I will be compiling a comparison of managed wireless systems to help you all make a more informed opinion when it comes to choosing a system.
I hope to include a feature comparison chart as well as descriptions of the systems. Instead of just highlighting the good points though, I hope to work with some of the vendors to explain how difficult the systems are to configure and show how difficult they are to maintain.
The help I need from you guys is stories about your own managed systems. The only people that really know how good a system is are those people that use it on a daily basis after all
Please contact me if you can help in any way and add any QUESTIONS that you want answering below. This thread is NOT for conversation though, simply for collection of questions, so anything cconversation-like will be deleted!
i would like to have information on the blanket wireless systems and cell based systems.
Last edited by markcuk; 7th February 2008 at 09:30 PM.
One point that'd I'd particularly like covered in each instance is the technical expertise and ease of install/use that are required for each.
ie: do we need to learn a specific scripting system, or config file at shell level we need to get to grips with to handle configuration... as opposed to more GUI led interfaces with levels of use/complexity available.
I'll do some info on airwaves amp system.
This would be really useful - we currently have 32 wireless access points with 4 different SSIDs - 3 trolleys and one for staff. We have problems with interference from outside school and staff losing signal and therefore access to SIMS etc as they move between rooms.
I have just started investigating the Netgear WFS709TP as we have Netgear WAP already and could flash them to make them thin WAPs for use with it.
Any feedback/advise gratefully received.
Keen to see this, just brought back from the shelves the wifi thoughts and looking into it. Had a nice chat to the EMEA sales manager at Bluesocket this afternoon
Just a little nudge as I'm about 2 weeks away from spending rather a lot of money (well for a primary) and could surely use this guide
As a matter of interest what do people class as being managed as far as wireless goes?
Managed for me would be a central location where configuration is done and rolled out to the individual access point nodes across the network allowing for quick/easy changes to be globally achieved without manually kicking each wap.
In that case we have a manged wireless network. All DLink 7100AP's, easy to setup and manage.
I didn't notice your post back in April and it might be too late but earlier in the year I rolled out 7 Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 access points (1 per class) and they have performed flawlessly with a trolley load (16) of 2 year old Fujitsu laptops as well as giving the teachers full building coverage for their laptops.
I set them up using channels 1, 6 and 11 with same SSID (waiting for them to go wrong and then change to my normal differing SSIDs - but they never have - I don't even have to power cycle them! )
I've also used 2 others in other schools that had dodgy wireless connections and they sorted those out as well
Cost is around £50 each.
They are un-managed but don't seem to need it!
@Simon... Not to worry.. it is too late but still useful knowledge for the next time.
As it goes I did a full survey of the school looking for wired sockets and the like and found the whole school to be woefully under-resourced in terms of power and LAN sockets. The one that had me wetting my pants was the so called ICT Lab which had been converted to classroom... 3 lan sockets.. ??
Anyways... getting back on topic I've gone with the netgear unit and I'll be pushing that out over the next week or so.. I'll be reporting back.
We have totally 3com wireless (i think about 20 points, maybe more). Some of them are managed (They have to be connected to a managed 3com switch for this) and the others are manual. But apart from the initial setup you never need to play with the config. We have had to power cycle them once or twice, which isn't too hard as their all POE so just need to go to the switch cabs and unplug them all and plug them back in. The managed ones we could just restart at the press of a button.
We use differnet channels but same SSID.
Something that may be useful in WAP reviews/guides is the signal strength/range. I'm not sure if they vary from one model/make to the other but I guess they must.
I'll be watching this thread closely.
We had a talk from a guy from Geode Networks a couple of weeks back to all the local Network Managers (we try to get together at leasy once a term), and I found the whole technical aspect of Managed Wireless Networks fascinating.
One of the NM has already sucessfully deployed a sucessful wireless network, and in the process of doing another with this company. His comment to me was "It just works!"
We're having no end of problems at the moment, various 'cheap' AP's dotted around the School that we just added to over time (not really planned). It all seem to work ok when I first started here, but in the last couple of months we've had nothing but troubles. Doesn't help the school is very close to a residential area and we can always pick up a lot of BTHomeHubs SSID.
I had a quick meeting, and they've suggest a Meru system with around 25 AP's (proper survey needed). Cost of the Controller is £5.7k , and each AP is around £230 !! Plus you'll need the PoE infrastructure, etc, etc.
We're not really in the position to deploy something like this, and will plan for it maybe next year. However, we have been allocated an 'Enabling Technology Fund' in the Autumn which I may push to use.
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