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Wireless Networks Thread, What wireless AP? in Technical; Right, I’m after some ideas at what APs to get, we currently run some D-Link APs (DWL-2000AP+) that are about ...
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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    What wireless AP?

    Right, I’m after some ideas at what APs to get, we currently run some D-Link APs (DWL-2000AP+) that are about 4 to 5 years old lol! They struggle with more than 3 laptops trying to log on and provide frequent drop outs.

    We can’t afford to spend a large amount on them so no managed solutions so I would like your ideas on what alternatives we have.

    They/it needs to support up to 30 laptops (in case we buy more) and allow them all to log on at the same time without a minor miracle with as few drop outs (if any) as possible.

    This needs to be a simple solution that is teacher/pupil friendly as I’m only in the school 2 days a week.

    Thanks

    Chris
    Last edited by CHR1S; 26th February 2009 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Added AP Model

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    Michael's Avatar
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    My favourite APs are HP 10AG's. Here are the specs.

    Realistically you should be looking at 2 or more APs for 30 laptops. Trimming down roaming profiles or using mandatory profiles can also speed things up. You should also look at positioning APs all around school (depending on your requirements) for the best results.

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    CHR1S (26th February 2009)

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    The only AP setup that's worked successfully for me are some Buffalo APs that I bought about 1 year ago (not bought any since so don't know if current models would be jsut as good and I had problems with the orig 11b ones 5 years ago so YMMV

    I have one per class, cycle between using channels 1, 6 and 11 in 2 schools and they work absolutely fine with a bank of 15 laptops (Fujitsu's) *

    (I do ICT TA in one of the schools so I know they work )

    Take about 30 mins to configure (they can be used as routers as well so you have to change their mode into simple AP)

    The only problem with such a setup is that if we got 2 banks or laptops, I'd expect to add another AP to each room which would start to cause channel overlap problems maybe and I'd expect to have to use 2 different SSIDs to load balance each bank of laptops.

    But its a value for money start at 50/AP

    regards

    Simon

    * one Fujitsu laptop (diff model from rest) wouldn't work with Windows Zero Config and I've had to use the mickey mouse utility wireless utility that I normally disable - so I blame the laptop and not the AP

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    CHR1S (26th February 2009)

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Chris, Chek your PM - Ruckus!

    edit - just saw you dont want a managed solution. You can come and see how our dlink's handle the laptops if you need to

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    CHR1S (26th February 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I would be looking at using 3 per bank of 30 myself, as 8 is usually the maximum that is recommended on a single AP (so, I'd still be going over that limit).

    How about some HP 420's? We have a few here for our random hotspots, and they're solid work horses.

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    CHR1S (26th February 2009)

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I would be looking at using 3 per bank of 30 myself, as 8 is usually the maximum that is recommended on a single AP (so, I'd still be going over that limit).
    We have 2 AP's serving 15 laptops - and still get slow logons (3-4 minutes)

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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    We have 2 AP's serving 15 laptops - and still get slow logons (3-4 minutes)
    I wish we just had slow logons, its the drop outs that affect us more. Im going to push for a better investment I think, if they wish to increase our laptops then the infrastructure has to be in place.

    Thanks for your help everyone

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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Actually out of interest, what is the best way to allocate an AP to specific laptops? Different SSID and Channel or something else?

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Here's how our current system works.

    Each AP is on a different channel. I believe channels 1,6 and 11 dont overlap each other.

    I have then given each AP a different name. AP1, AP2 etc.

    I then set 8 of the laptops to connect to AP1 and the other 7 to connect to AP2 . .

    At the moment I do have the AP's teamed to work together but not sure that your older AP's will be able to do it or not.

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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Thats pretty much how I was and would be doing it, unless anyone else has any other ideas of how to do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    Here's how our current system works.

    Each AP is on a different channel. I believe channels 1,6 and 11 dont overlap each other.

    I have then given each AP a different name. AP1, AP2 etc.

    I then set 8 of the laptops to connect to AP1 and the other 7 to connect to AP2 . .

    At the moment I do have the AP's teamed to work together but not sure that your older AP's will be able to do it or not.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Actually out of interest, what is the best way to allocate an AP to specific laptops? Different SSID and Channel or something else?
    Assuming one AP can handle all laptops within its coverage area then same SSID as no administration needed.

    So in my case - one AP can handle 15 laptops - oonly got one bank of 15 laptops so all APs on one SSID , differnet channels (1,6 or 11).

    If you need multiple APs to handle your bank of laptops then you need different SSIDs for each pair or triplet so that any one laptop only connects to a particular SSID.

    Or some APs (don't know about Buffalo's but I'd guess probably do) will let you assign specific MAC addresses to connect to them so you could use that method and go back to one SSID.

    regards

    Simon

    Certain people say you can put all your APs on one freq but its not what most would recommend

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    BTW - when one AP goes wrong - its a nightmare to fault find when they are all using the same SSID - be warned

    regards

    Simon

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    MicrodigitUK's Avatar
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    I know its managed but have you looked at the price of the NETGEAR WFS709TP ProSafe Wireless system?

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    IanT's Avatar
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    Managed systems we looked at cost too much.......

    Im getting aload of 3Com 7760's soon to replace my old ones.

    Got 1 atm testing and excellent.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I know its managed but have you looked at the price of the NETGEAR WFS709TP ProSafe Wireless system?
    Another poster today says he wants rid of his netgear because it won't handle 30 laptops

    regards

    Simon

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