about Ruckus, just PM me and I'd be happy to talk to you about our setup!

    Good luck!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    And you've moved off topic as your previous comments about roaming was proven false. I'm not arguing cost, I was mentioning that roaming between AP's is possible and the laptop would never know disproving your uninformed and opinionated comments that it doesn't work. Get a cheaper non-sealed/environment specific AP with the same specifications, 11.r/11.i and IAPP and your golden, even if it costs a mere 20 from Sweex.
    Ok, as you've dug this back up, I will reply. Your comment regarding 'cheap' is nonsense! Looking for IAPP 11.r/11.i on cheap models is a no go as far as I can find. D-Link's cheap models don't seem to have it, neither do Belkin's cheap models, etc... Your claims seem to indicate that the technology you talk of comes in all cheap AP's which is simply untrue.

    The cheapest model I can find is that linksys one, which comes in at 100 each. It doesn't feature any fancy technologies such as beam forming, wireless N etc... It won't be able to handle anywhere near as many clients as a managed solution either. Add in the fact that the power levels and channels in any environment which will end up with dense computer use (pretty much guaranteed in a school) would be a pain to set up so their was no interference and good coverage.

    So, it doesn't work out very cheap to me! The suggestions I made are based on real-world, in school use cases which appear again and again. Investing in an unmanaged solution today would be a poor decision - as in a short time, the demands of the system will outstrip its capabilities to support them. I've seen it happen in loads of schools. One school paid for an unmanaged system consisting of Buffalo AP's - to cover the whole site, they bought about 30 of them. This was fine for the 40 or so teacher laptops. But within a year and a bit, the number of wireless devices had tripled, the number of dense clusters of devices had increased and rendered the system worthless.

    So, why advise someone to invest in something that is in no way future proof?

  20. Thanks to localzuk from:

    speckytecky (10th March 2010)

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