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Wireless Networks Thread, Laptop HotSpots in Technical; Ive just had an Epiphany...Can you guys n girls tell me what I've missed (or why it won't work) We ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Laptop HotSpots

    Ive just had an Epiphany...Can you guys n girls tell me what I've missed (or why it won't work)


    We have teachers hardwire their laptops in their classrooms. I'm thinking of turning all these laptops into 5ghz wifi hotspots. I'm not sure whether to use the same ssid on all to use different ssid's for each laptop. My other question is are there any program's that could centrally manage all these virtual hotspots?

    The initial idea is to get a teachers iPad connected to their laptop for use with vnc and airserver. But I'm wondering how such a set up would cope with 30 student iPads in each class?

    Thoughts?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Okay, the idea is there but I'm struggling with the practice. On a test laptop I'm running in to the following problems:

    1) the iPad will only join the ad-hoc wifi if I use a simple 5 char WEP key.

    2) the iPad doesn't appear to be obtaining a DHCP address from the laptop. The laptop has automatically set the wifi on IP 192.168.137.1, the iPad is self assiging an IP in the 169.x.x.x range.

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    I've got no clue. But I LOVE this idea.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    What OS does the laptop have?

    This is a feature in Win7. [How to do it.]

    With 30 iPads per class, it may not work properly.

  5. Thanks to X-13 from:

    tmcd35 (11th July 2012)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    We're running Win7 64bit, and that is exactly how I've been testing it. Unfortunately there are more problems than solutions, which is why it probably hasn't been done before. If I was an ace coder I'd spend the next few months in a darkened bed room writing a decent app to manage this.

    The biggest set up issue appears to be quality of WiFi drivers. Some work, some don't - Apparently Windows 7 Certified drivers are supposed be be fully compatible.

    The iPad seems a bit iffy with connecting to ad-hoc networks, probably failings in Apples network stack.

    You have no control over the DHCP settings, no real control over the wireless frequency used, it uses NAT rather than bridging connections - which would be preferred, Windows doesn't seem to like bridging non wired connections, the user has to set it up every time and there appears to be little in GPO to centrally control these settings.

    I'm close to putting it down as a good idea, but not reliably achievable on the scale I'm after

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    We're running Win7 64bit, and that is exactly how I've been testing it. Unfortunately there are more problems than solutions, which is why it probably hasn't been done before. If I was an ace coder I'd spend the next few months in a darkened bed room writing a decent app to manage this.
    You don't have to be an ace coder. You just need to know what you want to do.

    If it's something to setup the connection, just script it and allow users to run the script. Double click an icon and it'll be good to go.

    Unless you're talking about an app for the iPads...

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    tmcd35 (12th July 2012)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Just to update, yesterday was a case of very unclear thinking and too much searching the web for third part virtual router solutions.

    The following works:

    1) Bridge Wireless and Ethernet connections
    2) Setup a Adhoc wireless network with a 5 char WEP key

    The iPad connects to the laptop perfectly and as full access to the network as normal .

    I've had a peek at the netsh command and I think @X-13 is right, I can script it. I should be able to set a batch file running at logon that enables the bridge and sets up the adhoc network. Then at logoff I can disable the bridge so it doesn't interfere with their home wifi settings.

    The only problem is I can't readily control wifi power settings or channels so there is potential for interference with fixed AP's and/or neighbouring classrooms. That said, if I set this up do I need fixed AP's?

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    It might work for one or two iPads, but the wireless cards in laptops are not really designed to have multiple connections like a proper AP.

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    For the sake of not having to mess around and it always been on it might be much easier just to get some cheap access points?

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    An Airport express for example! Though with potentially 30 devices, you are likely to need something more like an Airport Extreme.

    You could lable a LAN port in each classroom, and then it's just plug and play... if you've got careful staff.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, AP's would be too close together and probably cause all sorts of interference problems. This is really just a stop gap idea until we can afford a proper managed WiFi solution. In reality it'd only ever be used with one or two devices at a time, never really believed 30 was a goer (just hoping).

    It's a bit like the 500Gb hard drives that are only 20% full - it's seems like a wasted resource sitting there and should be a viable solution to the wireless coverage problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    It's a bit like the 500Gb hard drives that are only 20% full - it's seems like a wasted resource sitting there and should be a viable solution to the wireless coverage problem.
    Like when people used to have a 30kb word document they wanted to burn to a disc and used a CD-R or DVD-R thus wasting lots of space

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