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Wireless Networks Thread, Adding an AP to the network? simples? in Technical; If you're not actually using the Cisco management console, and need to connect a couple more rooms, there's probably little ...
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    If you're not actually using the Cisco management console, and need to connect a couple more rooms, there's probably little benefit in buying more Cisco APs. However, it's definitely worth buying "enterprise" grade devices, which will be easier to setup and manage. You don't need the additional rod antennae that the photo shows - not sure why those were installed in the first place, to be honest. To understand how the school is being covered currently, get WiFiFoFum and Fing on your smartphone and have a play. Personally, I'd recommend you get someone in to do it. That way, you have (a) less stress now and (b) someone to take responsibility.

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    Sir
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    Thanks Mike. I'll try what you suggested. I was told that because my school has thick Victorian internal walls that the antennae boosters were necessary but considering I can access the network from fifty foot all around the school then you may be right and these are overkill! Thanks again.

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    I do have to get two buildings which are out of range though on wireless which also have 2, 24 port switches in them...

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    No worries. Wireless needs a bit of counterintuitive thinking, sometimes. For instance, the benefit of being able to connect to an AP from a long way off is somewhat reduced by the throttling of the available bandwidth to that delivered to the most distant connecting device. The good ol' Inverse Square Law applies. An analogy I have found useful is to think of the APs as light sources, although the shadows are not going to be caused by the same things as for visible light - a fish tank and glass with embedded mesh are both pretty well opaque to wireless transmission, normal stud walls transparent (although some plasterboard has a metal sheet on the inside to improve insulation, which also works to create a Faraday cage...). Turning down the transmission strength can be a benefit, ensuring distant devices can't connect and APs don't interfere with each other (adjacent APs on the same channel will set up interference patterns in the signal, and knacker the user experience).
    Worst antenna installation I saw was where someone had put an AP in a school hall, and mounted one of those rods high up in the pitch of the roof... Also had an issue with a ceiling-mount antenna, looked really nice in the middle of the classroom, but created a doughnut-shaped profile, with bad coverage in the middle of the room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir View Post
    I do have to get two buildings which are out of range though on wireless which also have 2, 24 port switches in them...
    Not a problem. If they're on the wired network, just add APs. Not wishing to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, nor to be patronising, but the Access Point does exactly what it says on the tin - creates a point of access to the network for wireless devices. Think of it being a network socket, basically. Which is why it needs security, of course. Insecure wireless is a datapoint in the street for any passing hacker to use to trash your network.

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    Just for your information. Those Cisco APs are dual band (they provide support for both 802.11b/g and 802.11a) but because only one antenna has been installed you will only get coverage on the 2.4Ghz band, you are also loosing out on the benefits of antenna diversity (the AP is meant to have two antennas per band to provide better error correction and therefore throughput).

    With the likely wireless utilisation in a primary school these things probably don't really matter, but it's a bit of a waste of some very expensive enterprise grade access points.

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    Okay thanks again. This is helpful.I never really had much to do with wireless as you can tell.i'm away for a bit now so will pester more next week. Thanks for your patience!

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulfinlay View Post
    Just for your information. Those Cisco APs are dual band (they provide support for both 802.11b/g and 802.11a) but because only one antenna has been installed you will only get coverage on the 2.4Ghz band, you are also loosing out on the benefits of antenna diversity (the AP is meant to have two antennas per band to provide better error correction and therefore throughput).

    With the likely wireless utilisation in a primary school these things probably don't really matter, but it's a bit of a waste of some very expensive enterprise grade access points.
    Exactly. Mind you, the majority of devices are likely to be 11g anyway, so it's not too critical. New APs will be 11n, which will improve data throughput for newer client devices.
    Last edited by MikeGilbert; 29th May 2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Change of word

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